All students who applied for 2024 SU Funding Opportunities were notified by end-June of their application outcome.

NSFAS

National Student Financial Aid Scheme

Please note Stellenbosch University does not manage the application nor selection process for NSFAS; it only assists with the administration of bursary disbursements to successful recipients under instruction from the government agency

CUBL will not have a separate application process for NSFAS top-up or shortfall funding in 2024

CUBL urges all prospective and current NSFAS-funded students – those who currently receive or who will apply to receive NSFAS funding – to also apply for SU Funding

By doing so, you’d be registered on the CUBL database and be eligible for funding should you for any reason become defunded by NSFAS.

Please note this SU funding application will also ensure you are considered for gap funding (costs not covered by NSFAS allowances) from the University. Gap funding includes top-up, shortfall, emergency, and/or graduate debt funding and it aims to bridge the financial gaps not covered by NSFAS. IMPORTANT NOTE The University has limited funds available. An application for funding is not a guarantee that funding will be granted.

NSFAS

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a bursary for a student from a home with a gross household income of less than R350 000 per annum (R29 167 per month) or for a student with a disability, the gross household income must not be more than R600 000 per annum (R50 000 per month).

Only South African citizens, students with permanent residence, and all SASSA grant recipients qualify for funding. You do not qualify if you have completed a previous qualification, or have already applied, qualified, and received funding. Funding is for the duration of your study programme, provided you pass your modules and meet the academic requirements.

We recommend you visit the NSFAS website for detailed information on the funding scheme, how to create your own myNSFAS account (tab on top right of web page) to apply for a NSFAS bursary, and what documentation is required to support your application.

For a breakdown of the bursary value, please refer to Clause 5.3 University allowances of the Department of Higher Education’s (DHET) NSFAS eligibility criteria and conditions for financial aid: Policy standard for 2023 academic year.

For more information or any queries, call toll free 0800 0 67 3 27, WhatsApp 078 519 8006, or email info@nsfas.org.za.

Applications open 21 November 2023 and close 31 January 2024 (dates subject to change).


How to Apply

Please note the NSFAS 2024 pdfs have only been received in English.

How to create a myNSFAS account

All students who want to either apply for NSFAS funding, update their personal details, or track their existing application will need to create a myNSFAS account.

  1. Go to nsfas.org.za.
  2. Click on the myNSFAS tab at the top right of your screen.
  3. Fill in your personal details (as they appear on your ID).
  4. Fill in your valid contact details (NSFAS will use this to communicate important updates regarding your application).
  5. Accept ‘Terms and Conditions’ by ticking on the box provided. This action is compulsory and will allow NSFAS to validate the information provided.
  6. Create a password to protect your account, confirm password, then click on ‘CREATE’.
  7. A message confirming your account creation will pop on the screen.

Remember to always keep your personal details and passwords private to avoid identity theft or scammers accessing your profile.

Important note

Be careful of fake online pages posing as NSFAS as it could be scammers trying to collect your personal details. Please use the official platforms below to contact NSFAS about your application.

Website www.nsfas.org.za
Facebook National Student Financial Aid Scheme
Instagram MyNSFAS
Twitter @myNSFAS

Coinvest direct payments onboarding process

04.07.23; revised 21.07.23 / NSFAS is taking over the allowance disbursement (payment) for DHET bursaries, and the following information is very important:

  • What date will NSFAS take over? NSFAS will start paying the allowances from the end of July 2023 for August 2023 allowances.
  • What is required of the student? All 2023 NSFAS approved DHET bursary holders must complete their onboarding on the Coinvest platform to receive their allowances. Please read the NSFAS Coinvest steps* document for step-by-step instructions on how to onboard.
  • How will NSFAS pay allowances? Coinvest is a third-party disbursement service that will pay allowances on behalf of NSFAS. Please watch the Coinvest video*.
  • What allowances will NSFAS pay? NSFAS will pay the study material (books), travel, living, and personal care allowances.
  • Will the University still pay allowances? The University will still process the payments for private accommodation.
  • How will I receive backdated allowances owed to me before July 2023? NSFAS is still to confirm this scenario.

Please note that if your funding or appeal is still being considered by NSFAS, as at 30 June 2023, then the above is only for information purposes until NSFAS confirms your funding.

*only available in English

NSFAS eligibility criteria and conditions for financial aid: Policy standard for 2023 academic year

The policy standard document defines the NSFAS eligibility criteria and conditions for granting and administering funding to eligible students studying at an institution in South Africa. It is updated annually.

If you have applied for a NSFAS bursary or are a current NSFAS recipient, the onus is on each student to be cognisant of the eligibility criteria and the bursary conditions. We thus urge you to read through and familiarise yourself with the extracts below.

For any queries, please contact NSFAS directly on toll free 0800 0 06 3 27, email info@nsfas.org.za, read the FAQ on the NSFAS website, or visit your nearest Thusong Centre. The SU NSFAS team can advise where relevant; please email your query to nsfas@sun.ac.za – and remember to include your own SU# and the policy clause number in the subject line, for example, 12345678 / NSFAS policy query 6.3.8, to assist the team in responding efficiently.

IMPORTANT NOTE ON EXTRACTS* CUBL is providing this information** as extracted from the guidelines shared by DHET NSFAS and cannot be held liable for the rules set out by the funder (NSFAS). CUBL is not responsible for any misinformation a student may assume from the extracted summaries below.

*Please note that the extracts are only available in English. **Please note that {curly bracketed text} has been edited for language use clarity.

Extracts from policy standard document

1. ACRONYMS

FTEN First time entering (student applying for academic admission to any university for the first time, directly from school or other)

FTF First time funded

NBA NSFAS bursary agreement (the written agreement between the student and NSFAS detailing the terms and conditions of the bursary)

NSFAS National Student Financial Aid Scheme

SARS South African Revenue Services

SASSA South African Social Security Agency

2. TERMS

Academically eligible student Student who is registered on a NSFAS approved qualification at an institution who has satisfied relevant NSFAS academic progression criteria and N+ rules.

Academic progression pathways The progression of a student from one type of qualification that is approved for funding to another qualification that is also approved for funding in terms of a NSFAS approved academic pathway.

Appeal This is a request submitted by a student whose application for funding was rejected, or whose funding was withdrawn, requesting the NSFAS to review or reconsider his or her eligibility.

Assistive devices Mechanisms that aid students living with disabilities to access learning and teaching resources.

Citizen, including permanent residents {A South African citizen by birth; or born inside or outside the Republic but with one parent a South African citizen at the time of birth. Any person born inside the Republic of parents with permanent resident (but not SA citizenship) qualifies to be a SA citizen by birth if such child has lived in the Republic from their date of birth to their date of becoming a major and the birth is registered in the Republic}.

Continuing student An eligible student funded by NSFAS in the immediate prior academic term, and who is currently registered at university, and who continues to be financially and academically eligible. <The continuing student is differentiated from a returning student.>

Course pass rate This refers to the percentage of course credits that a student must pass to remain academically eligible for future NSFAS financial aid.

Course credits This refers to the level of study where each level of study equals 120 credits per academic year such that a typical 3-yaer degree will be 360 credits and a 4-year degree 480 credits.

Disability Defined as the loss or elimination of opportunities to take part in the life of the community, equitably with others, encountered by persons; (having physical, sensory, psychological, developmental, learning, neurological or other impairments, which may be permanent, temporary, or episodic in nature), thereby causing activity limitations and participation restriction within mainstream society. These barriers may be due to economic, physical/structural, social, attitudinal and/or cultural factors.

Double-dipping This is when students receive financial aid from NSFAS and from other funders such that they do not require the financial aid from NSFAS, either in full or in part.

Full cost of study The total cost of student for a student which includes registration fees, tuition costs, accommodation, and other permitted allowances related to formal teaching and learning activities as determined by the criteria and subject to limitations.

Household income The combined annual gross income of the parents (or adoptive parents, spouses, legal guardians) of the student and the student themselves. It includes every form of income from both the formal and informal sector (e.g., salaries, wages, retirement income, near cash government transfers like food stamps, grants, business incomes, and investment gains).

Immediate family member For this policy standard, this means mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, son, daughter, adoptive child, brother, sister, legal guardian, adoptive mother, or adoptive father of the student.

Legal guardian One which is appointed by a decision of the High Court as the supreme guardian of a minor child or appointed in terms of a will that was written by a sole parent or sole caregiver who passed away.

Permanent resident Student in possession of a valid Permanent Residency Permit issued by the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.

Returning student Senior student who was not funded by NSFAS in the immediate prior academic term and needs to re-apply for funding.

SASSA recipient Student who receives a SASSA grant – but excludes those in receipt of the Social Relief of Distress grant, including the R350 special grant due to COVID-19.

Senior student Student who has been registered at an institution in a previous academic term, whether they received NSFAS funding previously or not.

3.6 APPLICABILITY

The policy standard applies to:

<3.6.1.1> Qualifying students, including a student living with a disability, studying a NSFAS approved qualification at institution, and who meet the {specified criteria}.

<3.6.1.2> All institutions are subjected to the requirements and conditions as set out in the document and must abide by the rules.

NSFAS does not provide financial aid in the following instances:

<3.6.2.1> Students who have received loans, bursaries, or scholarships from non-NSFAS sources to the extent that these defray their cost of study or allowances. (If these sources do not cover the full cost of study, NSFAS funding will be considered provided that all eligibility criteria are met)

<3.6.2.2> A student who has achieved an undergraduate qualification and wants to study a second undergraduate qualification.

<3.6.2.5> Students enrolled for qualifications that are not approved.

<3.6.2.6> Any student who does not meet the {defined eligibility criteria}.

3.7 RESTRICTIONS AND LIMITATIONS

<3.7.5> Financial aid is awarded for the first term of study only. Funding for subsequent years is at the discretion of NSFAS, subject to availability of funds and provided the student continues to meet {the stipulated academic and financial criteria}.

<3.7.7> It is the duty of all persons applying, and/or receiving funding, to disclose accurate and complete information to institutions and NSFAS in relation to their NSFAS funding and which may have an impact on their eligibility assessment.

<3.7.8> It is also the duty of all persons {applying, and/or receiving funding, to ensure that NSFAS always} has current, accurate, and complete, and that {NSFAS is notified immediately of any changes in circumstances}.

<3.7.9> {If} financial aid is extended to any person based on inaccurate, incomplete, and/or outdated information, NSFAS reserves the right to cancel such funding with immediate effect and claim back all funds already disbursed based on such inaccurate and/or incomplete and/or outdate information.

<3.7.10> {If} NSFAS awards a bursary to a student based on falsified information, the Board can cancel the funding and instruct legal proceedings against the student, their biological parents, or legal guardians.

<3.7.11> {For} any funding granted to any person who is later found {to be ineligible, the funding} shall be cancelled with immediate effect and NSFAS reserves the right to claim back all funds already disbursed and report the matter to law enforcement.

4.1 CITIZENSHIP AND PLACE OF STUDY

Only South African citizens and permanent residents with a valid South African ID number registered at an institution are eligible for NSFAS DHET funding.

4.2 GENERAL CONDITIONS

<4.2.1> Students must be formally registered to study for an approved NSFAS funded qualification at institution, subject to institutional DHET approved enrolment plans, and meet the financial eligibility criteria, and academic criteria before a bursary award is confirmed.

<4.2.2> The financial need of the student is assessed at the point of first application, and continuing students do not need to re-apply annually.

<4.2.3> NSFAS may for each subsequent academic term re-assess the eligibility of any funded student and reserves the right to withdraw funding if the student no longer meets the eligibility criteria.

<4.2.4> Returning students and University students that move through the NSFAS funding academic pathway must re-apply and meet the continuing student academic eligibility requirements.

<4.2.5> Students who change institution type (i.e., shift from TVET college to university or vice versa) must re-apply for funding.

<4.2.6> Students who de-register or drop out during an academic term and wish to resume their studies in future academic terms, must re-apply.

<4.2.7> A student can only be funded for one qualification at one institution at any one time.

<4.2.8> Applicants for financial aid accept the terms and conditions of the NSFAS Bursary Agreement (NBA) at the point of application, which indicates that they accept the obligations and responsibilities of the Bursary Programme should they be funded.

<4.2.9> New applicants, returning and continuing students are deemed to have accepted the NBA once the NBA is issued and benefit is derived in terms of the bursary awarded, unless explicitly rejected by the student.

<4.2.10> If a student receives a full bursary from another source, the student must advise NSFAS within 10 days of receipt of the alternative bursary, the NSFAS bursary must be withdrawn, and no further payments made to the student, and all excess funds must be refunded to NSFAS during the reconciliation process.

<4.2.11> If a student receives a partial bursary from another source, the student must advise NSFAS of the funding conditions of the new funder within 10 days of receiving the partial bursary, the NSFAS bursary must be reduced, and any excess refunded to NSFAS during the reconciliation process.

<4.2.12> As a rule, financial support granted must be distributed for tuition in the first instance, then accommodation, then other allowances as may be applicable. If the funder has specified the allocation of the financial support granted, then the excess to be returned to NSFAS is calculated on this basis.

<4.2.18> NSFAS reserves the right to withdraw or cease financial aid to a student under the following circumstances:

<4.2.18.1> The student no longer meets the financial or academic eligibility as set out in this policy standard; or

<4.2.18.2> The student has been found to have defrauded NSFAS or another NSFAS beneficiary; or

<4.2.18.3> The student was funded in error;

<4.2.18.5> Incorrect or false information was submitted by the student when requested to do so; or

<4.2.18.6> Dual registration records have been received from different institutions for the same student and the dual registration remains unresolved.

<4.2.20.1> Students must be studying towards their {first undergraduate} qualification.

<4.2.20.2> Students who have already studied at a university or obtained a prior university qualification do not qualify as FTEN students even if they are entering the first academic term of a new qualification. However, students starting a university qualification for the first time, but who have already achieved a TVET qualification, qualify as a university FTEN student.

<4.2.20.3> Any funding received by a senior university student prior to 2018 is subject to the conditions of the Loan Agreement already signed.

<4.2.21> Specific conditions for students living with disabilities:

<4.2.21.1> Students living with disabilities are eligible for the Disability funding programme if their primary disability is regarded as an impairment which is long-term (at least 12 months), a recurring physical, mental (psychological), intellectual or sensory impairment and substantially limiting in that the impairment impacts their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others (as a result of a lack of support being provided) and all other eligibility criteria are met.

<4.2.21.2> The definition of a primary disability includes chronic illness or other chronic medical conditions, where this condition manifests itself as a physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairment (as above) and where lack of support impacts the student’s daily functioning, severely impacting on the teaching and learning process of the student.

<4.2.21.3> Chronic illness includes chronic diabetes, chronic epilepsy, and chronic heart conditions.

<4.2.21.4> A detailed medical report from a medical professional registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa is required to support an application for a student living with disability.

<4.2.21.5> Any other chronic diseases or medical conditions can only be considered on the basis of a full medical evaluation, and a detailed report outlining how the condition is manifested in the students’ difficulties in accessing teaching and learning, with or without support.

4.4 FINANCIAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

<4.4.1> Financial eligibility criteria are used to assess prospective students applying for funding for the first time continuing and returning students.

4.4.2 HOUSEHOLD INCOME (FINANCIAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA)

<4.4.2.1> Household income is applicable to non-SASSA recipients only and is determined as follows:

<4.4.2.1.1> Where the student/applicant is unmarried, household income is the sum of the gross income (from all sources) of the biological (or adoptive) mother, the biological (or adoptive) father, and the student/applicant.

<4.4.2.1.2> Where the student/applicant is under legal guardianship, the household income is the sum of the gross income (from all sources) of the legal guardian and that of the student/applicant.

<4.4.2.1.3> Where the student/applicant is married, the household income (from all sources) is the sum of the gross income of the student’s spouse and that of the student/applicant.

<4.4.2.1.4> Students/applicants who are unmarried and independent of their parents must substantiate this by submitting a report from a social worker (if the student/ applicant is not a SASSA recipient) or a court order to this effect.

4.4.3 SOCIAL GRANTS RECIPIENTS (SASSA) (FINANCIAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA)

<4.4.3.1> Any student who is a South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) recipient, as validated by NSFAS, automatically meets the financial eligibility criteria and will be eligible for a bursary award if they are registered at an institution and are academically eligible.

4.4.4 NON-SOCIAL GRANTS RECIPIENTS (NON-SASSA) (FINANCIAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA)

<4.4.4.1> As of the 2023 academic year, all students (except those with disabilities), irrespective of when they first registered at an institution will be assessed as financially eligible if the applicant’s household income is R350 000 or less.

<4.4.4.2> Applicants living with a disability will be assessed as financially eligible if the applicant’s household income is R600 000 or less.

<4.4.5.1> NSFAS will use any third-party data source, over and above the declared household income to determine an applicant’s financial eligibility.

4.5.1 ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Academic progression criteria will be measured by the percentage of course credits that a student achieves in the academic year. Institutions and NSFAS will progressively align academic progression criteria requirements.

<4.5.1.1> The criteria are applied as follows to students in Universities

Students who receive financial aid from NSFAS must meet set academic achievement criteria, in order to continue being eligible for financial aid.

<4.5.1.1.1> As of 2023, First Time Entering Students (FTEN) must achieve a course credit pass rate of 50% for their previous academic term.

<4.5.1.1.2> Continuing university students must as of 2023 achieve a course credit pass rate of 55% for their previous academic term.

Once a student is rejected for further funding due to not meeting the NSFAS academic eligibility criteria requirements, the student is no longer eligible for financial aid from NSFAS.

4.5.2 N+ RULE (ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY)

<4.5.2.1> The N+ Rule sets the outer limits for the duration that a student may receive financial aid from NSFAS.

<4.5.2.2> A student that is no longer compliant with the University academic progression pathways or exceeds the university N+ rule may not be funded to study at a university.

4.5.4 DURATION OF STUDY (ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY)

<4.5.4.1> The university N+ Rule is based on number of years a student is registered in the higher education sector.

<4.5.4.3> The N period of study equates to the minimum time required to complete a qualification.

<4.5.4.5> The N+1 Rule applies to all students who receive financial aid from NSFAS.

<4.5.4.6> All students with disability qualify for N+2.

<4.5.4.7> The additional funding (denoted by 1 or 2) is applied once over a student’s academic career within the sector (university).

<4.5.4.8> The N+ rule is applied to the qualification that the student is registered for in the relevant academic term. The N thus changes for students who change qualifications from one academic term to the next.

<4.5.4.9> Where a student has changed their qualification and the remaining N does not accommodate the time required to complete the different qualification, the student will no longer receive NSFAS funding.

4.6 APPEALS

<4.6.1> A student whose application for financial aid is rejected, or the financial aid for a continuing student is withdrawn, may lodge an appeal with the NSFAS.

<4.6.2> All appeal decisions are subject to budget availability.

<4.6.3> Appeals must be received within the specified deadlines to be considered. Late appeals will be rejected.

<4.6.4> Appeals will only be considered for students who have applied to NSFAS for financial aid.

 

<4.6.5> Appeals from students who exceed the income thresholds will only be considered if:

<4.6.5.1> The financial circumstances of their household have changed since the submission of their application and evidence of this is provided to NSFAS.

<4.6.5.2> Students can provide evidence that their household income is indeed below the threshold.

<4.6.5.3> A key contributor to their household income has become incapacitated or is deceased since the submission of their application.

<4.6.5.4> The student/applicant has been declared independent of their biological parents by a court and the court has determined that the parents are not responsible for the student’s/applicant’s maintenance, including the cost of his/her education.

<4.6.5.5> The student/applicant is from a child headed household and this is substantiated by a report from a social worker registered with the Department of Social Development.

<4.6.5.6> The parents of a student/applicant are divorced and in terms of the divorce decree, a court has determined that the responsibility for child maintenance, including the responsibility for the cost of education, is restricted to one parent, and the responsible parent meets financial eligibility criteria.

 

<4.6.6> Appeals from students who failed to meet the academic eligibility criteria will only be considered if:

<4.6.6.1> The student is a continuing student who was not a FTEN or FTF student in their previous academic term of study; AND

<4.6.6.2> The student’s failure to complete their academic term successfully is due to severe ill health for two or more months of the academic term or during examinations, or there has been death in his/her immediate family during the academic term, or the student was the subject of a violent crime (such as rape or abuse), or the student was pregnant and gave birth during the academic term and the institution has evaluated the student and completed the NSFAS standard propensity letter confirming the student will complete their qualification within an additional academic term OR

<4.6.6.3> The student is a student living with a disability and a medical report indicates that the student failed to complete their academic term due to the nature of their disability and the institution has evaluated the student and completed the NSFAS standard propensity letter confirming the student will complete their qualification within an additional academic term OR

<4.6.6.4> The student can provide evidence that the academic results received by NSFAS are incorrect.

<4.6.6.5> A continuing student who was a FTEN or FTF student in their previous academic term of study does not need to appeal as the student will automatically be funded for their next academic term, provided that all other eligibility criteria are met.

 

<4.6.7> Appeals from students who no longer meets the N+ Rule will only be considered if:

<4.6.7.1> The student’s failure to complete their academic term successfully is due to severe ill health for two or more months of the academic term or during examinations, or there has been death in his/her immediate family during the academic term, or the student was the subject of a violent crime (such as rape or abuse), or the student was pregnant and gave birth during the academic term, and the institution has evaluated that the student has the propensity to complete their qualification within an additional academic term OR

<4.6.7.3> The student is a university student who can prove that he/ she has 50% or less final year course credits to complete and achieve his/ her qualification. University students who fall into this category will be funded similar to distance university students, provided that their appeal is successful OR

<4.6.7.5> The student has not reached or exceeded N+2 (or N+3 in the case of a student with disability) or will not exceed N+2 (or N+3 in the case of a student with disability) should the appeal be approved.

 

<4.6.9> Appeals from students who were rejected for financial aid by NSFAS due to data or information errors submitted by them will only be considered if:

<4.6.9.1> The error does not relate to an error in the ID number, first name, or surname of the student entered on the application – students must submit their correct identity details as it appears on their ID documentation. Failure to do so will result in applications being rejected. Should the application window still be open, students may reapply for funding.

<4.6.9.2> Students provide sufficient evidence that the data or information submitted was indeed incorrect.

 

<4.6.10> Students are not permitted to appeal if:

<4.6.10.1> They are registered for a qualification that NSFAS does not fund.

<4.6.10.2> They have reached N+2 (N+3 in the case of a student living with a disability).

<4.6.10.3> The detail of the appeal indicates that the student is disclosing different parental or legal guardian information than disclosed in the application, or if the student is now indicating that he/she is independent which is different to the application.

<4.6.10.4> The student is a gap year student who NSFAS previously declined to provide financial aid to due to not meeting the academic eligibility criteria.

<4.6.11> Failure to provide sufficient and substantive evidence in support of an appeal as required within the time frames required will lead to an appeal being rejected.

<4.6.12> NSFAS reserves the right to validate all appeal documentation to confirm the validity of the appeal, including third party data sources, and will reject an appeal where the supporting evidence cannot be validated or confirmed.

<4.6.13> NSFAS reserves the right to reject supporting evidence based on affidavits.

5.1 TUITION COSTS

<5.1.1> The tuition cost is the agreed institutional tuition cost for the actual programme of study for each student. NSFAS will only pay tuition costs in line with the agreed sector increase on the tuition cost for 2023.

<5.1.2> The registration fee must be included in the tuition cost. Students qualifying for NSFAS funding are not required to pay the initial registration.

5.3 UNIVERSITY ALLOWANCES

ACCOMMODATION TYPE

ALLOWANCE TYPE (per annum)

LEARNING MATERIALS

LIVING

PERSONAL CARE

ACCOMMODATION

TRANSPORT

UNIVERSITY MANAGED AND CATERED

R5 460

n/a

n/a

capped R61 500*

PAID DIRECTLY TO THE UNIVERSITY

n/a

UNIVERSITY MANAGED SELF-CATERING

R5 460

R16 500*

n/a

capped R45 000

PAID DIRECTLY TO THE UNIVERSITY

n/a

LIVING WITH RELATIVES

(NOT IN PRIVATE ACCOMMODATION)

R5 460

R16 500*

n/a

n/a

R7 875

PRIVATE OFF-CAMPUS ACCREDITED ACCOMMODATION

R5 460

R16 500*

n/a

capped R45 000

WITH LEASE AGREEMENT

n/a

*Update reference: NSFAS Circular Notice No. 3 of 2023 dated 15 March 2023.

<5.3.5.6.1> Students residing with immediate family or with relatives do not qualify for accommodation allowances.

<5.3.5.6.2> Students living in institution owned accommodation, or leased accommodation, qualify for a capped annual accommodation allowance of up to R45 000 per annum.

<5.3.5.6.12> Students who opt to make their own accommodation arrangements with immediate family or with relatives do not qualify for the accommodation allowance. Instead, these students qualify for a travel allowance determined by the institution, up to a maximum of R7 875 in 2023.

5.5 ALLOWANCES FOR STUDENTS LIVING WITH DISABILITIES

<5.5.1> Allowances, excluding human support, for students living with disabilities attending {institutions} will as of 2023 be supported directly by the NSFAS. {Institutions} expected to collaborate with NSFAS on establishing revised processes for the management of the disability allowances.

<5.5.2> Students living with disabilities qualify for the following allowances:

ALLOWANCE

APPLICABILITY

CONDITIONS

AMOUNT

LIVING ALLOWANCE (including meals)

Student qualifies on the same basis as all their university students

The same conditions apply as to other university students. No separate mean allowance is provided for human support.

R20 000 per academic year

LEARNING MATERIALS ALLOWANCE

Students qualify on the same basis as other university students

Where the cost of learning materials differs, a motivation must be submitted to NSFAS for approval.

R6 000 per academic year

ASSISTIVE DEVICES

Students may only qualify for an assistive device if this is required in terms of a report from medical doctor, approved by the institution’s Disability Unit and approved by NSFAS.

Students qualify for one assistive device over the duration of their studies.

An additional assistive device due to changing needs of a student maybe considered on condition the stipulated assistive device allowance is not exceeded over the study duration.

The device must be relevant to the student’s disability and must be in respect of devices that are required to facilitate access to teaching and learning resources.

Actual cost limited to R50 000 as a once-off allowance

REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE OF ASSISTIVE DEVICES

Students qualify for a repairs and maintenance of assistive devices if these are required as a result of normal wear and tear.

No new assistive devices can be purchased with this allowance.

Damage or breakage of the assistive device must be as a result of normal wear and tear and not as a result of neglect, abuse, or carelessness.

Actual cost limited to R2 000 per academic year

HUMAN SUPPORT

University students only may qualify for human support if this is required in terms of a report approved by a Registered Medical Professional with the HPCSA, and the institution’s Disability Unit and approved by NSFAS.

Students qualify for a single human support each academic year.

The human support must be relevant to the student’s disability and must be in respect of support that is required to facilitate access to teaching and learning resources.

Actual cost limited to R50,000 per academic year

 

(human support allowances will be disbursed to students by the institution)

ASSESSMENT COSTS

Students qualify for an assessment cost allowance only if requested by the Disability Unit (and approved by NSFAS) for the purpose of determining the teaching and learning support requirements.

The assessment must be for the purposes of determining the human support or assistive device required by the student for access to teaching and learning resources.

Actual cost limited to R2 000 as a once-off allowance

5.5.3 ASSISTIVE DEVICES (FOR STUDENTS LIVING WITH DISABILITIES)

<5.5.3.1> Students living with disabilities do not automatically qualify for the allowance for assistive devices, or the repairs and maintenance thereof. The allowances are only granted if the student application for these allowances is approved, and all conditions and criteria are met as set out in this policy standard.

<5.5.3.2> Only products from an accredited supplier will be approved by the NSFAS.

<5.5.3.3> If students transfer from one institution to another or across sectors, the annual threshold limit for the duration of the study period still applies.

<5.5.3.4> The purchase of duplicate devices is not permitted.

<5.5.3.5> NSFAS will honour payments for assistive devices, repairs, and maintenance of assistive devices and assessment costs on condition that:

<5.5.3.5.1> The nature of the goods and services are relevant to the nature of disability indicated on the application.

<5.5.3.5.2> The accredited suppliers are used for the procurement of these goods and services.

<5.5.3.5.3> The required supporting quotations and invoices are submitted to NSFAS.

<5.5.3.6> The following table illustrates examples of assistive devices:

 

DISABILITY

ASSISTIVE DEVICE

PHYSICAL DISABILITY IMPAIRMENT

(movement, mobility, locomotor)

·       wheelchairs

·       recorder (tetra & quadriplegic)

·       boots (footwear)

·       walking stick

·       crutches, callipers, ferrules

·       walking frame

·       writing splint

·       ankle brace and splints

·       foot and leg orthotics

and any other as required

VISUAL IMPAIRMENT OR DISABILITY

(blind and partially sighted)

·       Perkins braille

·       recorder/ digital recorder

·       specialised digital device (a normal digital device/laptop cannot be purchased with this allowance)

·       spectacles/magnifiers: refraction only single vision, bifocals fixed tints

and any other as required

HARD OF HEARING OR DISABILITY

(hearing loss/impairment and/or deafness)

·       hearing aids and ear moulds

·       assistive listening devices (ALDs)

LEARNING DISABILITY AND/OR OTHER COMMUNICATION DISORDERS

(ADD, ADHD, spectrum disorders, dyslexia dyspraxia, dysphasia)

 

·       digital voice recorders

·       fluency device

·       autistic augmentative and alternative communication devices

and any other as required

5.5.4 HUMAN SUPPORT (FOR STUDENTS LIVING WITH DISABILITIES)

<5.5.4.1> Students living with disabilities do not automatically qualify for the allowance for human support. The allowance is only granted if the student application for this allowance is approved, and all conditions and criteria are met as set out in this policy standard.

<5.5.4.2> NSFAS will honour payments for human support on condition that:

<5.5.4.2.1> The nature of the human support is recommended by the HPCSA registered medical practitioner.

<5.5.4.2.2 The institution confirms and supports the need for human support.

<5.5.4.3> Carers appointments must be made by the student involved and their guardians/parents.

<5.5.4.4> The following are examples of human support:

<5.5.4.4.1 – 5.5.4.4.7> Guide dog; Scribes; Note takers; Carers; Individual reading support; Tutors; Sign Language interpreters.

<5.5.4.5> In the event that the human support is in the form of a carer the carer may be anyone selected by the student living with the disability and approved by the institution, provided that all supporting documents are ratified by NSFAS prior to funding being approved.

6.3 STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

<6.3.1> Students must apply for NSFAS financial aid on time, submitting all the valid required documents.

<6.3.2> Students must submit accurate, complete, and correct information to NSFAS when applying for financial aid and when submitting appeals. Failure to do so will result in applications and appeals being rejected.

<6.3.3> Should a student or applicant submit data that is incorrect or incomplete and this results in students that are funded that should not be funded, or a student being paid in excess of the actual cost of study, NSFAS will withdraw financial aid and claim the funds back from the student.

<6.3.4> Students must inform NSFAS and their institutions if they have other sources of funding (i.e., double-dipping) within 10 days of receipt of such funding.

<6.3.5> Students must notify NSFAS in the event of a change of qualification or when they exit a qualification.

<6.3.6> Students must confirm with the institution that the qualification they register for is an approved qualification and is indeed funded (and not expired).

<6.3.7> Students must meet all academic progression criteria and attendance requirements of their courses and institutions.

<6.3.8> Students must meet individual financial commitments, eg. managing allowances.

<6.3.9> NSFAS students are subject to the student residence and private accommodation policies of the institution and accommodation providers where they reside.

<6.3.11> Students who apply at various institutions must cancel registration at all institutions where they are not eventually formally registered to avoid dual registrations. Failure to do so will result in NSFAS blocking all payments to such students until dual registrations are resolved.

<6.3.12> NSFAS funded students that register at multiple institutions have a responsibility to deregister and confirm with NSFAS within 10 days of the start of the academic term, the institution that they chose to study at.

<6.3.14> NSFAS funded student must not engage in activities that aim to defraud the scheme and fellow students.

<6.3.15> Where a NSFAS funded student is required to submit documents to NSFAS for funding decisions, the student must do so within 10 days of receipt of notification to submit required information to NSFAS.

<6.3.16> Student must always ensure that {their} contact details are updated to maintain constant communication with NSFAS.

<6.3.17> Student must aim to complete their studies within the N+ Rule and maintain the academic progression rules of NSFAS.

<6.3.18> Student must use the learning material allowance for the intended use (acquisition of study material or a digital learning device).

<6.3.19> All students in receipt of the financial aid from NSFAS must abide by terms and conditions as set out in the agreement.

8.1 COMBATTING FRAUD AND CORRUPTION

<8.1.1> NSFAS has a zero tolerance to fraud and corruption and as such will do what is required to combat any such acts that are discovered within its environment.

<8.1.2> NSFAS funding is aimed at those students who meet the eligibility criteria as contained in this document. NSFAS makes funding decisions based on the information submitted by the students and the institutions and verifies this information against third party data sources as far as possible. Where NSFAS finds that students have misrepresented, omitted, or falsified their information in any way, or where the information submitted does not align to third party data sources, NSFAS reserves the right to terminate or deny financial aid to the student, as well as deny any further financial aid to that student, and recover all costs to date from that student.

<8.1.3> Where incorrect information is provided by an institution (whether in error or deliberately) which results in NSFAS making erroneous funding decision or paying a student incorrectly, the institution is liable for those costs.

<8.1.4> NSFAS reserves the right to initiate criminal and/or civil proceedings to parties who falsely present themselves as the parents or guardians or spouse of an applicant as well as the biological parents of applicants who knowingly allow their children to falsify parental information in an application for NSFAS funding, or the actual spouse in the case of a married applicant.

<8.1.7> NSFAS reserves the right to institute civil and/ criminal proceedings where students and/or institutions do not declare instances of double dipping to NSFAS such that excess funds can be returned to NSFAS within the relevant academic year.

<8.1.8> Students residing with immediate family members or relatives do not qualify for accommodation allowances. Where this is found to be the case, it is considered fraud.

<8.1.9> Upon completion of this investigation process any students, institution officials, or NSFAS employees may be subjected to the relevant disciplinary process and may have criminal charges laid against them.

<8.1.10> The civil process will also be followed by NSFAS to recover any loss suffered as a result of any fraudulent act committed by any students, institution officials, or NSFAS employees.

<8.1.11> In the event that these suspects are found guilty, the relevant sanctions will apply which may include withdrawal of the bursary, cancellation of allowances, disqualification from ever being eligible for NSFAS funding in future, re-payment of all funding received to date, and/ or expulsion/dismissal.

<8.1.12> High levels of fraud and corruption involved in the awarding of accommodation allowances to students have been noted. NSFAS reserves the right to conduct physical address verification using randomised samples.

Kindly note: NSFAS has been exempted from obtaining consent for the processing of information and data by the Information Regulator. As such, NSFAS has, and will continue to expand, access to third party data sources to verify information and data submitted to NSFAS. Students/applicants are thus obliged to submit all relevant and true information to NSFAS.

11.1 SUBMITTING ACCURATE INFORMATION ON A NSFAS APPLICATION

<11.1.1> Applicants must take care to submit the correct information on their application forms in order to avoid disappointment:

<11.1.1.1> Their identity number, name and surname must be correctly entered on the application form AS IT APPEARS ON THE IDENTITY DOCUMENT. This is crucial as an error here could lead to NSFAS not being able to process that application and thus rejecting the applicant for funding.

<11.1.1.2> The same applies to parental information. This must be provided even if the applicant is not living with their biological parent(s) or if either parent is deceased.

<11.1.2> The same applies to supporting documents. While NSFAS makes use of third-party data sources to validated information, there are occasions when physical documents must be submitted along with the application.

<11.1.3> Failure to submit the requisite documents will result in the application process being delayed and/or rejected for that applicant.

<11.1.4> NSFAS reserves the right to call for any supporting documents or evidence in order to validate the details in an application.

<11.1.5> NSFAS cautions applicants against accepting assistance from others when completing their applications, and especially when registering on the MYNSFAS portal or completing details for disbursements.

<11.1.6> NSFAS advises applicants to ensure that their contact details (email and mobile phone) are correct and that these do not change, particularly during the application process.

<11.1.7> A NSFAS official will NEVER ask an applicant or student for their password details. NSFAS cautions applicants and students from sharing such information with ANYONE.

11.2 DISALLOWANCE OF AFFIDAVITS FOR LEGAL GUARDIANS

<11.2.1> NSFAS has detected increased fraud whereby students are qualifying incorrectly for funding from NSFAS by misrepresenting their parental information. As a result, the following changes to the application process was introduced as of the 2022 academic year:

<11.2.1.1> All applicants must submit the details of their biological parents even if their parents are deceased or applicants are not living with their parents.

<11.2.1.2> NSFAS no longer accepts affidavits stating that persons are their guardians. Guardians will only be accepted if they are appointed as legal guardians to an applicant by the High Court.

<11.2.1.3> In situations where applicants truly do not know their parental information, a report from a social worker is required to validate this scenario.

<11.2.1.4> NSFAS reserves the right to disqualify any applicant who is found to have misrepresented their parental information or household income and may do so for all future applications.

11.3 REGISTERING FOR QUALIFICATIONS THAT ARE FUNDED BY NSFAS

<11.3.1> NSFAS only funds a student when they registered on an approved qualification (students may refer to the SAQA website), even if the student meets all other eligibility criteria. This means that a student may be eligible for financial aid and will not receive any funding if they are registered for an unfunded qualification.

<11.3.2> NSFAS confirms whether a student is indeed registered on a funded qualification when it receives the registration data from an institution.

<11.3.3> In addition, NSFAS will not fund a qualification that is expired or that is not registered on the NQF. An expired qualification is determined by considering the last enrolment date, last registration date and last achievement date for that qualification.

<11.3.4> Students are advised to verify that their qualification is indeed funded (and not expired) with their institution prior to registering.

11.4 THE N+ RULE EXPLAINED

<11.4.1> The N+ Rule for university students will continue to be based on the number of years in higher education rather than the number of years funded. The rationale for the rule being applied in this way is based on the principle that NSFAS is assisting students achieve their first qualification for university students.

<11.4.2> There is also a fairness element to this – if the number of years funded are counted, a student who is funded from their first year will have to complete their qualification within the required time frames for that qualification. However, a student who is funded from their third year of study, for example, may in fact benefit from additional years to complete their qualification.

11.9 DEALING WITH FINANCIAL AID BEING WITHDRAWN

<11.9.1> NSFAS may withdraw its financial aid from students in the following circumstances:

<11.9.1.1> The student failed to meet the NSFAS academic eligibility criteria for continuing students.

<11.9.1.2> NSFAS has reviewed the student financial eligibility and noted that the student’s household income has changed to be beyond the permitted thresholds, even after taking inflationary adjustments into account.

<11.9.1.3> A report of fraud has been reported against the student, and NSFAS has confirmed that the student misrepresented information provided during the application process.

<11.9.1.4> NSFAS has discovered that the student has already obtained an undergraduate qualification which was not known to NSFAS at the time of assessing the application.

<11.9.1.5> The student no longer meets one or more eligibility criteria as specified in this policy standard.

<11.9.1.6> The student was awarded financial aid in error.

<11.9.1.7> The student has been found to have defrauded other beneficiaries.

<11.9.2> NSFAS allows students to appeal a decision to withdraw funding prior to finalising this decision. Students are advised to submit their appeals on time, and only to those channels specified by NSFAS. The use of an incorrect channel to appeal will result in the appeal not being considered by NSFAS.

Contact Us

Any bursary or funding query must first be logged with the SU Centre for Client Services (021 808 9111)

Thereafter, you will be advised on the best communication channel, be it a transfer call to CUBL, an email, or an in-person consultation.

For any queries, and technical or document issues whilst completing your 2025 SU Funding Opportunities application

Please call 021 808 9111 or email info@sun.ac.za  – with a screenshot or detailed description of the problem encountered – for assistance. Remember to include your SU student number (#) in this subject line: # / SUFO25 application query

Stellenbosch Campus

Physical Address

Admin A Building, Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch 7600

Office hours

Monday to Friday 8:00 – 16:30

+27 21 808 9111

info@sun.ac.za

Tygerberg Campus

Physical Address

Clinical Building, Francie van Zijl Drive, Tygerberg 7505

Office hours

Monday to Friday 8:00 – 16:30

+27 21 938 9129 / 21 808 9111

tygbursaries@sun.ac.za

Centre for Undergraduate Bursaries and Loans (CUBL)

sunfinaid@sun.ac.za

All NSFAS and Funza Lushaka bursary assistance at SU, including FMHS NSFAS-funded students

nsfas@sun.ac.za

Only 2024 Funza Lushaka applications, modules, and placement queries, contact Mrs Jeannie Saffier

leendert@sun.ac.za

Email correspondence

Due to the high volume of emails received, all email correspondence must please include an SU student number, bursary name/ref, and a short descriptor in the subject line, for example: ‘12345678 / NSFAS – allowance payment query’. This will ensure your enquiry can be attended to promptly and efficiently.