Blade Nzimande officially opens NSFAS 2021 application cycle

Image credit: Flickr/GovernmentZA

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has officially opened the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) 2021 application cycle.

The NSFAS 2021 application dates are from 3 August, 2020 until 30 November, 2020, the Department said in a statement on Monday. The application cycle will therefore be open for four months.

The Department listed eligibility criteria as follows:

  • The applicant must be a South African citizen.
  • He/she must come from a family with a combined annual household income of not more than R350,000 per annum.
  • For applicants with a disability, the combined annual household income must not be more than R600,000 per annum.

NSFAS applications for 2021

Students can make NSFAS applications for 2021 online via myNSFAS portal, which the Department said has undergone enhancements and changes to improve user experience and security. This is the link to MyNSFAS portal:

NSFAS online application 2021

To start a NSFAS online application 2021, new applicants will need a copy of their ID or birth certificate to register and create a profile on the myNSFAS portal. Applicants with existing accounts will simply need to log into their accounts.

The applicant will then have to give consent to NSFAS to verify their information with third parties. Without this consent, it will not be possible to create a profile.

“This feature allows NSFAS to conduct a three-step verification process with the Department of Home Affairs where an ID number will be linked to the name and surname of the applicant, and parent details,” the Department said.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, applicants will not be required to submit or upload the consent form. However, they will be required to accept the electronic consent form as well as terms and conditions for funding.

Documents needed to apply for NSFAS

The following are the documents needed to apply for NSFAS, or the NSFAS required documents:

  • Applicant’s ID copy.
  • Parent/guardian proof of income.
  • Parent/guardian ID copies.
  • Annexure A for applicants with disability.

Applicants can also visit National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) application centres to use their facilities free of charge, Minister Nzimande said.

He added, “NYDA has been instrumental in assisting applicants to use their facilities as application centres, free of charge. NYDA has centres across nine provinces, offering a variety of services to students, and out of school youth. The NYDA centres will be fully operational and accessible to applicants from 1 September, 2020, during office hours.”

Nzimande said the Department and NSFAS are “working hard” to save the 2020 academic year. “In the current academic year, NSFAS has funded over 700,000 students – 248,242 at TVET colleges and 481,339 at universities, [which is] a 20 percent increase from the previous year,” he added.

NSFAS funding covers the cost of registration, tuition and allowance for food, learning material, personal care and accommodation or transport.

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