Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has outlined the online NSFAS application 2022 process, including opening and closing dates as well as the required supporting documents.
In a media briefing on Thursday (28 October), Nzimande said the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for student funding via the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
NSFAS student cohorts
Consequently, the government has categorised students into five cohorts, which apply to all natural citizens and permanent residents of South Africa, as follows:
- A First-Time Entering Student (FTEN) who are SASSA beneficiaries (Cohort 1).
- A Returning Student, who are also SASSA beneficiaries (Cohort 2).
- A First-Time Entering Student who are not SASSA beneficiaries (Cohort 3).
- A Returning Student, who are also not SASSA beneficiaries (Cohort 4).
- A students living with disability (Cohort 5).
“As the government, it is our duty to make sure that all those with potential are not prohibited by the lack of funds and we are proud of what this new [NSFAS] Board has delivered,” Nzimande said.
“The Board has assured me that the 2022 application process will handle student application efficiently and make the application process seamless.”
The Minister added that NSFAS funding for university and TVET College bursaries for poor and working class students increased by 107 percent from R20 billion in 2018 to R42 billion in 2021.
NSFAS application 2022 process
According to Nzimande, the NSFAS application 2022 is also open to individuals who are already enrolled at institutions, but are without funding and qualify financially for NSFAS funding.
Application opening and closing dates
Applications will open on Tuesday, 2 November 2021 and close on 7 January 2022 when the National Senior Certificate (matric) results are released. UPDATE: The application closing date has now been extended to 21 January 2022.
The Minister assured learners that the late opening of applications this year will not disadvantage students who seek NSFAS funding because the process is now faster.
“I am assured by NSFAS that the new faster application process will make up for any perceived lost time, and will see many students receive their funding results much faster than previously. Some results will be received immediately and others may take up to 48 hours to be provided,” he explained.
Who qualifies for NSFAS funding
You qualify for NSFAS funding if you are a South African citizen or permanent resident and plan to register, or are already studying, at a public university or TVET college in South Africa. In addition, you need to fall within one or more of the following categories:
- SASSA grant recipients (the SASSA COVID-19 grant does not count);
- Persons whose combined household income is not more than R350,000 per year; and
- Persons living with disabilities with a combined household income not more than R600,000 per annum.
NSFAS required supporting documents
NSFAS applicants will be required to provide the following supporting documents:
- A copy of ID. A temporary ID issued by the Department of Home Affairs will be accepted;
- Non-SASSA applicants must provide ID copies of parent/s, legal guardian/guardian or spouse;
- Smart ID cards: a copy with both sides of the smart ID must be provided;
- Proof of income: applicant and/or parents/legal guardian/spouse (where applicable (non- SASSA) should provide latest payslip not older 3 months, UIF letter, appointment letter, retrenchment letter (applicant and/or parent(s), legal guardian/spouse).
“It must be noted that no affidavits will be accepted as proof for any funding requirement,” Nzimande said.
NSFAS online application
Students can apply for NSFAS funding online via https://www.nsfas.org.za using a cellphone, tablet or computer. Follow the steps below to apply:
- Step 1: Go to www.nsfas.org.za and click on the ‘myNSFAS’ tab.
- Step 2: Create a myNSFAS account.
- Step 3: Click on the ‘APPLY’ tab and complete the sections on the screen Step 4: Upload required supporting documents where applicable.
- Step 5: Click on ‘Submit.’
Applicants who do not have a digital device or internet access can visit their nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) or Thusong Centre to apply using the same steps outlined above.
“Prospective students are urged to apply to institutions via their application processes for a study place, as funding is only offered to students who are eligible for funding from NSFAS (financial eligibility) and who obtain a firm place to study in an approved programme at a public institution,” Nzimande said.