File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) closed applications for 2018 funding on November 30. 

The statutory body had opened funding on August 1 last year and remained open until midnight, November 30. 

NSFAS was evaluating all applications during the month of December. Applicants who are in matric or out of school youth will receive the outcomes of their application via SMS in January 2018. 

"We opened the applications for four months, and in that period we received a total of 267 866 online applications, a quarter of which came through in the last week of applications. We made a promise that our processes will run smoothly, and today we can announce that our online systems did not fail,” said NSFAS CEO Steven Zwane.

In aid of ensuring a smooth process, NSFAS employed more than a hundred graduates as Student Support Officers. In partnership with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), NSFAS worked tirelessly to improve their online systems and simplify their online application. 

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These interventions were made to ease the application processes for applying for bursaries and loans. 

"The patriotism showed by our employees throughout the period is commendable. We are grateful to the NYDA for their support throughout the campaign. When we approached NYDA about our plans and visions for the 2018 application drive they fully committed to our request and offered their support. We would also like to thank all applicants for the step they have taken to be in control of their futures”, said NSFAS. 

"We would like to request all the young people who applied not to change the Cellphone numbers they provided in their application forms because NSFAS will use these numbers to send them the outcomes of their applications in January,” Zwane concluded.

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