NSFAS grants new application period for registered students to apply for aid
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Cape Town - The board of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has vowed to request the database for unfunded 2021 registered students at all universities eligible for NSFAS funding, in a bid to fund them.
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande welcomed the decision, saying the initiative was aimed at alleviating the financial burden of eligible and deserving students, but also minimising the burden of student debt.
SA Students Movement founder Mfanufikile Cele said the move would help many students who were studying but not funded.
Cele said students who learning online needed devices and data, which was a problem, because they were not funded.
He said some students did not even receive their results after completing each semester, because they were not funded.
“Some students live in private accommodation that are not safe, and sometimes they get robbed and injured. Sometimes lecturers do not want to understand the issue of network due to load shedding when it comes to submissions. At least the funding will help them deal with other problems they are faced with,” said Cele.
Nzimande said the NSFAS board, after careful consideration of the plight of registered university students who were not able to apply for funding during the funding application window, resolved to grant a once-off application window period for those students to apply.
He said all universities were required to send their exhaustive list by no later than tomorrow, to be considered for this once-off opportunity.
“The application period will open for a two-week period, from August 18 to September 3,” said Nzimande.
He said the NSFAS encouraged all universities to notify students to ensure that they applied and had all the supporting documents, because applications submitted after the closing date would not be considered.
Nzimande said the concession applied only to qualifying students who were registered in the 2021 academic cycle and were without any other form of bursary and requisite financial support.
SA Students Congress (Sasco) spokesperson Luvuyo Barnes said: “Sasco views this as yet another opportunity for young South Africans to break the cycles of inequality and poverty. We view education as an opportunity to access more lucrative opportunities to participate in the economy.”
Barnes said the NSFAS was a great equaliser of past injustices and those who were still visible in the status quo.
“We urge NSFAS to widen its range of individuals they get to fund.”