Tertiary education students across the country can breathe a sigh of relief as the National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has extended the deadline for bursary applications to February 15.
The entity further announced that applications for the new loan scheme will be officially opened on February 2, 2024 and are expected to close on the same day as the bursary applications.
This comes after the NSFAS board met with South African Union of Students (SAUS) leaders to discuss progress on the state of readiness this academic year.
“The student loan scheme is the first phase of the implementation of the comprehensive student funding model. Students who already applied for the NSFAS bursary scheme need not to submit a new application for the student loan scheme. All students who did not meet the bursary scheme eligibility criteria, however, meet the loan scheme eligibility criteria, will be automatically offered a loan for their consideration,” said acting board chairperson Professor Laurens Van Staden.
The criteria includes that household income must be between R350 000 to R600 000, undergraduate or postgraduate students and students willing to sign a loan agreement.
According to the entity they have received more than 1 million applications and of these 940 682 students have been provisionally funded.
It is awaiting evaluations of 269 915 applications, 48 643 have been withdrawn allegedly by students and 232 559 are in progress.
Nsfas said 136 531 applications were on the not-started status level as applicants only created profiles and did not submit applications.
It also rejected 102 201 applications and 1 093 students have lodged appeals.
Saus president Yandisa Ndzoyiya said the meeting agreed that funding decisions will continue to be communicated as and when applications are processed.
“The application portal will continue to be updated upon confirmation of the funding decision. Institutions have been encouraged to continuously check the updates on the NSFAS applications portal on funding decisions, which will also cover allowance types for qualifying students. The meeting also noted progress in the NSFAS student accommodation,” he said.
Out of 40 522 beds registered in TVET Colleges, 32 272 beds have been accredited and about 8 250 were in the process of being accredited.
At universities 72 241 beds were registered 43 581 have been accredited and about 28 420 were in the process of being accredited.