Pretoria – The South African Students Congress (Sasco) has “warmly” welcomed the announcement of the opening of National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) applications for the 2022 academic year.
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande announced on Thursday that NSFAS funding applications for 2022 will open from 2 November until 7 January 2022 and urged those hoping to study at public universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges to apply on time.
Nzimande said the application process would open for all learners and out-of-school youth from poor and working-class backgrounds who want to study at the institutions of higher education next year.
Reacting to Nzimande’s announcement, Sasco has encouraged out-of-school youth and the current Grade 12 learners to not miss this opportunity by applying for State funding.
“Sasco is particularly pleased with the announcements and arrangements made for cohort five, which are students living with disabilities, whose family gross income will be capped at R600 000 per annum with the aim to accommodate their special needs,” said Bamanye Matiwane, president of students congress.
“Sasco appreciates the growth and stability shown by NSFAS and further reiterates its call that NSFAS working with DHET (Department of Higher Education and Training) must revise the current cap of R350 000 to R600 000. Children of workers are highly excluded by the cap in its current form which conditions have been exacerbated by Covid-19 which has negatively affected many households.”
Matiwane said Sasco hoped to see an “easy, accessible and safe” application process that would be efficient, particularly for first-time entering students, adding that there has been a stark rise in cybercrime during the course of 2021. Subsequently, Matiwane said some students have been unable to access their wallets.
“Sasco encourages students to be vigilant and keep their passwords and pins in a safe place,” said Matiwane.
“Prospective students are reminded that they can apply to a TVET college or university of their choice as NSFAS is awarded to students in all public institutions of higher learning.”
To apply for NSFAS funding, the prospective applicant should visit www.nsfas.org.za or their nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) or Thusong Centre to make their applications.
Sasco further called on NSFAS, throughout December, to partner with relevant stakeholders and run outreach programmes in rural communities to provide support to prospective students.
Students who have fallen victim to widespread scams have also been urged to take steps to retrieve their accounts.