File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) said on Friday that it has completed all assessments of the 2019 applications of first time entering students. 

"Of the 417,000 applications received, more than 300,000 students have been declared approved, pending registration at public institutions for NSFAS funded qualifications," NSFAS said in a statement.

"In December 2018, the NSFAS Administrator, Dr. Randall Carolissen called for review of the 109,000 applications that were initially unsuccessful for the 2019 academic year. Following this process, over 60,000 of these applicants, have subsequently been declared financially eligible.

NSFAS said they had processed applications in the pipeline, and the number of unsuccessful applicants escalated to 65,000.

"There are unfortunately some students who have been unsuccessful based on information that we received from credit bureaus regarding their household income," said the student funding body in a statement on Friday.

"Should a student want to dispute this outcome because of changes to the household income or Sassa status, they may lodge an appeal by providing the necessary documentation to NSFAS.

NSFAS said an appeal form could be downloaded from the NSFAS website, www.nsfas.org.za, and had to be completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the institution. 

"Alternatively, students can submit appeals directly to NSFAS, along with required documentation, to [email protected] The closing date for appeals is 08 March 2019."

They said appeals would only be considered on certain grounds which included material change in combined household income (proof of loss of income needed with a fully completed NSFAS form for students that were not previously funded).

Appeals will also be considered for loss of a bursary/sponsor in the 2018 academic cycle (documented proof should be provided and should be accompanied by a fully completed Nsfas application form), and failure to meet academic criteria where prior academic performance has been satisfactory (provide supporting information and documentation that provides details of the reasons that affected performance).

NSFAS encouraged students to login on the myNSFAS self-service portal www.nsfas.org.za to check their application status update, for those students that had been approved for funding.

Their status would now reflect as: “Approved for funding subject to registration”, and for those who had been rejected for funding, the status would reflect as “Application unsuccessful”.

African News Agency (ANA)