Thursday, 21 July 2011
Still paying off your varsity fees? The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has released its latest funding plan to help former students pay off university debts. The processes have been put in place through NSFAS in cooperation with the various public universities nationwide, who are now informing ex-students about this special fund to help them pay off their student debts.
The government has made R200 million available to assist former students who cannot graduate because of fees owing to universities. The funds are administered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) estimates that approximately 25 000 students from all 23 public universities in South Africa could be eligible for loans from this special fund.
Universities are now in the process of contacting former students who completed their degrees between the years 2000 to 2010 and passed the requirements for graduation but who have never received their graduation certificates.
HOW CAN FORMER STUDENTS APPLY FOR FUNDING?
Former students must apply at the Financial Aid Offices (FAO) at the university where they owe fees. Staff will administer the financial means test to assess a student’s current financial position. Loans will then be allocated on the following basis:
1. Applicants must be South African citizens;
2. Undergraduate students who meet the requirements of the NSFAS means test will be considered first, and then those with a family income of between R120 000 and R250 000 per annum;
3. Honours students who meet the requirements of the NSFAS means test will be considered next, with those with a family income of between R120 000 and R250 000 to be considered if funds are available;
4. Finally, if funds are available, Masters and Doctoral students who meet the requirements of the NSFAS means test will be considered, followed by those Masters and Doctoral students whose family income is between R120 000 and R250 000.
NSFAS encourages former students who have not received their certificates because of fees owing to a university to contact the university FAO to apply for a loan to pay these fees.