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Over R4 billion in loans and bursaries is now available through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) that administers loans and bursaries to eligible students needing help to pay for their studies at public universities and Further Education and Training Colleges in South Africa.

What sort of funding is available?

NSFAS offer loans to qualifying students in need of financial assistance towards their undergraduate university studies. If you qualify for the loan, you need to repay the money to NSFAS when you start working and earn over R30 000 per annum. The interest on these loans will only begin to accumulate a year after you graduated or exit university.

There are also bursaries available to students studying scarce skills subjects such as teaching and social worker. There are also bursaries available for those enrolled in the National Certificate (Vocational)and certain NATED programmes at public FET Colleges.

Who may qualify?

You need to be a South African citizen enrolled for your first undergraduate degree or diploma at any public university. Students enrolled in the National Certificate (Vocational)or certain Report 191 (NATED) programmes at any public FET College may also be eligible to apply for a NSFAS bursary.

In order to apply for funding, you need to provide proof of your household income (i.e. copies of your parents' salary slips) which should amount to less than R122 000 per annum. If your parents are not employed, you should provide an affadavit from the Police Station.

You also need to provide a certified copy of your valid South African Identity Copy, as well as copies of your siblings'(those at school or tertiary level)and parents' ID documents.

What should you do?

Apply to study at a public FET College or University and inquire at the Financial Aid Office or Student Support Services on the campus where you plan to study about NSFAS financial aid.

Staff at the inancial Aid Office or Student Support Services will also be able to assist you with the financial aid application process and will administer the financial means test to assess whether or not you may qualify for an award.

For more information contact the NSFAS Call Centre on 021 763 3232, SMS your question to 32261 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visit NSFAS for further information.

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