The National Student Finance Assistance Scheme (NSFAS) will open for applications for funding for 2018 on 1 August 2017.
The scheme, which was first known as the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa (TEFSA) and a fund of just R25 million, celebrated its 25th year of operations in 2016 with a budget of R10 billion.
In 2016, NSFAS implemented the new student-centred model which enables the scheme to manage a direct relationship with the applicants and NSFAS-funded students.
Student loans and bursaries are granted to students after evaluating a student’s financial need and academic performance.
NSFAS communicates with students directly regarding their application. This signals the beginning of a direct relationship and communication between the student and NSFAS, starting with from the first year of registration until completion of studies.
Once a student is approved for NSFAS funding, NSFAS pays it directly to the institution where the student intends to study. This means that registration fees are paid faster and more efficiently.
Eligible students are allocated allowances directly through the sBux system, which enables a student to receive and spend their allowances using their cell phone.
Allowances for accommodation, transport, food and textbooks are provided to support a student academically through their student life cycle.
NSFAS is able to trace the student’s academic progress throughout his or her study.
Importantly too, a student only applies once for funding, and not every year.