NSFAS Bursary; How to Successfully Apply, Requirement and all Questions Answered


Many South African students are not successful in their NSFAS application mainly due to petty mistakes they make in their online application process. Some of these mistakes usually include understating of annual household income, omission of vital documents and skipping of some very important steps on the online application form.

If you happened to be one of a potential applicant hoping to apply and get funding for your university education next year, then you are just at the right place as we carefully take you through the NSFAS application process and how to be successful.

What do I need to apply for NSFAS?

This is an important question most applicants do not bother to ask before starting their application process and as a result get stuck along the way, unable to continue the process thereby missing the chance to apply for NSFAS funding.

Before you begin the application process these are the most important things to have

  • A South African National Identity Card (Smart ID Card or the Green Bar-coded ID Card) Alternatively applicants can decide to use an original birth certificate which has not been damaged or tampered with in any form at all.
  • You will also need to present the National Identity Cards of your parents (if they are alive) or present the death certificate in the situation where both are deceased. An applicant can also present the IDs of his/her guardians if the said Guardians are responsible for your education and wellbeing.
  • Applicants who are disabled must provide doctor’s certificate regarding their disability or health condition
  • An applicant must also make available his/her major academic results. (This is one of the most important requirements without which an applicant’s application will not even be considered.
  • Matric Certificate

When you have all the above listed document, the next thing to do is visit the application page on NSFAS official website and begin your application process. It takes roughly thirty minutes to complete the process and it very important to read every single instruction before beginning the process of applying.

Do I qualify to apply for NSFAS?

  • First and foremost you must be a citizen of South Africa to qualify for NSFAS funding
  • You must have passed Grade 09/10/11/12 before you will be considered for NSFAS Funding to study at any public TVET College in South Africa
  • For University funding you need to have passed Grade 12, anything below that is not considered            
  • Special attention is also given to brilliant but financially needy students. (This is determined by NSFAS through a special method known as Means Test)
  • You are also eligible to apply if you attended a no-fee school in South Africa
  • Orphans can also apply and have a good chance of receiving funding as well as students whose parents are unemployed.
  • You must also prove that you have great interest in your area of studies and would excel academically should you receive funding and study in the university or TVET College.

NOTE; All applicants who are currently receiving SASSA grants will not be means tested by NSFAS.


After having all the necessary documents and meeting all the criteria, the next step is to download the NSFAS application forms and complete it by filling out all the required spaces with the right information. When this is done, you can submit the completed application forms together with your supporting documents to the Financial Aid Officer at your University or TVET College. Alternatively you can submit the completed application forms directly to NSFAS by scanning and emailing them to [email protected]


NSFAS requires applicants to complete and sign a consent form which allows NSFAS to investigate and validate the authenticity of information you provided while filling the online application form. NSFAS may write to state institutions, government departments, private organisations asking for documents regarding matters such as the income of your parents and guardians. NSFAS may also contact your last attended school to verify the academic report you presented during your application. It is important that you do not give false information as information would be verified by NSFAS to prevent fraud and false representation.



Applicants are advice to regularly log in to their NSFAS portals to check their application status or read vital information concerning their application. Usually successful applicants are notified in the month of January hence very important to frequently check your status in January.

Steps to check your status

  • Log into your NSFAS student portal using your smartphone or computer
  • Type in your username and password used to create your account
  • Once you have successfully logged in, click on track Funding Progress

After clicking in                 TRACK FUNDING PROGRESS you should see the status of your application.


NSFAS application rejection is very common as not everyone may be able meet the NSFAS’ set criteria. However there are instances where applicants may feel they met all the criteria and their application rejection was a mistake or unjustified. If you happened to find yourself in such a situation, you can simply appeal the rejection as NSFAS has made it possible for rejected applicants to appeal. Steps to appeal

  • Visit the NSFAS official website
  • Download the NSFAS Appeal form
  • Read thoroughly every single instructions on the form
  • Complete the form and email it to [email protected]
  • Make sure you add every supporting document to the Appeal form before emailing it to NSFAS


If you are successful with in your NSFAS Application, NSFAS will take up the cost of a huge chunk of your academic expenditure. This may include

  • University Fees; NSFAS will cover the cost of your university fees and university registration fees.
  • Accommodation: The cost of your accommodation would also be taken care of by NSFAS bursaries. This is however limited to students residing in accommodation facilities provided by the University. For student living in private accommodation facilities, NSFAS will only cover the cost if the price of the facility is not more than that of the university halls.
  • Transport Allowance: This is also limited to students living on the university campus.
  • Book Allowance


Persons living with disability also enjoy the general benefits that come with being a successful NSFAS applicant and in addition also enjoy some special financial packages tailored to meet their daily needs. These special packages include

  • Support aids; these may include tutors or carers who are put in charge of the student’s well-being. This is designed for students with special needs
  • Meals
  • Transportation allowance
  • Assistive Devices; such as hearing aids, wheelchairs among others depending on the condition of the student/applicant


NSFAS usually begins disbursement of allowance to qualified applicants at the end of January when universities and colleges are about to resume and start a new semester. Per NSAFAS policy, there is no fix amount as to how much a student should receive monthly or annually, as such monthly Allowance amounts are determined through consultation with institutions, communicated to NSFAS when you register. However the trend has been an increment of the amount each year to meet economic demands. For instance monthly allowance for 2020 may be 10percent higher than the monthly allowance of 2019 while the 2021 monthly allowance may see slight increment on the 2020 allowance.

A Look at 2020 Allowance according to NSFAS official website

  • Personal care allowance; R230 per month. This is the latest addition to the NSFAS Bursaries and was introduced to take care of students’ personal hygienic needs such as toiletries, sanitary pads, tissues etc.
  • Accommodation Allowance: there is no annual fix price for this category. Accommodation allowance is determined by the accommodation price of your university’s halls.
  • Transport Accommodation for students living at 40 km from university. Any student who lives more than 40 km from the university does not qualify for accommodation allowance. Amount paid is R830 per month and R10,000 per anum.
  • Book Allowance; R416 per month totaling R5000 per anum

It must be noted that these figures are subject to change or review in the next academic year to meet students need or keep up with inflation and economic situation at the time.

About Owura

Check Also

KwaZulu Natal Matric results 2022 online check – Matric results 2022 KwaZulu Natal

The KwaZulu Natal Matric Results 2022 – The 2022 Matric class can expect to …