With registrations for the 2023 academic year currently underway and institutions preparing to welcome students back on campus, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme has affirmed that it is prepared to effectively manage and pay out student funding.
Speaking at the press briefing on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s readiness for the 2023 academic year, Nsfas Board Chairperson, Mr Ernest Khosa stated that the bursary scheme is confident about the year ahead and that it plans to seamlessly manage student funding.
The bursary scheme revealed that an amount of R47 billion has been budgeted for the year and anticipates making upfront payments of approximately R3.5 billion to universities and R2.7 billion to TVET colleges.
The 2023 academic year Universities will receive R38.6 billion while TVET colleges have been allocated R8.9 billion. The respective funding is received in four tranche payments in the months of April, June, August, and October, annually.
Nsfas applications for the 2023 funding cycle opened last year on 28 September 2022.
According to Khosa, to date, the bursary scheme has received about 1,587,968 applications from prospective students whereby 613,909 applications has already been provisionally funded, of which 338,320 are continuing-students and 275,589 are new applicants.
A total of 149,202 applications are on awaiting academic eligibility and 273,746 applications are awaiting evaluation.
“161,139 applications have been rejected due to not meeting funding criteria and 1261 appeals have already been submitted,” adds Khosa.
Furthermore, the scheme also revealed that certain policy changes have been introduced to progressively address existing disparities between TVET College and university beneficiaries’ bursary packages.
With regards to Academic eligibility for university and TVET college students respectively, Nsfas stated the following:
- As of 2023, First Time Entering Students (FTENs) must achieve a course credit pass rate of 50% and continuing university students must as of 2023 achieve a progressive course credit pass rate of 55%.
- Returning University students must meet ongoing academic eligibility requirements in order to remain funded by NSFAS.
- N+ Rule for distance university students will be reviewed as of 2024; and Academic progression criteria will increase from 55% to 60% over time.
- TVET college students studying occupational Programmes can only be funded for the cost of tuition for the duration of the qualification and may qualify for allowances ONLY if in simulated training.
- TVET college graduates will be funded for a university undergraduate qualification regardless of the benefit that they would have derived from the application of the N+ rule at a TVET college level. (On condition they did not exceed the TVET N+ Rule)”
Applications for 2023 Nsfas funding close on 31 January 2023 at midnight; prospective students have been urged to submit their applications to avoid disappointment.