Can I Receive Nsfas Funding While Pursuing a Learnership? Learnerships play a crucial role in providing students with real-world experiences, offering a glimpse into their future professional lives post-graduation. However, concerns have arisen regarding the potential impact of learnerships on the bursaries of government-funded students.
Learnerships and Qualifications
Learnerships often form an integral part of a formal qualification. Upon completion, students may receive a nationally recognized qualification, with the added benefit of stipends covering travel and living expenses in some cases.
Nsfas Funding Considerations
The pertinent question arises: How does participating in a learnership affect a student’s eligibility for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas)? Nsfas provides bursaries to students from disadvantaged backgrounds pursuing approved qualifications at public universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.
Nsfas Stance on Learnerships
According to Nsfas, students are permitted to engage in paid learnerships without jeopardizing their funding status, given they meet academic criteria and their income remains below the household income threshold set by Nsfas.
“Meeting the academic criteria and ensuring your salary stays below the annual household threshold will not impact your Nsfas funding,” clarifies Nsfas.
Understanding the N+ Rule
Academic requirements under Nsfas are linked to the N+ Rule. The N+2 rule implies that students have N+2 years to complete a degree, with “N” representing the minimum time allocated for qualification achievement.
For instance, if a degree can be completed in a minimum of four years, Nsfas will provide funding for the four-year standard duration and an additional two years if needed for redoing specific subjects or modules.
Exceptions to N+ Rule
Students who no longer qualify for funding due to the N+ Rule might still be considered if they can demonstrate a need for 60 or fewer course credits to complete a qualification, contingent upon institutional support.
Nsfas Eligibility Criteria
To qualify for Nsfas, a student’s combined household income must be less than R350,000 per annum. However, for students living with a disability, the combined household income threshold is higher at R600,000 per annum.