Can You Have a Bursary While Being Funded by NSFAS? A bursary serves as a crucial means for students to pursue tertiary education without financial constraints. In South Africa, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a prominent provider of comprehensive bursaries for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. However, a common query arises: Can one receive a NSFAS bursary in conjunction with other bursaries?
NSFAS Bursary Overview
NSFAS extends its financial support to over a million students in public universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. The appeal of NSFAS bursaries lies in their coverage, extending beyond tuition and registration fees to include various allowances such as accommodation, meals, stationery, and transport.
Can You Combine Bursaries?
Despite the generosity of NSFAS bursaries, the question remains whether a student can concurrently hold another bursary. The unequivocal answer is no, with considerations depending on the type of bursary in question.
Scenario 1: Full Bursary from Another Source
If a student secures a full bursary from an external source, they become ineligible for NSFAS funding. The student must promptly inform NSFAS within 10 days of receiving the alternative bursary. Subsequently, the NSFAS bursary must be withdrawn, and any excess funds need to be refunded during the reconciliation process. Alternatively, the student may opt to cancel the external bursary and choose NSFAS funding.
Scenario 2: Partial Bursary from Another Source
In the case of a partial bursary from another source, the student must notify NSFAS of the new funding conditions within 10 days. However, receiving a partial bursary renders the student ineligible for a NSFAS bursary.
Losing Funding from Another Funder
If a student loses financial aid from an external funder during the academic term and the NSFAS application window is closed, they can reapply for a NSFAS bursary through their institution. Meeting all NSFAS eligibility criteria is imperative for a successful application. Importantly, NSFAS will not fund a student defunded by another entity, especially due to poor academic performance.