NSFAS Allocates Over 650,000 Bursaries for 2024 Academic Year. Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, discussed the state of readiness for the 2024 academic year in a media briefing held on Tuesday afternoon. During the briefing, he unveiled that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will provisionally fund more than 650,000 students for 2024, with substantial upfront payments to universities and TVET Colleges.
Significant NSFAS Impact on Higher Education Funding
Nzimande highlighted the pivotal role played by NSFAS in supporting students, disclosing that 70% of university students and 90% of TVET College students currently receive financial assistance from NSFAS. The funding from NSFAS has escalated from R21.4 million in 1991 to a substantial R48 billion in 2023.
Applications Open for 2024 NSFAS Bursaries
Applications for 2024 NSFAS bursaries are now open, with a deadline set for January 31, 2024. The Minister emphasized the urgency for applicants to submit a NSFAS consent form, particularly for third-party verification of information such as the employment status and income of the applicant’s parents, ensuring eligibility. Failure to submit this form will result in disqualification from NSFAS funding, except for Sassa beneficiaries exempt from financial eligibility checks.
Provisional Funding and Future Anticipations
Out of the 1.5 million received NSFAS applications, 657,703 students have been provisionally funded, predominantly Sassa recipients. Nzimande expects additional applications before the NSFAS deadline, urging eligible students to complete the application process promptly.
Addressing Outstanding 2023 NSFAS Allowances
Nzimande acknowledged the delays in disbursing allowances for thousands of students for the 2023 academic year. He called on NSFAS and affected institutions to expedite the resolution of outstanding cases.
The Minister emphasized the need for a more stringent approach in managing the registration adjustment process for 2024. Institutions are required to submit accurate and timely registration data by March 31, 2024, to prevent delays in NSFAS allowances for the upcoming academic year.