NSFAS Allowances Surge for 2024 – Blade Nzimande Announces Increase. In the upcoming 2024 academic year, over a million students are slated to receive funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Blade Nzimande, the Minister of Higher Education, has declared a significant boost in NSFAS allowances for the same period.
Ministerial Briefing on 2024 Academic Year
During a media briefing on Tuesday, Minister Nzimande discussed the State of Readiness for the 2024 academic year, highlighting challenges related to NSFAS and the release of the 2024 matric results.
NSFAS Allowance Adjustments
In 2024, university students will experience an increase in their annual living allowance, capped at R16,500. Additionally, a personal care allowance of R3,500 and a meal allowance of R13,450 per year will be granted. Meanwhile, TVET college students can expect their living allowance to rise to R10,000 per annum.
Accommodation and Other Allowances
NSFAS-funded students may qualify for accommodation or transport allowances. Accommodation allowances for institution-owned or leased spaces are capped at R50,000 in metro areas and R41,000 elsewhere. Those in institution-catered accommodation will receive allowances capped at R66,500 in metro areas and R57,000 in other areas.
Important Notes on Allowances
Allowances are disbursed for ten months annually. Institutions may request accommodation cap reviews under exceptional circumstances, accompanied by detailed motivation and evidence.
Learning Materials and Other Considerations
All university students will receive a learning materials allowance of up to R5,460. Students in distance learning programs and those with disabilities have specific allowances based on their circumstances.
Ministerial Perspective on NSFAS
Minister Nzimande expressed satisfaction with NSFAS’s efforts to address challenges, emphasizing his commitment to monitoring the scheme’s ability to fulfill its mandate.
Resolving 2023 NSFAS Challenges
Concerns were raised about delays in allowance payments for the 2024 academic year. Minister Nzimande attributed these delays to NSFAS reconciliation processes and institutions failing to submit updated registration data.
Financial Commitment and Funding for 2024
To address delays, Minister Nzimande announced a commitment of R4.3 billion for upfront allowance payments, ensuring timely disbursement. Despite challenges, NSFAS has provincially funded 567,000 students for 2024.
2024 NSFAS Funding and Applications
Institutions were urged to submit registration data promptly for the first cycle of funding, starting on March 31, 2024. As of now, NSFAS has received 1.5 million applications, with over 650,000 approved and provisionally funded. The application period closes on January 31, 2024.
Consent Form and NSFAS Eligibility
Applicants were reminded to submit a consent form to finalize their 2024 NSFAS bursary application. Failure to do so may result in funding delays. The form verifies the employment and income of the applicant’s parents, guardians, and spouse, ensuring NSFAS eligibility.
NSFAS Missing Middle
In phase 1 of 2024, R3.8 billion will support the loan scheme, benefiting around 51,000 missing middle students. Students not qualifying for NSFAS bursaries are directed to apply for NSFAS missing middle student loans. Funding guidelines will be released soon.
Blade Nzimande affirmed his commitment to addressing challenges, ensuring timely funding for students pursuing higher education in 2024.