NSFAS Funding Application South Africa 2021

NSFAS Funding Application South Africa

NSFAS Funding Application South Africa 2021 – 2021

21 January 2021 (extension).
(Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted – please apply before the closing date to ensure your application is considered.)


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was formed in terms of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. On 16 December 2017, former president, Jacob Zuma, announced that the South African government would phase in “fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working class South African students”. The funding would be phased in over a period of 5 years and thus the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) Bursary Scheme was established.

NSFAS is a bursary scheme which provides poor and working class South African students with fully subsidised free higher education and training. NSFAS’s vision is to provides students from poor and working class families with financial aid, to undertake studies at public universities and TVET colleges.


National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) invites students to apply for funding for 2021 studies. Funding is available to students who are currently studying (who have been funded by NSFAS previously, as well as student who have NOT been funded by NSFAS previously), and students who will be starting their studies in 2021.

Funding is open for tertiary studies at public universities or TVET college in South Africa (it does NOT cover private institutions). Funding is available to students who are in need of financial assistance to start or continue with their studies.

When applying, students will be split into 5 seperate cohorts, namely:
Cohort 1: First-Time Entering Student (FTEN) who is a SASSA beneficiary
Cohort 2: Returning Student, who is SASSA beneficiary
Cohort 3: First-Time Entering Student who is NOT a SASSA beneficiary
Cohort 4: Returning Student, who is NOT a SASSA beneficiary
Cohort 5: Student living with disability


Applicants must ensure that they satisfy the following minimum entry criteria before applying:

  • You must be a South African citizen
  • You must be studying or intend on studying towards an undergraduate qualification in 2021 (postgraduate courses will not be funded, except for postgraduate students who received funding in 2021)
  • You must be studying or intend on studying a public tertiary institution within South Africa (University or TVET College)
  • You must NOT have completed any previous qualifications
  • You must fall in to 1 or more of these categories:
    • 1) You must be a SASSA grant recipient (excluding the SASSA COVID-19 grant)
    • 2) You must have a total combined household income is NOT more than R350 000 per annum
    • 3) You must be living with a disability AND have a total combined household income NOT more than R600 000 per annum
    • 4) You must have started studying before 2021 and have total combined household income NOT more than R122 000 per annum
Read Also:  Can NSFAS Bursary Holders Apply For The SASSA SRD Grant



NSFAS funding will cover the following fees: registration fees, tuition fees, study material expenses, food allowance, incidental/ personal care, as well as accommodation or transport.

University students will receive the following funding:

  • Accommodation – the amount charged by the university (or the equivalent amount for private accommodation)
  • Transport of no more than R7 500 per year
  • Living allowance of no more than R15 000 per year
  • Book allowance of no more than R5 200 per year
  • Incidental/ personal care allowance of no more than R2 900 per year (if residing in catered residence)

TVET students will receive the following funding:

  • Accommodation of no more than R24 000 per year in an urban area/ no more than R18 900 per year in a peri-urban area/ no more than R15 750 per year in a rural area
  • Transport of no more than R7 350 per year
  • Incidental/ personal care allowance of no more than R2 900 per year

University of South Africa (UNISA) students will receive the following funding:

  • Tuition
  • Books (dependent on the number of modules registered)
  • Personal care allowance

Students living with disabilities, will also receive Assistive Devices (such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, adapted laptops etc.) and Human Support (careers, scribes, tutors, sign language interpreters etc.). The cover amount will be reviewed by NSFAS each year..


Students who are studying (or will be studying) at any of these 25 public universities or 50 TVET Colleges, in 2021, may apply:

  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Central University of Technology
  • Durban University of Technology
  • Monash University
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
  • North West University
  • Rhodes University
  • Stellenbosch University
  • Tshwane University of Technology
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Fort Hare
  • University of Johannesburg
  • University of Kwazulu Natal
  • University of Limpopo
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of South Africa
  • University of the Free State
  • University of the Western Cape
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • University of Zululand
  • Vaal University of Technology
  • Walter Sisulu University

TVET Colleges:

  • Boland College
  • Buffalo City College
  • Capricorn College
  • Central Johannesburg College
  • Coastal KZN College
  • College of Cape Town
  • Eastcape Midlands College
  • Ehlanzeni College
  • Ekurhuleni East College
  • Elangemi College
  • Esayidi College
  • Ethekwini College
  • False Bay College
  • Gert Sibande College
  • Ikhala College
  • Ingwe College
  • King Hintsa College
  • King Sabata Dalindyebo College
  • Letaba College
  • Liphalale College
  • Lovedale College
  • Majuba College
  • Mnambithi College
  • Nkangala College
  • Northern Cape Rural College
  • Northern Cape Urban College
  • Northlink College
  • Orbit College
  • Port Elizabeth College
  • Sekhukhune College
  • South Cape College
  • South West Gauteng College
  • Tshwane North College
  • Tshwane South College
  • Umfolozi College
  • Umgungundlovu College
  • Vhembe College
  • Vuselela College
  • Waterberg College
  • West Coast College
Read Also:  How to Check NSFAS Status Online



While NSFAS is a wonderful initiative, unfortunately not all students will qualify for the programme. For students looking for alternative sources of funding for tertiary studies – view our bursaries open for application here: Bursaries closing soon.


Applications can be submitted on any devise with internet access: cellphone, tablet, laptop or computer.

Students who were previously funded by NSFAS, can re-apply by logging in with their email address and password: https://my.nsfas.org.za/Application/selfservice.jsp
Students who fall in to any of these categories, must apply via the steps below:

  • have NOT been funded by NSFAS previously
  • are using Facebook or Google to sign in
  • are studying at any of these NSFAS Wallet TVET colleges: Capricorn TVET College/ Central Johannesburg TVET College/ Coastal KZN TVET College/ East Cape Midlands TVET College/ Ehlanzeni TVET College/ Ekurhuleni East TVET College/ Ekurhuleni West TVET College/ Elangeni TVET College/ Esayidi TVET College/ Flavius Mareka TVET College/ Goldfields TVET College/ Gert Sibande TVET College/ Ingwe TVET College/ King Hintsa TVET College/ Lephalale TVET College/ Majuba TVET College/ Mnambithi TVET College/ Mopani South East TVET College/ Motheo TVET College/ Mthashana TVET College/ Nkangala TVET College/ Orbit TVET College/ Port Elizabeth TVET College/ Sekhukhune TVET College/ Taletso TVET College/ Thekwini TVET College/ Umfolozi TVET College/ Umgugundlovu TVET College/ Vhembe TVET College/ Vuselela TVET College/ Waterberg TVET College



Applications can be done in either of the following ways:

1) Online:
Visit the official NSFAS website
Navigate to the myNSFAS tab
Select the Register an account tab
Upload your supporting documents (per the list below) and then click “submit”
After submitting your application, you will receive a reference number on the screen – it will also be sent to your email address and cellphone number – keep a note of this reference number.

2) In person at your nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) or Thusong Centre.
You will need to have copies of the supporting documents below with you when applying.


All applicants will be required to submit the following supporting documents when applying – please ensure that you have these documents ready before submitting your application (note that no applications will be accepted without these documents):

    • South African ID document (this can include any of the following):
      • copy of green ID document
      • temporary ID from the DHA
      • copy of both side of Smart ID card
      • unbridged birth certificate
    • Non-SASSA grant applicants: Parents, guardians or spouse ID documents (copies only)
    • Own, parents, guardians or spouse proof of income, if a non-SASSA applicant (this can include any of the following):
      • latest payslip if employed (not older 3 months)
      • UIF letter
      • employment letter
      • retrenchment letter, if a non-SASSA applicant
    • Students with disabilities: complete and sign the Disability Annexure A Form (.pdf)
    • Students who are recognised as a Vulnerable Child by the Department of Social Development: complete and sign the Vulnerable Child Declaration Form (.pdf)
Read Also:  NSFAS Applications Close Tomorrow 21/01/2021


Please note: affidavits will NOT be accepted.

Applicants are advised to apply to institutions for placement, as NSFAS funding is only awarded to students who meet the financial requirement and who have acceptance to study in an approved programme at a public institution.


Students who are registered at a public institution and are approved for NSFAS funding, can apply to receive their laptop here: NSFAS laptop application


      • From 2021 to 2021, NSFAS funding increased by 107% (R20 billion in 2021 and R42 billion in 2021), for poor and working class students, at University and TVET College.
      • In the 2021 academic year, 489 912 university students and 261 404 TVET college students received full NSFAS funding.
      • In the 2021 academic year, the demographic profile of students was: African (92.9%), Coloured (4.2%), White (0.9%), Indian (0.7%), and others (1.4%).
      • In 2021, 61.5% of all students who received NSFAS funding were female (this falls in line with the percentafe of female undergraduate students within the public university sector).
      • In 2021, the number of female students who received NSFAS funding increased from 360 344 (in 2021) to 470 696 – this was an increase of 30.6%.
      • From the 2014/ 2015 academic year, to the 2021/ 2021 academic year, NSFAS funding increased from R5.9 billion to around R35 billion.



For any queries related to this bursary programme, please contact NSFAS directly:
Tel: 0860 067 327
Email: [email protected]

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