NSFAS 2020 Applications Are Open

NSFAS 2020 Applications are open for the 2020 academic year.
NSFAS 2020 Applications are open for the 2020 academic year.

The National Student Finance Aid Scheme (NSFAS) issued a statement on 26 August 2019 regarding the opening of the NSFAS application period for the 2020 academic year.

Tertiary education fees in South Africa are expensive – that’s a known fact. Students from poor and working-class backgrounds find it hard to afford tuition fees, thus turning their heads to obtaining bursaries. NSFAS is a financial institution of note that provides financial aid to students who seek to attend university or a TVET college.

“Online Applications open from 01 September 2019”

Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology spoke to the media on 02 September 2019 regarding the NSFAS 2020 Application window.

The NSFAS applications opened from 1 September and will remain open until 30 November 2019. This gives potential NSFAS applicants 3 months to apply for an NSFAS grant for the 2020 academic year.

NSFAS Administrator Dr. Randall Carolissen has meanwhile been granted a second term of administration by Dr. Nzimande, lasting from August 2019 to August 2020. This is due to an increased improvement in the functionality of NSFAS systems during his first year in charge.

For the next three (3) years, more than R80 billion will be set aside by the government to provide funding to prospective students who meet the criteria set by NSFAS. This highlights the importance of giving well-deserving students from poorer backgrounds the chance to further their education.

Additionally, the DHET Bursary Scheme will be phased in from 2018, lasting a period of five (5) years. The fully subsidized fee-free bursary scheme is available to students from poor and working-class backgrounds.

Who Qualifies for NSFAS Funding?

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides funding to those who meet the following criteria:

  • All South African Citizens;
  • Students whose household have a combined income of up to R350 000 per annum;
  • Disabled applicants with a household income of up to R600 000 per annum;
  • South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) recipients;
  • Students studying before 2018 with a household income of less than R122 000 per annum;

Additionally, NSFAS will not provide funding to applicants meeting the following criteria:

  • Students who’ve already completed a prior qualification;
  • Applicants who have a household income of more than R350 000 per annum;
  • Students who’ve already qualified for NSFAS funding. Funded students will receive funding for the length of their studies (provided they meet NSFAS’s academic requirements to continue receiving funding);
  • Non-SA students.

Also Read: Guide on Applying to UNISA 2020

What does an NSFAS Bursary Cover?

When it comes to universities and TVET colleges, NSFAS outlined what it is that the funding will cover. This includes the following:


  • NSFAS provides funding for accommodation as charged by universities. Note that accommodation costs will not exceed the costs for university residence.
  • Transport Costs (up to 40km from the university of your choice) – R10 000 per annum.
  • Living Allowance – R14 400 per annum;
  • Book Allowances – R5 000 per annum;
  • Personal Care Allowance – R2 750 per annum;

TVET Colleges:


  • Urban Area – R24 400 per annum;
  • Peri-urban Area – R18 000 per annum;
  • Rural Area – R15 000 per annum


  • Within a 40km radius – R10 000 per annum;
  • Transport – R7 000 per annum;
  • Personal Care Allowance – R5 000 per annum.

NSFAS also provides additional support and assistance to students with disabilities, such as wheelchairs and special computer

How Do I Apply For A NSFAS 2020 Bursary?

To apply for an NSFAS bursary, prospective students can head onto the myNSFAS portal which can be found here. Firstly, applicants will need to have a valid email address and cellphone number, so that NSFAS can keep in contact regarding NSFA applications.

Additionally, prospective applicants who’ve subscribed onto the Vodacom and MTN networks will now be able to access the NSFAS website at zero cost.

Upon applying, prospective applicants need to submit the following documents to ensure the application is submitted correctly:

  • Your SA identity document/card (or an unabridged birth certificate (if you are younger than 16 years old);
  • ID of parents and/or guardian (or death certificate where applicable); and
  • Pay advice/letter of employment/pension advice stating income (not older than 3 months) (SASSA slips are not required and SASSA should not be included as household income).
  • A signed and completed consent form, which can be found online here;

Dependants would have to provide the following information:

  • Certified ID copies of parent(s), guardians, or spouse that’s not older than 3 months;
  • Proof of income of parent(s), guardians, or spouse (payslip/appointment letter)

Self-sufficient applicants will have to provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of income (payslip/appointment letter);
  • 3 Year IRP5 (Read more on the IRP5 here).

Applicants with a disability will have to provide, complete and sign the Disability Annexure A form – that’s if your info is not pre-populated on the portal.

Orphans would have to provide and complete an Orphan Declaration and Consent Form (excluding the consent form) and forward the documentation to NSFAS.

The following documentation is required by NSFAS ONLY if applicable:

  • Death certificate(s);
  • Divorce decree; 
  • Retrenchment letter.

Applicants who are recipients of a SASSA grant do not need to provide proof of income.

Also Read: Alternative Bursaries and Scholarships

Where Can I Apply for An NSFAS Grant?

As stated previously, potential NSFAS applicants can apply online via the myNSFAS Student Portal here. Make sure that you register an account on the myNSFAS Student Portal before applying for an NSFAS grant.

Additionally, applicants can also apply at all universities and TVET colleges that are NSFAS beneficiaries. A list of NSFAS beneficiaries can be found online here.

NSFAS has also created over 150 application centers, available across the country. The application centers were established to reach applicants who need assistance to apply for funding – especially for those who do not want to apply online nor apply for funding at the university/TVET college of their choice. 

To find an NSFAS application center near you, read more here.

How Can I Contact NSFAS?

Students can contact and reach NSFAS via the following avenues:

General Enquiries: NSFAS Loans and Bursaries

  • Telephone: 08000 67327
  • E-mail: info@nsfas.org.za 
  • Postal Address: Private Bag X1, Plumstead 7801, South Africa
  • Physical Address: 10 Brodie Road, House Vincent 2nd Floor, Wynberg, Cape Town 7700 

Student Enquiries:

  • Telephone: 08000 67327
  • E-mail: info@nsfas.org.za
  • Postal Address: Students, University and TVET College documents, Private Bag X4, Plumstead 7801, South Africa

NSFAS Wallet (click here for the NSFAS Wallet Guide):

  • Telephone: 08000 67327
  • Postal Address: NSFAS Wallet documents, Private Bag X6, Plumstead 7801, South Africa

Account, Payment, and Balance Enquiries:

Additionally, applicants can enquire about all things NSFAS online via their Facebook and Twitter social media pages. Prospective NSFAS applicants have up till 30 November to apply for an NSFAS grant.

Also Read: Alternative Bursaries and Scholarships – September

Last Updated: 03 October 2019

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30 thoughts on “NSFAS 2020 Applications Are Open”

        1. Creating a myNSFAS account is easy. All you have to do is fill in your details and agree to the Terms and Conditions and you’re set. Only then will you be able to apply for a NSFAS bursary.

    1. There are multiple NSFAS application offices around the country. There’s a link in the article that will direct you to the page on where to find the application centers around SA.

    1. There is a link to the myNSFAS page in the article. Once you created your account, login into your account and you’ll be able to apply from there.

    1. There should be a feature on the myNSFAS page where you can reset your login details in the case of when you forget your account details.

      1. Hi its difficult for me to select study code im doing animal health if i can click on other says my application is not considered than s

        1. I don’t understand what you mean by study code. Are you having difficulty selecting the qualification that you want to do (Animal Health)?

  1. PABALELO Johannes phohu

    I really need to know what will be needed because my mother have been changed his surname to my father’s surname ,but am still using my mother surname

    1. It’s not a concern over whether your mom’s surname was changed or not. It’s a non-factor. You still need to submit the documents as required by NSFAS.

    1. You will have to find a way to compress your document size if it’s too large to upload. There are multiple PDF Compression tools/apps that you can use to lower your file size.

  2. Hey! I applied last year to this year and my application got approved but didn’t get approved at any university or tvet and now I’m having problems with re registering mynsfas account please help…it says my username/email address has been taken I should try a new one yet I’m the own of that email address please help ASAP please

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