NSFAS Application 2023

NSFAS Applications for 2023

NSFAS’s online application period for the academic year 2023 is open. Potential applicants for NSFAS bursaries will be able to apply for one from 28 September 2022. 


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a South African government financial aid scheme that provides financial aid to undergraduate students for the past 30 years to assist them with paying for the cost of their tertiary education after completing Grade 12.

What are the requirements for NSFAS Funding?

In order to qualify for NSFAS funding in 2023, applicants will have to meet the current requirements set for both public universities and TVET colleges:



  • You must be an South African citizen
  • You must be applying for, or accepted at a university
  • Your household income must be below R350 000 per year
  • If you are a person living with one or more disabilities, your household income must not exceed R600 000
  • Students who started studying before 2018 whose household income is not more than R122 000 per annum.
  • All SASSA grant applicants recipients qualify immediately

College and Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges (TVET)

  • You must be a South African citizen
  • If applicable, you need to be registered or intending to register on a PLP, NC(V) or Report 191 programme at a TVET College
  • You must have a household income lower than R350 000 per year
  • If you’re a person living with a disability, your household income must beR600 000 or less
  • Students that are returning must show proven and accepted academic performance in line with the College’s progression policy or the progression prescriptions of the Bursary Rules and Guidelines
  • Must not be enrolling for a qualification that is the same as previous learning that was government-funded

NSFAS will not fund the following type of applicants:

  • Students who have already completed a prior qualification
  • Applicants who have a household income of more than R350 000 per year
  • Students who have previously qualified for NSFAS funding.
  • Non-South African citizens.

NSFAS 2023 Funding Breakdown

There is a difference when it comes to having a NSFAS bursary if you’re studying at either a university or TVET college.


Read up on what a NSFAS bursary covers for both university and TVET students. Note that all amounts mentioned are in alignment with the Department of Higher Education’s guidelines:



  • Accommodation – As per costs charged by the university (costs for private accommodation should not exceed costs for university residence)
  • Transport (up to 40 km from institution) – R7 500 per annum
  • Living allowance –  R15 000 per annum
  • Book allowances – R5 200 per annum
  • Incidental/personal care allowance – R2900 per annum for students in catered residences

TVET Colleges

  • Accommodation in an urban area – R24,000 per annum
  • Accommodation in a peri-urban area – R18 900 per annum
  • Accommodation in a rural area – R15 750 per annum
  • Transport (up to 40 km from institution) – R7 350  per annum
  • Transport – R7 000 per annum
  • Incidental/personal care allowance – R2 900 per annum



What is the difference between Universities and TVETs?


Colleges and TVET colleges

University programmes are geared toward the transfer of knowledge rather than skills

A TVET or college qualification is usually quicker to achieve and at a lower price

Completed qualifications are Degrees and Doctorates

Completed qualifications are Certificates and Diplomas

Provide valuable academic qualifications

Provide valuable job-specific qualifications

Period length of study is 2 to 4 years

(sometimes more)

Period length of study 6 months to 3 years

Strict cut-off registration dates

You are normally able to register at any time during the year

How Do I Apply For NSFAS Online?

Step 1: Go to www.nsfas.org.za and click on the ‘myNSFAS‘ button.

Step 2: Create a myNSFAS account.

Step 3: Click on the ‘APPLY’ button and complete the sections that come up on the screen

Step 4: Upload required supporting documents where applicable.

Step 5: Click on ‘Submit’

Which Documents Will I Need To Apply For NSFAS Funding?

  • A valid copy of your South African ID or a certified copy of your unabridged birth certificate if you are younger than 16 years of age.
  • ID book or smart ID of parents and/or guardian (death certificate if applicable)
  • IDs of everyone living in your household.
  • Proof of annual household income such as a payslip or appointment letter (This is for all types of employment or forms of income for all members of the household. This includes any income received from SASSA grants, UIF, or any retirement, life, disability, or other benefits paid as a lump sum or in monthly payments.)
  • A certified copy of your exam results, or your last graded academic paper (If you are currently in Grade 12, you do not need to submit this)
  • University registration documents (if applicable)
  • Travel and Accommodation documents (if applicable)
  • Download and complete the consent form with the signatures of all people whose incomes have been declared in the application.
  • If you have a disability, download and complete the Disability Annexure A Form

NB: You would need all applicable documents to be certified no longer than 3 months ago.

What is the NSFAS Module Pass Requirement To Keep Your Funding?

The NSFAS policy agreement requires students to pass at least 50% of their modules in aggregate, and meet the academic performance requirements of their institutions.


NSFAS will still fund you if you are unsuccessful in 2 modules. On average, not completing two modules won’t disqualify you from passing 50% of your modules.


NSFAS will be consistent in their agreement to fund your studies even if you were unsuccessful in completing 3 modules, however, you should note that it is still important to meet your institution’s academic performance requirements while also meeting the 50% mark on your aggregate module score.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does NSFAS Take to Approve My Application?

The NSFAS approval process takes about 4 to 6 weeks for each applicant to receive a reply. However, in a few cases, it may take a bit longer because of background checks and the verification process.

Does NSFAS give you a second chance?

Yes, NSFAS gives students a second chance to receive funding if need be. Students can reapply for NSFAS if their funding was not granted. You can even appeal for funding if your application is revoked for a score that is too low for their module requirements.

Do You Have to Pay Back Your NSFAS Bursary?

Yes, your NSFAS bursary has to be repaid! The loan only needs to be repaid after completing your qualification, upon leaving University, College, or TVET, finding employment / in business, and earning R30 000 or more annually.

Where to Apply for NSFAS Funding in 2023

Applicants can either apply for NSFAS funding at either through the myNSFAS online portal, in-person at their university/college of choice or at their nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) offices.


View more details on the NYDA and where their full service branches and district offices are situated here.

Author: Blaine Alexander Oaker

Editor: Blaine Alexander Oaker

Date Published: September 19, 2022

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