Study for Free at Unisa 2018

Study for free at Unisa 2018 – with the Matric class of 2017 waiting anxiously for their results, Unisa has just announced the rules on how students can study for free at the university in 2018.

Based on the announcement of President Jacob Zuma on 16 December, that poor and working class students will get free higher education, Unisa responded on the 24th of December with an explanation how this will work for students in 2018.

First-time Students (New Students)

If your application for NSFAS funding is approved, then NSFAS will pay your 2018 student fees to Unisa. To qualify for NSFAS assistance, your household must have a combined income of less than R350 000 per year. This only apply to new students.

Remember, as this only applies to new students you had to apply to study with you Unisa in August and September 2017, and were accepted.  If you missed this application period then you will be able to apply for the second semester.  This application period usually opens in March and April, but Unisa has not yet announced the dates.

If you need any assistance to help apply, join the Unisa Applications or NSFAS Applications Facebook groups.

Existing Students with NSFAS Loans

If you already have a NSFAS loan, then your loan will now be converted to a bursary, with you will not have to repay to NSFAS. As a returning student, the new threshold of a combined income of less than R350 000 per household, does not apply to you. So the old limit of R122 000 still applies to you.

Existing Students who do not have NSFAS Loans

If you are an existing student, but you don’t have a NSFAS loan, you will have to pay your own student fees.

When can you apply?

Unisa students can apply for NSFAS funding from 3 January 2018 to 26 January 2018. You do this as part of your registration process. As of writing, NSFAS applications for 2018 are already closed. But Unisa students will get the opportunity to apply as part of the Unisa registration process.

Should I apply?

The short answer is Yes – you should apply if:

a) you are registering with Unisa for the first time, for an undergraduate qualification.
b) you have never before registered for a formal qualification at any other higher education institution.
c) you are a South African citizen with a South African ID document.
d) your combined annual household income does not exceed R350 000 per year.

Who should NOT apply?

You should not apply for NSFAS funding if:

a) you have a combined household income of R350 000 or more per year.
b) you have already applied for and qualified for NSFAS funding for the 2018 academic year. Note that students who have previously received NSFAS funding or who qualify for NSFAS funding for 2018 will have their loans converted to grants.
c) you have previously registered for any formal qualification at any higher education institution(This includes all re-registering Unisa students).
d) you are a foreign student.

When will I know the outcome of my application?

If you register for Semester 1 modules, you will be informed by the middle of February. If you register for year-modules then you will be informed by the middle of April.

If your application is successful, your student fee account will be adjusted once the NSFAS grant has been processed. If your application is unsuccessful, you will have to pay your fees yourself.

What can you Study if you did NOT get into Unisa?

There are many available study options out there for students who did not get into Unisa. If you are looking to study an accredited qualification without the need of attending a university such as Unisa, try out one of the following colleges:

Read this article in the Huffington Post on options that you can pursue if you passed Matric but did not get a space at a university.

When and Where will I get my Matric Results?

The 2018 Matric results will be available at your school or exam centre on 5 January 2018. Get all the details on how to get your Matric results here.

Last Updated: 10 March 2022