Nsfas announces 2023 funding decision

Nsfas board chairperson Ernest Khosa during the media briefing. Photo by Kgalalelo Tlhoaele
Nsfas board chairperson Ernest Khosa during the media briefing. Photo by Kgalalelo Tlhoaele

MINISTER of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande joined the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) board chairperson, Ernest Khosa, and the scheme’s executive management to announce the Nsfas funding decision for the academic year 2023 at Hatfield in Tshwane on Tuesday, 31 January.

Khosa said the new applications system enables automated processing of received applications and ensures correct eligibility assessment.

“The system has multiple channels that can be used by applicants and students to access Nsfas services. Channels activated are the student online portal (web portal), mobile application, USSD platform and WhatsApp,” he said.

Khosa also said applications for the scheme’s funding for the 2023 academic year will officially close by midnight on Tuesday, 31 January after opening for a period of four months.

He said the extended application period was intended to accommodate the later-than-usual issuance of matric results.

“However, to date, Nsfas has received 1 587 968 applications from prospective beneficiaries, 613 909 applications have been provisionally funded, of which 338 320 are continuing students and 275 589 are new applicants.

Khosa said 210 679 applications are on assessment of their financial eligibility, and this is the process where funding is verified against the government’s R350 000 threshold. Nsfas uses third party data from the South African Revenue Service to validate the information provided by the applicant.

“149 202 are awaiting academic eligibility. According to the Nsfas Eligibility Criteria and Conditions for financial aid, a student must attain prescribed academic success in order to continue to receive financial aid from Nsfas,” he said.

He said the government, through the Department of Higher Education and Training, has allocated R47.6 billion for student funding, R38.6 billion for universities and R8.9 billion for TVETs.

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Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande, said government continues its investment in Nsfas.

“We will ensure that we defend the important role of Nsfas in expanding access for the dependents of the working class and the poor. An inflated linked increase of 5% on all allowances, other than the living allowances, has been affected for our universities,” said Nzimande.

He said university managed and catered students will receive a R5 460 learning materials allowance and accommodation allowance capped at R61 500.

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