NSFAS (www.nsfas.org.za) 

General Enquiries : 0860 067 327    Email: info@nsfas.org.za - apply@nsfas.org.za

What is a Nsfas loan ?

Students from needy families can receive a student loan from Nsfas (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) to study at Universities and TVET colleges. Up to 40 % of the loan can be converted in a bursary, depending on your results. The interest rate is low (rate of inflation + 2 %). Note that Nsfas funding for TVET college does not need to be repaid : it is a 100 % bursary.

The NSFAS loan covers your registration and tuition fees, books and sometimes accommodation on and off campus (see page : how to find accomodation). You must not pay upfront any amount, even the registration fee at most Universities ! You will only start to repay your loan after graduating, once your starting working.


In 2016, thanks to "FeesMustFall" campaign, the Nsfas fund has been able to fund all needy students who fullfilled the conditions. You must apply before November 30 of the previous year of studies but it is also possible to apply in January (in 2017, from Jan 9 to 20 for Universities and Jan 9 to February 14 for TVET colleges).You can apply for the loan, as soon as you have received a student number (you don’t need to wait for the result of your application). Even if you have not been admitted with your Grade 11 results, you must apply for Nsfas, as you might be admitted in January with your Matric results.You MUST apply online and only once for all Universities or TVET colleges. To apply, click on this link :http://nsfas.org.za/content/loans.html To download and print the application form : www.nsfas.org.za/content/downloads/2017%20NSFAS%20Application%20Form.pdfYou must first register on Nsfas website to create your personal online account, and then fill and submit the application form online. You must also have scanned copies of documents :  .     Matric Certificate or Last academic results·         Identity Document/Birth Certificate
·         Proof of parents income (If parent/s employed)
·         Death Certificate/s (If parent/s deceased)
·         Doctor’s Certificate (If permanently disabled)List of documents needed : www.nsfas.org.za/content/checklist.htmlYou need certified copies (at the police station) of the documents. Income slips cannot be older than 3 months !

How will I know if my loan  has been approved ?

Nsfas will inform you by Sms/email if your loan has been approved between January 5 to 31. 

You can also check on Nsfas website (you need to create your own account - click on top right).If your loan has been approved
If your loan has not been approved (because your family income is too high or because some documents are missing), you can launch an appeal - click on this link http://nsfas.org.za/content/appeal.html
Once your loan has been approved, you need to sign online a " 

Loan Agreement Form"(LAF) or "Schedule of Particulars" (SOP) -
If you have received a partial bursary  (for instance which covers only your student fee), Nsfas can cover other expenses (e.g. –accommodation).

Will I get a Nsfas loan every year ?

You don't need to reapply every year.
If you pass at least a 80% of your subjects, your Nsfas loan will be automatically prolonged. If you fail, you can still reapply but you will not get Nsfas for more than 5 years, in total

It is not always possible to get a Nsfas loan for the 4th year of studies after a diploma, called Btech (eg. engineering Btech)
If after your first year, you want to start again other studies, you can reapply for a Nsfas loan, as long as you have pass at least 80 % of your subjects.

When will I need to pay back my loan ?

Only when you start to work and earn at least R30 000/year.

Up to 40 % of the loan may be converted to a bursary, depending on the University you attend.  

For your last year of study, your loan will convert the full cost of study and your living expenses. It will be converted in a full bursary  if you graduate.