How Does NSFAS Work, What Does It Cover and How Do You Deregister?

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a government entity under the Department of Higher Education and Training which provides financial assistance to underprivileged students who wish to further their education at TVET colleges or public universities.

The NSFAS bursary is not only given to students from low-income families but also to students with disabilities. Accommodation, transport, and tuition are among the things the funding covers. And if an applicant wishes to cancel his or her registration after submitting the NSFAS application online, he or she will log in to MyNSFAS account and cancel the application.

What Does The NSFAS Bursary Cover?

Students, who are approved for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme bursary, receive the following payments:

  • Tuition
  • Registration
  • Allowances for:
    • Accommodation or transport
    • Personal care
    • Food
    • Learning material

What The NSFAS Disability Bursary Programme Provides

The NSFAS support persons with disability, who possess the ability to pass their academic subjects and need financial aid, with:

  • Tuition
  • Accommodation
  • Transport
  • Assistive devices
  • Human support
  • Meals

How Much Do NSFAS Students Get?

Established according to the NSFAS Act (Act 56 of 1999), the National Student Financial Aid Scheme make the following payments to students:

University Students

  • R7,500 per annum for transport up to 40 km from the institution
  • R5,200 per annum for book allowances
  • R15,000 per annum for living allowance
  • R2,900 per annum as incidental or personal care allowance for students in catered residences.

NOTE: The allowance for accommodation is based on the actual costs charged by the university. And the costs for private accommodation must not exceed the costs for university residents.

TVET Students

  • R15,750 per annum for accommodation in a rural area
  • R18,900 per annum for accommodation in a peri-urban area
  • R24,000 per annum for accommodation in an urban area
  • R7,000 per annum for transport
  • R7,350 per annum for transport up to 40 km from the institution
  • R2,900 per annum for incidental or personal care allowance

NOTE: Postgraduate students no longer receive funding from NSFAS since the end of the 2020 academic year. However, students are encouraged to seek funding for postgraduate courses by applying through the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Who Qualifies for the NSFAS Bursary?

  1. Applicants whose combined household income does not exceed R350,000 per annum
  2. Students with disability with a combined household income that does not exceed R600,000 per annum
  3. South African citizens
  4. Recipients of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grant
  5. Students who started studying before 2018 and whose household income is not more than R122,000 per year

Who Should Not Apply?

  1. Students who have already applied, qualified, and received funding.
  2. Students whose combined household income is more than R350,000 per annum.
  3. Students who have completed a previous qualification.

What Do You Need to Apply for NSFAS Funding?

NSFAS application is open for a limited time at the end of each year. To apply for the bursary, students need to have some relevant documents ready, and they include:

  • Proof of income (where applicable)
  • Copy of your parents/guardian/spouse ID. Both sides of the card are required, if it’s a Smart Card ID
  • A completed Vulnerable Child Declaration Form signed by a social worker (if you are recognized as a vulnerable child by the Department of Social Development)
  • A completed Disability Annexure A Form (this form is available on the NSFAS website and is for persons living with a disability)
  • A completed Non-SASSA Declaration Form (the form is available on the NSFAS website and is to be completed by individuals who indicated that they do not have certain family member details and/or abridged birth certificate)

NOTE: Based on your application type, the system will generate a list of required documents to upload.

How to Apply for NSFAS Bursary

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme application can be easily done online, and the procedures are as follows:

  • Login to
  • Create a myNSFAS account
  • Click on the “Apply” tab to complete the required information
  • Upload the necessary supporting documents
  • Submit application

Steps on How to Cancel NSFAS Registration

After successfully applying for the NSFAS funding and an applicant wishes to cancel the application, he or she has to visit the NSFAS website and carry out the following steps:

STEP I: Login to the NSFAS website and click on the myNSFAS tab at the top right corner or log in directly to

STEP II: Select “Track Application.”

STEP III: Click on “Cancel Application.”


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