How do I apply for NSFAS online?

Applying for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) can be an essential step for many South African students seeking financial assistance to pursue higher education. This government-funded programme aims to provide financial support to qualifying students at public universities and TVET colleges. With the online application process, students can conveniently apply for NSFAS funding from the comfort of their homes, increasing accessibility to higher education opportunities.

To apply for NSFAS online, one must first create a myNSFAS account through their official website. This account serves as a portal for managing personal information, tracking application status, and submitting supporting documents. In the application process, applicants are required to provide personal information, such as an email address, mobile phone number, and Identification Document (ID). Alongside this data, they must also upload necessary supporting documents, which may differ based on individual circumstances.

Once the online application has been submitted, NSFAS will meticulously review each application to determine eligibility for financial assistance. It’s crucial for students to stay informed about application deadlines and provide accurate information to boost their chances of successfully obtaining funding. Furthermore, keeping track of the application status can help applicants stay updated on progress and resolve any issues that may arise during the review process.

Understanding NSFAS

National Student Financial Aid Scheme

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a government-funded programme designed to provide financial assistance to eligible South African students pursuing tertiary education. NSFAS provides funding for tuition, accommodation, and various allowances, depending on the specific needs of each recipient. Funding is available in the form of bursaries, which do not need to be repaid.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered eligible for NSFAS funding, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a South African citizen
  • Have a combined household income of R350,000 or less per annum
  • Be applying for or already enrolled in an undergraduate programme at a recognised public university or TVET college
  • Not have completed an undergraduate degree or diploma before, unless the applicant is currently studying towards a qualification that will enable them to enter a scarce skills occupation

NSFAS Funding

NSFAS bursaries cover a variety of costs related to pursuing tertiary education. The funding provided by NSFAS includes:

  • Registration fees and tuition fees, which are paid directly to the institution
  • Accommodation costs, either on-campus or off-campus
  • Personal allowance for books and related study materials
  • Meals and transport allowances, depending on the recipient’s needs

It’s important to note that the specific amounts allocated for each expense may vary depending on the recipient’s financial circumstances and the requirements of their academic programme. The funding is meant to support the student throughout the duration of their studies, provided they continue to meet the eligibility criteria and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

To apply for NSFAS online, visit their website and create a myNSFAS account. Complete the online application form and upload the required supporting documents, such as your Identification Document (ID), certified scanned copies of matric certificates, and proof of household income. Submit your application and await further instructions regarding the status of your funding request.

Creating a MyNSFAS Account

Registration Process

To apply for NSFAS online, firstly, you need to create a MyNSFAS account. To begin the registration process, visit the myNSFAS student portal at Click on “REGISTER” to start creating your account. You will be required to provide your personal information, including your ID number, name, surname, email address, and cellphone number. Make sure that all the details provided match your ID document to ensure successful verification.

Username and Password

Once you have entered your personal information, tick the acceptance option to allow NSFAS to verify and validate the information you provided. Your email address will serve as your username. After successful registration, you will receive an email with instructions on how to set a password for your MyNSFAS account. Be sure to create a strong password and keep it safe for future use.

Managing Your Account

Once your MyNSFAS account has been created, you can now manage your account online. With this account, you can:

  • Access important information about your NSFAS application
  • Apply for financial assistance
  • Track the progress of your application
  • Receive communication from NSFAS regarding your funding status
  • Update your personal details such as your email address or cellphone number

By actively managing your MyNSFAS account, you can ensure that all the necessary information is up-to-date, making the application process for financial aid smoother and more efficient.

Applying for NSFAS Online

Online Application Process

To apply for NSFAS online, candidates need to visit the official website ( and register for an account. Once the account is registered, they can access the online application form. The process typically takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Required Information and Documents

Applicants must provide the following information for the NSFAS online application:

  • A valid South African ID number or Birth Certificate (for those under the age of 16)
  • Contact details, including a cell phone number and email address
  • Proof of income, such as payslips or bank statements for their parents, legal guardians, or spouse

Certified scanned copies of the following documents are also needed:

  • Identity Document or Birth Certificate
  • Matric Certificate (for those who have completed Grade 12)
  • Latest academic results (for current university students)

Applicants must ensure that all documents are in pdf format and do not exceed 5MB in size.

Application Status and Review

After submitting the online application, candidates can track the status of their NSFAS applications through the account created on the NSFAS website. It is important to keep a record of the application reference number provided during the application process, as it will be used for any communication related to the application.

NSFAS reviews all applications after the closing date and informs successful applicants of the outcome. Unsuccessful applicants will also be notified and may appeal the decision within a specified period.

Can I apply for NSFAS on WhatsApp?

Currently, the NSFAS application process must be completed through the official NSFAS website. There is no option to apply via WhatsApp. It is crucial to follow the correct online application process to ensure that the application is submitted accurately and securely.

Supporting Documents for Application

When applying for NSFAS online, it is essential to provide the necessary supporting documents as part of the application process. This section highlights the key documents required under various categories.

Proof of Income and Financial Documents

Applicants need to demonstrate their financial background in order to qualify for the NSFAS funding. As such, they must submit the following documents:

  • Latest payslip (not more than 3 months old) – as proof of income from either the applicant, parents, guardians, or spouse
  • Bank statement – as an alternative income proof, especially for those who are self-employed, unemployed, or on UIF
  • Proof of residence – to confirm the applicant’s residential address

Academic Documents

Academic documents are vital in showcasing the applicant’s academic performance and eligibility for NSFAS funding. The required documents include:

  • Certified copy of the applicant’s South African ID or birth certificate – to establish their identity and nationality
  • Certified copy of the latest academic transcript or exam results – to show the applicant’s progress in their studies. Note that Grade 12 students don’t need to submit this document

Personal and Disability Documents

For applicants with special needs or disabilities, additional documentation is necessary to cater to their specific requirements. The following documents must be submitted:

  • Disability Annexure A form – duly filled and signed, providing details of the applicant’s disability and the necessary accommodations needed during their studies
  • Certified ID copies of parents, guardians, or spouse (if applicable) – to verify the identity of the applicant’s family members and confirm their involvement in the applicant’s support system
  • Consent form – signed by parents or guardians, granting permission for NSFAS to collect and process personal information

By ensuring that the required supporting documents are submitted accurately and on time, applicants can significantly improve their chances of securing NSFAS funding for their education.

NSFAS for Students with Disabilities

Eligibility and Requirements

Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply for financial assistance through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). To be eligible, the applicant’s household income must not exceed R600,000 per year. When applying for a disability bursary at a university or university of technology, applicants must provide the following documents:

  • Grade 12 June results or certificate
  • A letter from a medical doctor showing proof of permanent disability
  • Green SA identity document with a barcode

Funding and Allowances

NSFAS provides special disability funding to all approved students with disabilities at any of the 26 public universities or 50 TVET colleges in South Africa. The funding covers tuition and registration fees, and students also receive various allowances, such as:

  • Living allowance: For daily living expenses, including food and accommodation.
  • Transport allowance: To cover the cost of travelling to and from the educational institution.
  • Personal/incidental allowance: For miscellaneous personal expenses.
  • Learning materials/book allowance: To cover the cost of textbooks and other required learning materials.

In addition to these allowances, extra support is provided to students living with disabilities, including:

  • Medical assessments: Limited to one assessment per student, it ensures that appropriate adjustments and accommodations are made.
  • Assistive devices: NSFAS covers the cost of approved assistive devices, such as hearing aids and wheelchairs.
  • Meals: Financial assistance may be provided for meals during the academic year.
  • Accommodation: Support is given for suitable accommodation, either on-campus or nearby.
  • Human Support: Additional support may be available, depending on the student’s specific disability.

Applicants must complete Annexures A and B and attach proof of disability along with a quotation for assistive devices to their application form. With the appropriate documentation and eligibility, students with disabilities can successfully apply for NSFAS funding and receive the necessary support to pursue their education.

Post-application Steps and Communication

Receiving Decision Via SMS and Email

After submitting the NSFAS application online, applicants can expect to receive updates on the status of their application. NSFAS will send notifications through SMS and email to the respective contact points provided by the applicant during the application process.

It is essential for the applicants to regularly check both their SMS messages and email inbox, including the spam/junk folder, to ensure timely receipt of any updates. Additionally, applicants may receive notifications via WhatsApp depending on contact details provided.

Appealing a Decision

In case an applicant is not satisfied with the decision made by NSFAS, they have the option to submit an appeal. To appeal a decision, follow these steps:

  1. Access the internet and download the NSFAS Appeal Form from the NSFAS website.
  2. Complete the form, providing all relevant information and reasons for the appeal.
  3. Attach the necessary supporting documents to substantiate the appeal.
  4. Submit the appeal form and documents via email to the provided email address mentioned on the appeal form.
  5. Receive confirmation and updates on your appeal status via SMS or email.

Please note that the appeal process may vary, depending on the specific nature of the applicant’s circumstances. To ensure that applicants stay aware of all updates, they must maintain accurate and active contact information within their application and corresponding communications with NSFAS.

Available NSFAS Bursaries

University Bursaries

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides bursaries to eligible students enrolling at public universities in South Africa, including the University of South Africa (UNISA). These bursaries cover various financial needs, such as tuition fees, accommodation, living expenses, and study materials.

To apply for an NSFAS bursary for public universities, students must follow the online application process on the NSFAS website. The application period usually opens at the end of each year for a limited time. Applicants are required to create a myNSFAS account and submit the necessary documents to support their application.

TVET College Bursaries

NSFAS also offers bursaries for students enrolling at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. These bursaries cover the costs of tuition fees, accommodation, transport, and other necessary allowances.

To be eligible for a TVET college bursary, applicants must be South African citizens, demonstrate financial need, and have been accepted at a public TVET college. The application process for TVET college bursaries is similar to that of university bursaries, with students required to create a myNSFAS account and submit an online application.

Both university and TVET college bursaries are aimed at supporting students who do not have the financial means to fund their studies and cannot access bank funding, study loans, or other bursaries. By providing financial assistance, NSFAS enables more students to pursue their education at public institutions in South Africa.

NSFAS Contact and Support

NSFAS Contact Details

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) can be contacted through various channels. Their official website is, where students can access information and apply for financial aid online. To contact NSFAS directly, the following details are available:

  • Telephone number: 08000 67327
  • Physical address: 10 Brodie Road, House Vincent 2nd Floor, Wynberg, Cape Town 7700
  • Postal address: Private Bag X1, Plumstead 7801, South Africa

NSFAS also offers support through WhatsApp for inquiries and assistance. The official WhatsApp contact number is +27 78 519 8006.

Additional Support Resources

Students seeking support and guidance can explore the following resources on the NSFAS website:

  • Student Support: A section dedicated to providing support to students in need of financial aid.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Answers to common questions about NSFAS and the application process.
  • NSFAS Wallet: Information about the NSFAS wallet, which facilitates the disbursement of funds to students.
  • Digital Learning Device (Laptop): Details about the programme providing learning devices to students.

In order to access these resources and apply for financial aid, students need to create a myNSFAS account. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Visit and click on the ‘myNSFAS’ tab.
  2. Create a myNSFAS account.

With a myNSFAS account, students can manage their applications, check the status of their funding, and obtain further help with any queries. Remember to always use the official NSFAS website and contact details when seeking support.