The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is confident that all deserving students who applied for funding will receive the comprehensive bursary. This is on condition that students meet the qualification requirements for the bursary.
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande revealed the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) will be able to fund all qualifying students for the upcoming academic year. The minister briefed the media on the state of readiness for the 2023 academic year.
Nzimande said, “I am happy to report that we will be able to fund all qualifying students on the DHET bursary scheme who have been admitted for funded programs at public TVET [Technical and Vocational Education and Training] colleges and universities in 2023.”
Nsfas received more than one million bursary applications for the 2023 academic year. The number of applications can also increase as the application period will remain open until the end of January 2023.
As of Friday, 20 January 2023, Nsfas recorded 1 131 419 funding applications through their online application portal. The scheme also already approved more than 150 000 applicants.
The 156 700 approved Nsfas applications were received from beneficiaries of South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants. Sassa grant beneficiaries are automatically approved for funding as they pass the means test for the Nsfas bursary.
All remaining Nsfas applicants including first-time entering and returning students will receive their application results on 6 February 2023. Applicants can also view their application status on the myNsfas portal.
The Minister indicated that the funded list for continuing students was released on Tuesday 24 January 2023.
Nzimande also said that unsuccessful Nsfas applicants will be provided with an opportunity to appeal their rejection. The Nsfas appeal period for 2023 has already begun and is set to conclude in February 2023.
The minister said:
”It is important for unsuccessful applicants to note that they have the opportunity to appeal such Nsfas decisions by submitting relevant supporting documents between the 20th of January and the 20th of February 2023”.
To simplify the process for tracking Nsfas bursary applications, students will now be able to check their status using the Whatsapp Mobile application. Students can add Nsfas on WhatsApp at 078 519 8006 or dial *120*67327 to track their 2023 bursary application status.
Nsfas staff has also been deployed to institutions across the country to assist with funding-related issues, and data exchange processes with institutions to ensure seamless data integration and the registration of students onto new Nsfas systems.
Nzimande also called on Nsfas staff to improve communications systems and urgently build capacity for prompt responses to all Nsfas inquiries.
”Not a single Nsfas query must be left unresponded to”.
Students will receive their funding pending registration in an approved course at a public university or TVET college.
Nzimande also sent a stern warning to students who are improperly benefiting from Nsfas funding. The minister said the department will intensify its efforts to identify undeserving students and take criminal action against them.
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