Student bursary application system joins digital age

No NSFAS means test for matrics receiving social grants
No NSFAS means test for matrics receiving social grants
Thousands of Eastern Cape students will no longer have to queue to apply for funds.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) this week approved an initiative to enable students apply online.

Initially, the system will only be available at King Hintsa technical vocational education and training (TVET) college, Unisa and Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). The idea is to roll it out to other tertiary institutions by 2019.

King Hintsa principal Noluthando Balfour confirmed yesterday that students were already applying online.

“Students are utilising the college computer labs to apply for the bursary online, assisted by lecturers and bursary officers,” Balfour said.

NMMU spokeswoman Roslyn Baatjies said the university was aware of and ready for the process.

Unisa had not responded to questions by deadline.

NSFAS spokesman Kagisho Mamabolo said: “It is the future of NSFAS. It has changed how NSFAS interacts with beneficiaries and will in future assist in tracing them once they complete their studies and start working.”

Mamabolo said online applicants had to upload scanned copies of certified supporting documents to qualifyq.

“We hope the new funding model will change their lives for the better by creating effective and efficient access to higher education,” said Mamabolo, adding that online applications for financial aid for next year opened on Monday.

Students were urged to access the NSFAS website to submit their applications.

He said students not funded in previous years should reapply. However, those who were funded this year were not required to reapply as NSFAS would obtain their academic results to assess their eligibility for continued funding.

The closing date for online applications is November 30, while Unisa students have a closing date of September 30 to allow NSFAS to process and evaluate them in time for the early registration phase.

The outcome of the online application will be communicated via SMS or e-mail.

Mamabolo said according to the NSFAS annual performance and strategic plan, 15% of educational institutions nationally were expected to come on board next year.

He said students could also download the form online and post it to NSFAS. —


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.