Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Blade Nzimande, has announced the opening of the National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) application cycle for the year 2023.
Nzimande made the announcement of the application process at a media briefing on Tuesday.
Briefing the media, he said the scheme resolved to open the application cycle early, as opposed to the previous year, in order to give prospective applicants enough time to submit their applications and supporting documents.
Giving an update report on NSFAS funding for the 2022 academic year, Nzimande said a budget of R43 billion was allocated to the scheme towards the beneficiaries’ tuition fees, including food and travelling allowance, and study material.
He said 985 672 applications were received with approximately 140 636 applications being unsuccessful.
Of the applications received, 739 526 applications were provisionally funded pending registration from their respective institutions.
As part of the system’s improvements, Nzimande said NSFAS introduced real-time response to funding applications from applicants who are beneficiaries of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
“About 287 217 of those applicants received instant approvals because beneficiaries in the SASSA category often receive automatic qualification for funding,” he explained.