I am writing with deep concern and anger and hope that this letter will be as concerning to you and will make you understand the anger and the concern I have over this matter.
I received a letter from the university that I’m studying in regarding how much fees I owe. Because NSFAS decided to not accept me due to my not being able to “meet their financial requirements” I had quite a hefty amount, which they reduced according to my marks. The real matter that I felt the need to discuss is the incompetence, greed, selfishness and corruptness that have been shown not only to me but also to my peers by NSFAS.
Firstly, when you apply for the NSFAS loan you have to lie ridiculously and say things like “I live with my grandparents who use grants to get me by”. You have to take your parents out of the picture completely because frankly even with the R6 000 that your mother gets paid, you will not get the loan. It irks me that you have to lie like you’re not going to pay this money back. It comes with no doubt that one then has to maintain this lie throughout their years studying. The fact that they do not even feel the need to check if this is true or not is blood-boiling. How do you have a student that studied high school at a private school come there and tell you that she doesn’t know her parents and all those other lies get a loan but the student that told the truth and really does not have the necessarily money because of expenses doesn’t? Hold that thought.
Secondly, people this last year were accepted by NSFAS but when they come back this year they are told that there are no more funds and that they need to pay half of their fees and the rest during the course of the year. With all the hefty expenses they had to deal with this holiday, how are they then going to be able to get their hands on monies that range from R5 000 to the ridiculous amount of R30 000? They are being inconsiderate because some have parents do not even work. Because of this amount of money outstanding they are then not allowed to register, how insane is that? Are we really going to turn a blind eye here just because it is not “our” problem? All these people at NSFAS are doing is gulping down the money and all they worry about is what jean to wear the next day. Hold that thought again.
Lastly, I would like to be the voice of all the students that are in my situation and any other situation that involves being disappointed by NSFAS. Our education has been put into a halt because of this and it seems that there is nothing we can do because even loans from banks are too expensive. What I would like to see is change. Even if God has to step in by himself, we need to see change. We are told to get educated and when we do, we are not allowed the necessarily opportunities. Think about it now; we have this freedom but we still have manacles made by finance because of the greed of others.
I hope that this letter finds the necessary readers and action will be taken because I have done all that I can do on my side. All we want as students is a fair chance to be great and make the people around us proud. NSFAS needs to check itself and start doing things fairly and with consideration.