NSFAS to pay student registration fees

2016-10-31 17:05

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Cape Town - Students who qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will no longer have to pay registration fees at universities and colleges at the beginning of the year, NSFAS CEO Msulwa Daca said at a media briefing on Monday.

The NSFAS management team announced significant changes to the student funding model going forward, including the removal of tertiary institution offices from the application process, meaning that students would now apply directly to NSFAS.

Applications are open until November 30 for eligible students.

"We are all aware of the challenges that our students encounter every year during the registration period and we want to resolve this problem through the new [centralised NSFAS] system," Daca said.

In addition to having their registration fees paid at the onset of the academic year by NSFAS, students need only apply for funding once.

"They will only apply to NSFAS once and be funded for the duration of their studies," Daca said.

The new centralised application system is also available online and students can create a profile through a myNSFAS account.

Billions in funding

READ: Mantashe: We must not spend all the money on 'Victorian universities'

Since the centralised application process officially opened on August 1, the scheme has received more than 195 600 applications from students.

The online application system that was introduced would be supplementary to the manual application process, Daca said.

"As much as the online system is easier for us, we are also considerate of the learners who are in rural areas who don't have connectivity."

Daca appealed to students to be thorough when completing their applications.

"Due to the recent student protests at all our campuses, we have noticed there are students who have applied for NSFAS, but not signed their loan agreement forms and schedules of particulars yet."

The loans could not be processed without these two vital documents, Daca said.

Since its inception 25 years ago, NSFAS has assisted over 1.7 million students, at a cost of R59bn.

In 2016 alone, 480 000 economically disadvantaged students benefited from the scheme, while loans and bursaries to the value of R14bn were disbursed.

Read more on:    nsfas  |  university fees  |  university protests

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