Tertiary students and learners due to complete Gr. 12 this year who are in need of financial aid, are encouraged to apply for funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Applications for financial aid for 2018 through the NSFAS for students who wish to study at a public higher education institution or a technical and vocational education and training college officially opened on 1 August.Students and learners at universities and TVET colleges who have not received funding in prior years are encouraged to complete their applications and submit it before or on 30 November. The NSFAS does not require exam results for the application process, so learners are encouraged to apply before their exams start. Whilst the application process for funding to the NSFAS is open in both online and paper-based forms, students are encouraged to rather make use of the online application platform, as this is faster and more efficient. Students who apply online will also receive a reference number immediately. Applicants are also advised to submit both an identity document (ID) and unabridged birth certificate to speed up the verification process. By 9 October, the NSFAS had reportedly received 80 494 valid applications.