Students may ask for review of applications

2019-01-30 06:00

Students whose application for funding by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has been unsuccessful, may lodge an appeal for review.

Those students who wish to lodge an appeal have until 8 March to do so.

Appeals will only be considered on the following grounds:

  • A material change in combined household income has occurred. A proof of the loss of income will be needed, along with a fully completed NSFAS form for students who were not previously funded.
  • A bursary or sponsor in the 2018 academic cycle has been lost. Documented proof should be provided and be accompanied by a fully completed NSFAS application form.
  • Where prior academic performance has been satisfactory, academic criteria have not been met. Provide supporting information and documentation that provides details of the reasons for affected per­formance.
  • Academic criteria have not been met due to a medical condition or the death of an immediate family member. Provide supporting information and documentation.

According to NSFAS, the assessment of all the 2019 applications of first-time entering students has been done. Of the 417 000 applications received, more than 300 000 applications have been approved, pending registration at public institutions for NSFAS funded qualifications.

Dr Randall Carolissen, NSFAS administrator, said a call was made in December for the review of the 109 000 applications that were initially unsuccessful for the 2019 academic year.

He said over 60 000 of these applicants have subsequently been declared financially eligible.

As NSFAS pro­cessed applications in the pipeline, the number of unsuccessful applicants reportedly increased to 65 000.

According to Carolissen, some students were unsuccessful based on in­formation received from credit bureaus regarding their household income.

He said those who wanted to dispute the outcome because of changes to household income or South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) status, may lodge an appeal by providing the necessary documentation to NSFAS.

An appeal form can be downloaded from www.nsfas.org.za, and must be completed and submitted to the financial aid office at the relevant institution.

Alternatively, students can submit appeals directly to NSFAS, along with the required documentation, to applicationreview@­nsfas.org.za.

According to André Badenhorst, deputy director: Financial Aid at the University of the Free State, the appeal process for continuing or returning students who had NSFAS funding in 2018 will be communica­ted as soon as the university receives official communication from NSFAS.

He said this is a different process with a separate appeal application form, and is only for students who applied for 2019 NSFAS funding prior to 2 December 2018.

The closing date of the appeal process for students who applied for funding in 2019 prior to the closing date of 2 December 2018is 8 March.

“Financial aid offices will be in a position to assist students with the appeal process from Friday (01/02),” Badenhorst said.

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