Student wants answers on NSFAS

2018-04-17 06:01

WHEN President Cyril Ramaphosa was appointed as the head of South Africa he highlighted the fact that all South Africans are entitled to free education, however this is not the case for some students at Elangeni College in Pinetown.

A concerned student at Elangeni College who wished to remain anonymous told the fever reporter that she is concerned about her future and her studies after she and other students found out that they owe large amounts of money which they are unaware of to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

According to the student she came to realise the matter after she tried to enquire about her financial aid payout only to find that the system shows that the school was paid money for her tuition fees.

She said: “I am unhappy about what is happening in the school. The school has a lot of problems, however, the NSFAS issue is my biggest problem. I am unable to continue with my studies because apparently I owe tuition fees which I don’t know about and I am not the only one who has experienced this problem.”

“I don’t know who is mishandling the NSFAS payments at the school but whoever is doing this is definitely messing up our future.

Last year some of the students ended up owing accommodation fees to the amount of R15 000 and the NSFAS system said these students were funded and the money was transferred to school. I don’t have money to pay my tuition fees and that means I won’t be able to complete my studies.”

Another student who also wished to remain anonymous said the college management needs to sort this out because a lot of the students are no longer studying because they allegedly owe tuition fees.

“There is definitely something fishy going on. NSFAS says all the payouts are transferred to the college but the college says students owe money. It’s either someone from the college is a fraud and is using the students financial aid. This matter has to be dealt with immediately before it’s too late. Some students will end up doing the wrong things if this matter is not resolved.”

Elangeni College principal TJ Aryetey said: “I would like to bring to your attention that we have funded students enrolled subject to space availability, and they do not pay fees, and unfunded students who are liable to pay fees. Unfunded students from 2017 who still owe the college outstanding fees from 2017 are required to pay 20% deposit of the outstanding fees and sign an acknowledgement of debt before they can register.

“Students, whom the college have not received the remittance list would have positive balance until NSFAS provided the college with remittance list. However, the college took a decision that these students must not be disadvantaged.

“On the issue of residence, we are binded by the DHET NSFAS guidelines which states it clearly that tuition must be prioritise first. Allowances are based on the balances after tuition has been paid. The allocation for allowances is aligned to college aligned criteria, and it will vary per students. For our students seeking accommodation, they are liable to pay the deposit and the difference of allowances

should be paid.

“If we could have the students’ number, it could be easy to be specific on the matter, however, we respect the student’s right to remain anonymous.”

NSFAS Spokesperson Kagisho Mamabol said: “We are unable to provide with an appropriate comment that is factual as we are not aware of the allegations.

However, if this is an issue of fraud we advise the student to contact us at our Vuvuzela hotline call back at 072 595 9139 or e–mail nsfas@thehotline.co.za.”

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