All you need to know about NSFAS for 2017


Earlier in January, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) opened a second direct application process to students. This call for applications considers numerous factors, including delays on all ends caused by #FeesMustFall protests, as well as an influx of matriculants. But despite the second call, some students are still waiting to hear the outcomes of applications submitted last year, and many have a few more burning questions. We spoke to NSFAS spokesperson, Kagisho Mamabolo, to get clarity on a few more things you need to know about the scheme.

A second application process has just opened. Has this been done before?

No. NSFAS have not had applications coming directly and being processed before. NSFAS anticipates completing the entire application process by end of February 2017, due to applications for TVET college students only closing on 14 February 2017. However, this does not mean all applications will wait until then. NSFAS have already completed some applications and sent out feedback messages to the applicants. The NSFAS office will be continuing to do that throughout January 2017.

Is NSFAS able to fund the amount of people applying for funds? What kind of capacity is the fund at?

The minister of Basic Education announced that the 2016 matric class was the largest in many years. NSFAS expects to receive more applications than previous years, as many students will be seeking to enter higher education. NSFAS had capacity to fund over 400, 000 students in the 2016 academic year (including university and TVET college students) from the R10 billion budget granted by government. NSFAS expects funds will increase for the 2017 academic year, which would then allow them to cater for a higher number of students than last year.

At the moment, NSFAS cannot confirm what the total number of applications will be by the end of the application phase. They are monitoring the numbers and awaiting to receive official confirmation of the 2017 budget, from the minister of Higher Education and Training.

Some students applying for NSFAS have come forward saying that they have not received responses at all. What does this mean? And will students who are rejected receive communication informing them of such?

NSFAS says all students will eventually receive communication regarding their respective applications. While it is true that there are students who have not yet received feedback on their applications, NSFAS are sending out responses on a continuous basis as they complete the assessment of all applications.

Does NSFAS cover registration costs?

This depends on what a student’s outcome is on the means test. NSFAS will only cover full registration fees for students where the “expected family contribution” is zero on the means test.

Have the Fees Must Fall protests posed any particular new challenges to NSFAS?

NSFAS says the challenges they have received mostly have to do with students who have not signed their loan agreement forms at some institutions, resulting in their tuition fees not being paid by due dates. They are currently liaising with institutions to respond effectively to this challenge.

For more background on NSFAS and how it works, read this article from 2015.

Featured image by Thomas Kolathu


  1. I emailed my application to nsfas more than a month ago but even today they have not responded at all and I really need the response as I have to register in a weeks’ time , please can I get a response

  2. Hi This Is Mahlangu Andile A Student At the University of Johannesburg I have Applied for Nsfas And still haven’t got any reply. My qualification Registration closes on the 1st of february 2017, Will Appreciate it if This could be taken into consideration And if i can get respond Asap.

  3. I’m Nqobile Khumalo a student at Central Technical College I have applied via e-mail but even today I didn’t get any respond. I need to know that I have been funded or what please help me.. Thank you

  4. i am siyakudumisa fihlani,i applied by email on 13 january 2017,my details are;id no;9708055917081,student no.;217880614.i would like to know about my application status.nsfas is my only hope. thank you(admitted at nmmu south campus).

  5. I recieve a msg says “you provisially funded pending to universities /tvet colleges for this registration period
    and i didn’t use cao to apply i only fill up nsfas form only n the tym iwas filling up some few info i saw school that iwould like to study then ithought maybe i shouldn’t bother my self to apply to the instutution cz nsfas form already mention the instutution n idon’t know what am i suppose to do i’m stressed out

  6. I applied last year and my status says provisionally funded but I haven’t received a message,that delays my registration at the university.I should be attending tomorrow but now I can’t because I have to register first.

  7. I’m simo I do applying for nsfas fund last year I don’t not received any feedback since last year even a SMS that come from nsfas so I want to knw what student numbers 2014130898.I a! study at university of the free status (qwaqwa) campus.tnx

  8. I want to know when is NSFAS going to stop replying to student’s requests because right now I am doing my first year at Central University of Technology and haven’t received any word from NSFAS and I really need the books and tuition fees…

  9. I life chauke I applied nsfas last year early November I received an email that says provisionally funded pending so nw I don’t know what to do thanks

  10. I’m yonela busakwe my number is 0604838990 I applied on nsfas in2016 November but I got SMS on nsfas says my application for nsfas funding for the university I chose has been unsuccessful.if you enroll in a public TVET college your application. so I want to know what can I do because I’m registered at college

  11. I’m Ayanda I applied around January and haven’t got a response yet.please I want to know where im standing with number 0820539972

  12. hi
    I,ve also been waiting for respond from NSFAS and still nothing had happened and i did reply in january and like NSFAS said they would give us feedback from the 1st of february 2017…and still its the 20th of february and still i dont have answers from them. im very consern about my future..and need to pay for registration…please help

    thank you

  13. hi
    I also been waiting for feedback in unfortunately I applied in February but still it doesn’t change the fact that I applied so still waiting for feedback from nsfas my number is 0784212203 please help me

  14. Well I’ve applied for nsfas last month and I received an SMS saying that I’m provisionally funded so what does that mean? m confused n my classes are beginning in the 1st week of May… 9402256054080 is my ID nr n 0732092356 is my cellphone nr

  15. I applied for NSFAS towards the end of January until now I haven’t got response yet.. Um very scared and frustrated because I live far from school I need accommodation money.. I attend school at Motheo TVET college-Bloemfontein campus.. Please help me.. You can contract me 0632138886

  16. I’m yvone mashele I applied nsfas last mouth I don’t received any response I want to know my status my ID 9502050731088 my mother is not working

  17. i also applied for nsfas last year and i got a sesponse saying iam provintually funded for public TVT but iam in UNIVERSITY

  18. hello i’m muzi and I wrote this massage asking about my status please NSFAS be my helper it’s being a long time know waiting to be funded I really need that bursary id 9511145937089 please respond me guys.

  19. I applied for Nsfas last year 2016-11-27 . manually via post , even today I haven’t received even 1 SMS from them . Please help am stuck and have run out options if u have a opinion or a way of helping me please contact 0616174001

  20. I applied for Nsfas for 2017,manual via post then they send me SMS say am provisionally funded by Nsfas to register at a public TVET College for this current registration period but am not appear in a system it say my record not funded

  21. Hi am Nokuthula ,applied for NSAS manually February ,I haven’t receive any response and thers no status…….9804271284081 my ID, please help hle

  22. I have applied for transport fund from January till now i have not received any message to sign sop as others have, plz help i’m st
    ruggling to attend clases because of fanancial state

  23. Am Dimpho since I receive message from nsfas on February which says am provisionally pending by nsfas at tvet college and am at the university since then I haven’t had anything form nsfas 0726766485 thanks

  24. i applied for nsfas in february but still have not received any massege from nsfas. when can i expect an answer from you so that i can know wether i am approved or not.

  25. I want to know about busary because now I am waiting email to sign LOF /SOP my ID is 9401281186081

  26. hi my name is Mpho Tshiwela Dephney .I received SMS to sign sop and I signed but the notice came out saying that I haven’t signed sop while I sign again its telling me that student who has signed sop or has not receive SMS to sign SOP should not sign .
    Please my ID number is 9709270421081

  27. I m njabulo khanyile I have a problem I applied for nsfas January I even get a prof of registration bt my SOP is not approve what I should do I’m at MAJUBA TVET COLLEGE

  28. Hy my name is Mbali Nyalungu, i am no longer using the numbers that i applyed with to NSFAS so now i want to sign SOP with my new numbers how can i sign? thank you

  29. Hey I’m Xikombiso Maluleke ,I have a problem about my fees because at the university where I’m studying they sent me an SMS that I must pay my outstanding fees before the end of October so please Nsfas pay for my second semester fees I really want to continue with my studies with your help I know I can do it .please

  30. I want to know nsfas where is my voucher because l signed sop last months but I did not reiceve my money plz nsfas help me, l don’t have money to pay my accommodation my ID 9102261184084

  31. am Sphamandla khumalo a student of majuba tvet college, am confused it’s like nsfas organization have turned their back on me, I have not got any assistance since the beginning of this year and what really shocking is that I passed all my subjects but it’s seems like I have

    put in the rejected list, I dnt want to find my self dropping out of school because if things continue like this we will end up finding our self nowhere.p lz help us out.

  32. I am Happiness Zungu student of Majuba TVET college. I want to know nsfas i lost my cellphone last year so this year nsfas approved me bt my cellphone number was changed because i lost my phone and i endup signed printed sop but i didn’t receive money untill now


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