National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Bursary 2020

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme, or NSFAS is calling on qualified individuals to come and apply for its Bursary Programme for the 2020 academic year.

The NSFAS operates under the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology and works to provide monetary support to underprivileged students looking to complete their qualifications at state universities or TVET colleges

Instituted in 1996 as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme replacing the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa, or TEFSA, the NSFAS programme was initially administered and managed by the TEFSA. However, as per the NSFAS Act  of  1999, the NSFAS became a statutory body completely replacing the TEFSA.

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Bursary 2020

The NSFAS Bursary Programme is offered to students intending to study or already pursuing a public university or TVET college qualification.

Bursary coverage will depend on whether the beneficiary is attending a public university or TVET school as listed below:

For university students

  • Coverage includes accommodation costs as charged by the institution. Private accommodation coverage is good only to the same amount public universities charge for accommodations
  • Transportation costs covers up to R10,000 annually (good for up to distance of up to 40km
  • Daily living allowance of R14 000 per year
  • Book allowance amounting to R5 000 per year
  • Personal or incidental care allowance equal to R2750 for bursars in catered residences

For TVET students

  • Urban area accommodation expenses equal to R24,000 per year
  • Peri-urban area accommodation expenses equal to R18,000 per year
  • Rural area accommodation expenses amounting to R15, 000 annually
  • Transportation allowance equivalent to R10,000 (maximum of 40 km from school)

Who should apply?

Applicants must be able to satisfy the minimum requirements in order to be considered for the programme:

  • Must have gained admission to a state university or TVET colllege
  • Must have a combined annual household income amounting to R350 000 maximum
  • Students already studying prior to 2018 with combined annual household income not higher than R122 000
  • For people living with disability with a combined annual household income not higher than R600 000
  • SASSA grant beneficiaries are eligible to receive coverage
  • Must be a South African citizen

How do I apply?

If you meet the minimum requirements, there are two ways to apply:

Make sure to prepare the following supporting documents for submission:

  • Certified recent copy of ID (no older than 3 months)
  • A consent form duly signed and accomplished. (Click the link to download the form)
  • Applicants who are dependent on parent’s / spouse / guardian will need to submit the following:
    • Certified copy of parent’s, guardian’s or spouse’s valid ID
    • Proof of parent’s, guardian’s or spouse’s income (e.g. appointment or payslip)
  • Self-supporting students will need to submit the following:
    • IRP5 for the last 3 years
    • Proof of income (e.g. appointment letter or payslip)
  • Applicants living with disability will need to submit the following:
    • Accomplished and signed copy of Disability Annexure A if applicant’s information is not auto-populated on the application page
  • Orphaned applicants will need to submit an Orphan Declaration and Consent Form (not including consent form)
  • Submit all other supporting documents if applicable
    • Death certificate
    • Retrenchment letter
    • Divorce decree

Click the link to view the NSFAS Bursary Programme 2020 advert.

Application Deadline?

Deadline for submission of applications is on 30 November 2019.

Contact Information

For more information or general enquiries about the bursary programme, contact NSFAS directly using these contact details:

  • Email:
  • Tel: 08000 67327
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