Twitter user conjured up controversy late night, on the 6th of July when she alleged being part of the elite upper class and having had a wealthy upbringing. The conundrum came when another twitter account debunked her claims and what started as a regular gloating session on Twitter ended up raising a lot of questions around NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme). The unsettling issue was the twitter user claiming to not being on NSFAS out of necessity, but rather because she can.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is meant to provide financial aid to disadvantaged undergrad students. An individual claiming to be from affluence should technically not qualify for financial aid. Even from an ethical standpoint, a rich kid taking advantage of resources that are intended to help the poor is morally bankrupt.

People all over Twitter started sharing their stories of desperately needing financial aid and being denied. And we want to give you the lowdown on who should qualify for NSFAS and a few frequently asked questions.

Who qualifies for NSFAS? 

You qualify to apply for NSFAS financial aid if you:

  • You are a South African citizen;
  • Your combined annual household income does not exceed R350 000 per annum;
  • You are a SASSA grant recipient;
  • You are registering for the first time for an undergraduate qualification at a public university, or are registered at a TVET college for one of the National Certificate Vocational or report 191 programme;
  • You are applying to study at a public university or TVET college for a qualification;
  • You are an already registered university student with an annual household income of less than R122 000 per year;
  • You have passed Grade 9 & 10 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a TVET college;
  • You have passed Grade 12 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a university.

How to apply for NSFAS:

There are three ways in which you can apply:

METHOD 1: On the NSFAS website (if you wish to apply online, follow the instructions below)

  1. Create your myNSFAS account here:
  2. Provide the following information when registering an account: username, password, ID number, cellphone number and email address
  3. You can then log in using your selected username and password
  4. Complete the application form by clicking the “apply” button
  5. When you have filled in all the required information (do not leave any fields blank), you can upload electronic copies of your supporting documents (as listed below). Once all your documents have been uploaded, click the “submit” button to receive your reference number

METHOD 2: At your closest NYDA (National Youth Development Agency) Centre

    1. Visit a NYDA centre/ office closest to you
    2. A NYDA centre worker will explain the application process and provide you with an application form to complete
    3. Complete the application form in CAPITAL letters with a black pen and sign it in the allocated spots
    4. Hand in your application form and supporting documents (as listed below). Ensure that your supporting documents are certified on the front of the page and not be older than three months.
    5. You will receive a receipt card with a bar code attached.

METHOD 3: At a Financial Aid Office on campus/computer lab


Submit clear copies of the following supporting documentation (the submission of these documents is compulsory – if any items are missing, your application be disregarded):

What documents do I need to apply for NSFAS? 

  • ID document/ ID card (certified copy and electronic copy)
  • Unabridged birth certificate (if you do not have an ID document or ID card) (certified copy and electronic copy)
  • Parents/ guardians ID documents (certified copy and electronic copy)
  • Parents/ guardians death certificate (if applicable) (certified copy and electronic copy)
  • Payslips/ employment letters/ pension advice (not older than three months) (do not submit SASSA slips. SASSA should be excluded from household income) (certified copy and electronic copy)
  • Contact details (cellphone number/ email address where NSFAS can communicate with you throughout the application process, as well as to provide feedback on the outcome of your application)
  • NSFAS Consent Form (.pdf) – completed and signed by parents/ guardians
  • If disabled, complete and include the NSFAS Disability Annexure A (.pdf)
  • If orphaned, complete and include the NSFAS Declaration Form (.pdf) – to be signed by an Isibindi Child Youth Care Worker/ a social worker from the Department of Social Development and submitted to an Isibindi Centre/ NYDA office

How do I check my NSFAS application status?

NSFAS Contact Details

  • Call the NSFAS Call Centre on 021 763 3200,
  • Email [email protected]
  • Or SMS 32261 with your name Call the NSFAS Call Centre on 021 763 3200, email [email protected] or SMS 32261 with your name, contact number, email address and postal address.