All You Need to Know about the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

Tertiary education in South Africa can be quite expensive. For the majority of students in the country, this type of education is simply unaffordable. Being able to pay for thousands of rands in study fees is out of reach for many people. Student loans, bursaries, scholarships and grants are often the next best option.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (commonly known as NSFAS) was founded on the premise that all students should have access to education.  The aim is to “transform NSFAS into an efficient and effective provider of financial aid to students from poor and working class families in a sustainable manner”.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme identifies eligible students, provides loans and bursaries and collects student loan repayments to replenish the funds available for future generations of students.

These funds are available to qualifying students at public or TVET colleges and universities.

Supporting Documents required for the application process:

  • Certified copy of your ID
  • Certified copies of IDs of each household member
  • A certified copy of your latest academic transcript or exam results
  • Official copy of your most recent payslip and letter of employment, not older than 3 months
  • Official pension slip
  • Certified copy of death certificate if parents are deceased
  • Certified copy of a SASSA letter if any of your family members are receiving a social grant

These loans are used to cover the costs for tuition fees, residence or private accommodation costs, food, books and travel.

NSFAS Loans Benefits:

  • NSFAS Loans charge lower interest rates than banks
  • Repayments start once your salary is R30 000 or more per year
  • There is no need for sureties from parents or guardians
  • Loans are repayable once you finish studying
  • Repaid loans are used to help other students who need financial assistance

To contact NSFAS, call: 0860 067 327 or send an email to

Visit to apply

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