Guiding consumers since 2009

NSFAS to pilot new funding model in 2017

By Danielle van Wyk

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has answered the calls for “free education” by irate protesting students and has announced a pilot project for 2017. This project is set to address the financial struggles of both the NSFAS criteria students and the “missing middle” students, by making use of student grants and loans.

“Actuaries are working on a threshold where ‘free stops’, and it could be between household incomes of R150, 000 and R200, 000. From there, a combination of a grant and a loan would apply for households with a household income of R600, 0000,” said Sizwe Nxasana, NSFAS chairman,  to BD Live.  

The new model will be piloted at six universities and one college nationwide next year, but will only be fully implemented in 2018.

NSFAS leadership in understanding the need for such an initiative also expressed their concern that the current protests will lead to them being unable to pilot their project next year.

“Amongst other things, the model will allow students who want to study at public universities and TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) colleges to apply directly online through the NSFAS website,” stated NSFAS.

Students who want to apply will need to create a profile on their website and proceed to complete their application, update their details, and also monitor their application status.

The model is also being built to cater to the financial needs of those who fall within the “missing middle” - those who have been found to be too rich for NSFAS funding but too poor to afford the fees. It’s a group which NSFAS previously overlooked, according to commentators. In doing so they have set out certain household income brackets and allocated funding to students who would fall into those brackets.

Concerns have been raised about where the government, NSFAS included, would find the money to as per the fee announcement to subsidise the increase for both NSFAS and “missing middle” students. But NSFAS remain confident that provision will be made.

Another issue that NSFAS leadership are reportedly looking to address is the high dropout rate among their students. According to NSFAS data, they experience a dropout rate as high as 63%, due to various factors from both the individual and the funding model. Underfunding has been known to be one such factor.

“Allowances for food, accommodation, books and travel will be disbursed through sBux which is a cell phone banking solution implemented by NSFAS to distribute funds to accepted NSFAS beneficiaries. NSFAS is striving to create and maintain relationships with students from the time they start their courses until completion of their studies,” stated the financial aid scheme.

Handy tip: If you are struggling to keep afloat as a result of debt, such as student debt for example, why not enlist professional debt counselling assistance through Justmoney. Click here, for more.

Recent Articles

Featured What to do when you’ve been denied a home loan

After months of scanning property sites and attending showhouse after showhouse, you’ve finally found what you’ve been looking for. But your dream of owning a home comes crumbling down when you receive the news that you’ve been denied a home loan. So, what now?

Can your retirement annuity be used as collateral for a loan?

If you have a retirement annuity, you may have wondered whether you can use this as collateral when you take out a loan. We decided to do the leg work and find out whether this is possible or not.

Best travel cards offered by top South African banks

Planning a trip abroad involves a lot of administration. You need to consider travelling arrangements, reasonable accommodation, and a daily itinerary. But have you considered how you’re going to pay your bills once you arrive? Besides considering bank costs, you also need to consider exchange rates.

Best ways to save your money short-term

For many, it seems close to impossible to save when spending on holiday getaways, Christmas gifts, while also trying to ensure there’s money left to survive January. Justmoney takes a look at the best ways you can save during the short term.


Marble Gift Card Special

Price: From R1000
When: Until 25 December 2019
Where: Johannesburg

Trennerys Hotel and Camping Januworry Special

Price: R950
When: From 10 to 31 January 2020
Where: Centane (Eastern Cape)

Bakwena Standard Packages Special

Price: From R999
When: Until 31 December 2019
Where: Nationwide