Who Qualifies For Nsfas

NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) is a South African government program aimed at providing financial assistance to eligible students who want to further their education at public universities or TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) colleges. This article will guide you through the various criteria and conditions that determine if you qualify for NSFAS funding.

1. South African Citizenship

To be eligible for NSFAS, you must be a South African citizen or have permanent residency in South Africa. This requirement ensures that the financial aid is provided to support local students in their pursuit of higher education.

2. Financial Need

NSFAS primarily focuses on assisting students from poor and working-class backgrounds. The scheme aims to empower those who would otherwise not be able to afford the cost of tuition, accommodation, and study materials. Consequently, NSFAS assesses applicants’ financial need based on their family income and financial circumstances.

Who Qualifies For Nsfas

3. Academic Performance

While NSFAS is designed to support academically deserving students, it does not impose excessively stringent academic requirements. To qualify, you need to have passed Grade 9 and have a combined household income of less than R350,000 per year. However, some universities may have specific academic criteria for certain courses of study.

4. Age Restrictions

NSFAS funding is available to students of any age, as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria. Whether you’re a recent high school graduate or an adult looking to improve your qualifications, NSFAS offers financial assistance to help you achieve your educational goals.

5. Previous NSFAS Loans

Students who have previously received NSFAS funding are eligible for continued support, as long as they have met the academic requirements and have not exceeded the maximum number of years allowed for their specific qualification. However, it’s essential to fulfill all obligations and repay any outstanding NSFAS loans to remain eligible for further funding.

6. Field of Study

The NSFAS scheme covers a wide range of disciplines, including science, commerce, engineering, arts, and more. However, some scarce skills programs and postgraduate studies may have additional criteria or limited funding availability. It’s crucial to check with NSFAS or your educational institution for specific requirements related to your field of study.

7. Application Process

Once you’ve determined that you meet the eligibility criteria for NSFAS, you can apply online during the designated application period. The application requires a variety of documents, including your South African ID or birth certificate, proof of income, and academic records. It’s essential to submit all the required information accurately to ensure a smooth application process.


NSFAS provides invaluable financial assistance to South African students who face economic constraints that hinder their pursuit of higher education. By meeting the eligibility requirements related to citizenship, financial need, academic performance, and other considerations, you can take the necessary steps to secure NSFAS funding and open doors to a brighter future through education.