We know there are limited options out there, such as private loans from banks, part-time employment, assistance from family members and for the lucky few, bursaries. So here's another alternative if you are academically deserving and in need of financial assistance.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) offers a unique opportunity to access a loan, part of which can be converted to a bursary.
What is NSFAS and what do they offer?
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a loan and bursary scheme operating in terms of Act 56 of 99 and funded by the National Department of Education. They offer: * The means to obtain a tertiary qualification * Loans at low interest rates * Loans without guarantees * A reasonable repayment plan.
The money you borrow to cover all the costs associated with your tertiary studies and this money has to be repaid.
You qualify for a NSFAS loan if you are: * A South African citizen * Registered at a South African university or technikon * An undergraduate, studying for a first higher educational qualification, or * Studying for a second higher education qualification, if this is necessary to practise in your chosen profession (e.g. LLB or HDE) * Able to demonstrate potential for academic success * In need of financial assistance.
Ten things you need to know about NSFAS
NSFAS was established by the South African Government in 1996.
It was set up to ensure that students, who have the potential, but cannot afford to fund their own studies, will have access to funding for tertiary education.
It is funded by the government, international donors, and the private sector.
TEFSA, which was established in 1991, managed and administered the scheme until 2000 when TEFSA became NSFAS.
All of the financial assistance received by a successful applicant takes the form of a loan.
Up to 40% of loans can be converted into bursaries, depending on students' pass rates.
Loan repayments are recycled to help future generations of students.
The NSFAS Act of 1999 allows NSFAS to have employers deduct loan repayments from monthly salaries of those who have received assistance from the Scheme.
Loan repayments are based on individuals' earnings.
The interest charged on loans is subsidised and therefore considerably less than the commercial rate which is charged by banks.
Apply for your loan from the Financial Aid office at the university. They will advise you on how much money you are eligible for by providing you with NSFAS's maximum and minimum assistance figures.
NSFAS HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ACADEMICALLY DESERVING STUDENTS WHO ARE IN NEED OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO CONTINUE THEIR STUDIES!