The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is pleased to report that compared to the previous year at the same period we have received 50 000 more applications. However closer analysis shows that out of the 216 758 applications received since the opening of the 2020 application cycle on September 01, 2019, only 10% of the applicants chose TVET colleges as their preferred institution of study. This shows that as a country we have not yet positioned TVET education and the associated criticality of skills developments as an imperative choice for our national development ideals.
NSFAS reached the 216 758 applications mark only six weeks after the opening. Applications are open for Grade 9 to 12 learners and out of school youth who wish to further their student with the support of the government bursary scheme for the 2020 academic year. KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, and Limpopo remain on top of the provinces with most applications received whilst the Western and Northern Cape provinces are languishing behind. NSFAS has redoubled its efforts in these provinces and has secured the cooperation of the provincial governments. Over the past week NSFAS was invited to the Free State province by the premier and already significant progress had been noted.
Applications Statistics released by NSFAS indicates that majority of applicants are out of school youth who intend to further studies at public universities.
"NSFAS considers each application that we receive. When processing an application, we validate information with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and Department of Social Development (DSD) thereby getting a complete profile of an applicant and family. We take into consideration the total household family income, home affairs and social welfare status, higher education or admission status. Information about your school, and local municipality plays a crucial role in the 2020 application system", Dr Randall Carolissen, NSFAS Administrator.
Meeting academic requirements for tertiary studies is important, as students only become funded once registered at a public institution of higher learning for approved qualification. Applicants who are coming from working class families, whose total household income is below R350 000 per annum will be eligible to receive the government bursary. However, funding will only be confirmed or granted as soon as proof of admission is provided to NSFAS by the institution of higher learning. Applicant with special needs or disability will take top priority together with the beneficiaries of social grants.
"NSFAS has engaged with various provincial governments where there are low numbers of applications received. NSFAS will deploy agents to the various provinces beginning with Free State, and the Western Cape provinces in order to assist communities in these areas to apply for funding, this will be done through community outreach programmes. We are very thankful for the continued support received from the Premier of Free State, KwaZulu Natal, and Limpopo for organizing NSFAS outreach programmes within their provinces to support the 2020 Application cycle" added Dr Carolissen.
Issued by: National Student Financial Aid Scheme