The National Student Financial Aid Scheme saw a 25% jump in funding applications for 2021. Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says this shows an increasing demand for access to higher education and training opportunities.
The demand for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has grown by 25% in 2021, Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande said on Monday.
Speaking during a briefing on the latest developments in the post-school education sector, Nzimande said NSFAS had received more than 750,000 applications for the 2021 academic year, an increase of approximately 185,000 applications from 2020.
This, Nzimande said, showed "a high level of demand for funding support and access to higher education and training opportunities".
NSFAS is still evaluating applications, and funding decisions should be completed by mid-February, ahead of the 2021 academic year due to start between March and mid-April.
To help verify students' eligibility for funding, NSFAS had entered into a partnership with the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
"This partnership with SARS is meant to accurately assess declared household income from SARS and compare with information that students are using to apply for NSFAS bursaries, as a further control to ensure that only deserving...