What Does My NSFAS Bursary Cover?

What Does My NSFAS Bursary Cover

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) plays a vital role in enabling access to higher education for students in South Africa who lack the financial means to pursue their studies.

The main objective of NSFAS is to assist South Africa in addressing crucial socioeconomic challenges outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP). Specifically, the plan emphasizes the importance of developing skills as a key factor in driving economic success and reducing the economic disparities stemming from historical inequalities.

Key essentials that are covered by an NSFAS bursary

Key essentials that are covered by an NSFAS bursary

The key essentials that are covered by an NSFAS bursary, empowering students with the necessary knowledge to make the most of this financial assistance include:

NSFAS Bursary Tuition Fees

NSFAS covers a significant portion, if not all, of a student’s tuition fees. This financial aid relieves the burden of paying for the educational costs directly, allowing students to focus on their studies without worrying about the financial aspect. It ensures that deserving students can access quality education irrespective of their financial background.

Every student who is granted approval for the NSFAS bursary will receive the full amount of funds mentioned earlier on an annual basis.

  • For university students, these combined expenses amount to R30,600 per year.
  • For TVET students an allowance of R10,250 per year is allocated based on the current pricing. 

NSFAS Bursary Accommodation Services

  • The cost of accommodation is often one of the major concerns for students pursuing higher education. NSFAS recognizes this and provides support by covering a portion of the accommodation expenses.
  •  This includes both on-campus and off-campus accommodation, making it more feasible for students to pursue their studies away from home. However, it’s important to note that the specific coverage amount may vary based on the individual circumstances of the student.
  • R15 000 a year living allowance is set for the accommodation.

NSFAS Bursary Transport Services

  • Students from campus are eligible for a yearly transport allowance of R7,350 to cover their transportation expenses.
  •  Additionally, there is an annual incidental or personal care allowance of R2,900 provided to assist students with various incidental and personal expenses.

NSFAS Bursary Meal Allowance

Adequate nutrition is crucial for students to maintain their health and focus on their studies. NSFAS recognizes this need and offers a meal allowance as part of the bursary. This allowance helps students meet their daily nutritional requirements and alleviates the financial strain of purchasing meals. Students can use this allowance to buy groceries or dine at campus canteens, ensuring they have access to wholesome meals during their academic journey.

NSFAS Bursary Study Materials

  • NSFAS understands the importance of having access to essential study materials, such as textbooks, stationery, and other educational resources
  • NSFAS supports students in their academic pursuits, NSFAS covers the costs of these materials. 
  • This ensures that students have the necessary tools to succeed in their courses without worrying about the financial implications of purchasing textbooks or other learning resources.

NSFAS Personal Care Allowance

To cater to the various personal needs of students, NSFAS provides a personal care allowance. This allowance can be used to cover expenses such as toiletries, clothing, and transportation costs

It acknowledges the additional expenses that students may incur throughout their academic journey and aims to ease the financial burden associated with these necessities.

NSFAS Bursary Allowance for Disabled Students

The NSFAS bursary recognizes the unique challenges faced by students with disabilities and strives to provide the necessary support to promote equal access to higher education. NSFAS aims to create an inclusive educational environment that empowers all disabled students to reach their full potential.


Specialized student accommodation is arranged to cater to the specific needs of students with disabilities. This ensures a safe and conducive living environment that promotes independence and accessibility.


 Students with disabilities may require additional transportation support to travel to and from their educational institution. NSFAS covers the necessary transport costs, allowing them to attend classes and participate in campus activities without any hindrances.


The bursary covers meal allowances for students with disabilities, ensuring they have access to adequate nutrition during their academic pursuits. This allowance helps alleviate any financial burden associated with meal expenses.

Book Allowances

Access to educational resources is vital for all students, including those with disabilities. NSFAS provides book allowances to cover the cost of textbooks and other learning materials, enabling these students to fully engage in their studies.

Incidental/Personal Care Allowance

  • Students with disabilities may incur additional expenses related to incidental needs and personal care. 
  • NSFAS acknowledges these requirements and provides an allowance to assist with expenses such as toiletries, clothing, and other personal care items.

Assistive Devices

Students with disabilities often require assistive devices to aid their mobility, communication, or learning. NSFAS covers the cost of essential assistive devices such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, adapted laptops, and other specialized equipment, ensuring that these students have the necessary tools to succeed academically.

Support Aids

 Some students with disabilities may require the assistance of carers or tutors to support their educational journey. NSFAS offers support by covering the costs associated with these professionals, ensuring that students receive the necessary support to fully engage in their studies.

NSFAS Bursary Allowance Eligibility 

To maintain eligibility for funding from NSFAS, there are specific requirements that students must meet. As of the current date, the following requirements must be fulfilled to remain funded:

Academic Compliance

Students must adhere to all the academic requirements established by their respective educational institutions. This entails complying with rules and regulations regarding course enrollment, progression, and completion.

 Attendance and Active Engagement

Active participation in the academic timetable is essential. Students are expected to attend lectures, tutorials, and academic support programs. By immersing themselves in the academic environment, they can maximize their learning potential and contribute to their educational growth.

Timely Completion of Assignments

Students must complete all assigned tasks and assignments within the specified deadlines set by their educational institution. This demonstrates a commitment to academic responsibilities and ensures the timely progression of their studies.

N+2 Rule for Continuation

  • For N+2 students, it is crucial to understand and abide by the N+ rule. This rule stipulates that students must pass at least 50% of their modules in order to remain eligible for NSFAS funding. Failure to meet this requirement may result in the loss of financial support.
  • It is important to note that for the 2023 academic year, NSFAS officials have indicated that, except for first-time higher education entrants, students are expected to pass 75% of their modules to continue receiving funding. This higher pass percentage underscores the significance of academic progress in maintaining eligibility.

Contact NSFAS Bursary 

The NSFAS bursary is designed to provide comprehensive financial support to students in need, enabling them to pursue their higher education dreams. 

  • For more information on the specifics of the NSFAS bursary and the application process, visit the official NSFAS website at [https://www.nsfas.org.za](https://www.nsfas.org.za). 
  • Stay informed and make the most of this invaluable support system to create a brighter future through education.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to NSFAS directly. You can contact them through the toll-free number 0800 0 06 3 27 or via email at [email protected]
  • Additionally, you can visit the NSFAS website and refer to the FAQ section for further information. If you prefer in-person assistance, you can visit your nearest Thusong Centre.

 For specific inquiries related to the SU NSFAS team, please email [email protected], ensuring to include your SU# and the policy clause number in the subject line. This will enable the team to address your query promptly and efficiently.

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