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NSFAS Bursary Closing Date Confirmed for 2024

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NSFAS Bursary Closing Date Confirmed for 2024

NSFAS Bursary Closing Date Confirmed for 2024.The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has opened its application window for 2024, providing an opportunity for eligible students to secure financial assistance. This article delves into the key details regarding the application process and highlights the closing date for submissions.Check Also :ZA Student portal

Application Period and Deadline

The 2024 application window for NSFAS officially commenced in November. Unlike previous years, the application period is notably shorter, demanding prompt action from prospective applicants. The closing date for NSFAS 2024 bursary applications is set for January 31, 2024.

Reason for Delayed Opening

The Minister of Higher Education, Training, and Innovation, Blade Nzimande, explained that NSFAS opened later than usual to allow the organization to obtain information from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) regarding tax returns. This step ensures that NSFAS can accurately assess the combined household income of applicants based on tax returns submitted to the tax authority.

Caution Against False Information

Applicants are strongly advised not to provide false information on their applications. Past instances have seen NSFAS revoking funding for students who were later discovered to have misrepresented their financial situations. This emphasizes the importance of honesty in the application process.

Changes to Streamline Application Process

During a recent briefing, Minister Nzimande highlighted various changes aimed at improving the application process and the implementation of the bursary scheme. These changes will result in a reduction in the number of documents applicants need to submit compared to previous years.

Submission of Matric Results

Applicants are encouraged to submit their NSFAS applications without waiting for their matric results. This proactive approach ensures that the application process is not delayed, allowing for timely consideration.

Transition to Fully Subsidized Funding

Since 2018, NSFAS has undergone significant changes, transitioning from a student loan scheme to a fully subsidized funding model. This means that the financial assistance provided by NSFAS is now a bursary and does not need to be repaid.

Alignment of Funding Calendar

Efforts are underway to align the Post School Education and Training (PSET) calendar with the government funding calendar. This alignment aims to ensure that NSFAS has reserved funds in advance of institutions reopening, allowing for timely financial support for qualifying students.

Enhanced Application Channels

In a bid to enhance accessibility, NSFAS has introduced additional application channels, including a mobile app, USSD, and WhatsApp. These platforms not only facilitate the application process but also allow applicants to track and cancel their submissions.

Future Impact of the Bursary Scheme

Minister Nzimande believes that the NSFAS bursary scheme will have a lasting impact for decades, contributing to breaking the cycle of poverty in families across the country.

Funding Concerns

However, there are apprehensions this year regarding potential funding challenges. With the government aiming to cut back on spending across departments, there are concerns that there may not be sufficient funds to accommodate all deserving NSFAS applicants.

Conclusion

prospective applicants are urged to act promptly and submit their NSFAS applications before the closing date to ensure they are considered for financial assistance in the 2024 academic year

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NSFAS News

How NSFAS Allowances Paid To Students

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How NSFAS Allowances Paid To Students

How NSFAS Allowances Paid To Students. More than one million students in South Africa benefit from comprehensive bursaries provided by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Despite this support, student unions, particularly the South African Students Congress (SASCO), have expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the current funding system and have called for improvements.

Check Also: ZA Student Portal

Challenges Faced by Students

In 2023, NSFAS funded over a million students enrolled in approved courses at universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. However, the scheme faced challenges in effectively assisting the poor and working-class students due to several issues. These challenges were partly attributed to the implementation of a direct allowance payment system, which led to irregularities and necessitated “consequence management.”

Controversy Over Allowance Distribution

The direct payment system, introduced in 2022, involved four companies handling student allowance payments. However, an investigation revealed potential conflicts of interest, leading to the dismissal of NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo and termination of contracts with the service providers. Despite this, in 2024, NSFAS required students to register with these same companies for allowance distribution, drawing criticism from SASCO.

SASCO Criticisms and Demands

SASCO has accused the NSFAS Board of hypocrisy for reinstating allegedly irregular service providers. They argue that the current system exploits students, leading to delays, inefficiency, and unnecessary charges. SASCO calls for the implementation of recommendations from the Werksmans report, including terminating contracts with the companies.

Accommodation Crisis

SASCO also criticizes NSFAS for its indecisiveness in addressing the student accommodation crisis. While NSFAS launched an accommodation portal in 2022, SASCO argues that NSFAS has not taken practical steps to increase bed spaces in higher learning institutions and TVET Colleges. They demand immediate action to improve student living conditions.

Conclusion

The current NSFAS funding system faces criticism from student unions like SASCO, who call for more transparency, efficiency, and student-centered approaches. The ongoing controversies highlight the need for NSFAS to address these concerns promptly to ensure that students receive the support they need to succeed in their studies.

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