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The Nsfas Is Accepting Applications for Missing Middle Loans



The NSFAS is accepting applications for missing middle loans

The Nsfas Is Accepting Applications for Missing Middle Loans. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is now accepting applications for student loans aimed at the “missing middle” category. This group, with an annual income between R350,000 and R600,000, can apply during the 2024 NSFAS application period.

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Funding Structure and Criteria

The Comprehensive Student Funding Model, initiated by Higher Minister Blade Nzimande, allocates R3.8 billion for the loan scheme in 2024. Of this, R1.5 billion is from the National Skills Fund, and R2.3 billion is from Sector Education and Training Authorities. This financial backing is expected to support around 47% of missing middle students.

Eligibility criteria are being formulated, primarily focusing on family income and program enrollment. The loans, unlike NSFAS bursaries, cater to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, with a 70% emphasis on STEM programs and 30% on Humanities and social science programs.

Application Process and Deadline

The current application period runs until January 31, 2024. Students are encouraged to apply through the myNSFAS portal. Rejected NSFAS bursary applicants will be automatically re-assessed for eligibility under the missing middle loan scheme.

Transition from NSFAS Bursaries to Loans

Before 2018, NSFAS primarily operated as a loan scheme. Nzimande acknowledges a debt of over R40 billion from previous students. The government actively pursues debt recoveries, having successfully collected over R110 million in the current fiscal year. Efforts are ongoing to enhance the collection process and ensure sustainability.

Collaboration with SIU for Debt Recovery

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is working in tandem with NSFAS to engage former beneficiaries and institutions in recovering outstanding debts. Acknowledgements of debt totaling over R4 million from individuals and R38 million from higher education institutions have been secured. Additionally, R58 million from institutions is in the process of being returned.


The NSFAS missing middle loan scheme represents a crucial initiative to support students falling within a financial gap. With substantial government funding and a focus on diverse academic programs, the scheme aims to bridge financial barriers and promote educational inclusivity. Students are urged to take advantage of the application period, contributing to the sustainability of the loan scheme and the broader goal of accessible higher education.

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How NSFAS Allowances Paid To Students



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.

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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.


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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