JOHANNESBURG: The NSFAS payment crisis has been resolved after Minister Naledi Pandor appointed an administrator following the dissolution of the scheme board.
National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo says this time around the student funding body will only take a month to respond to students, and all applicants will be required to sign a consent form in order to allow NSFAS to go through a vetting process to check their documents.
Speaking to a Johannesburg-based talk radio, Mamabolo said NSFAS is quite relieved because over R2bn has been paid to institutions of higher education since Friday, allowing students to sign agreement contracts.
“Every application is treated differently, each student is evaluated from the day they submit their application.
“Our turn-around time is four weeks from the time of applying to the day you receive a message informing an applicant of their eligibility of receiving funding. During the four weeks, an applicant might need to have confirmed an offer at a university.
“There were lots and lots of unsigned agreements, which were generated by NSFAS. University student leaders were instrumental in mobilizing students to come and sign for financial aid. Those who have not received their monies must come and sign, money can’t be paid without them signing,” says Mamabolo.
Here are seven things you should know about the new NSFAS application process.
1. How do I apply for NSFAS?
You can apply online on our website www.nsfas.org.za.
2. How long does it take to fill the application form?
The new application process takes only 5 minutes to complete.
3. Apart from online, where else can students submit their forms?
From September 17, 2018, applicants can also submit their paper applications at the nearest NYDA offices across the country, where they will be assisted by an NSFAS official to capture the application. Public Universities and TVET Colleges will also be capacitated to assist with both online and paper application forms at the Financial Aid Office.
4. What are the required documents to apply for funding?
The new application process requires only a copy of the Identification Document (ID) for the applicant and parents, a payslip (of both parents) if parents earn an income, and a consent form to give the Scheme permission to verify income. Those whose parents are not working are only required to submit a signed consent form.
5. For continuing students, what is the process?
Continuing students who are funded by NSFAS this year will be contacted by NSFAS to sign their agreements online if they have not done so already. They are not required to reapply as funding will automatically continue in 2019 if they meet the progression rule of 50% pass.
6. Who is eligible for NSFAS funding?
Students whose combined family income is below R350 000.
7. When does the application process close?
Applications will close on 30 November 2018.