NSFAS Application for 2020 | Online Application For the NSFAS Bursary

The NSFAS bursary is the most popular way to fund studies in South Africa. NSFAS bursaries are given to disadvantaged South Africans so they can receive free higher education. Their vision is to help students with financial aid so they get access to higher education


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides loans and gives various NSFAS bursaries to students at all 25 of our public universities, as well as the 50 public FET (Further Education Training) colleges.

Instead of having to repay the monetary value as with loans, bursars who apply for a NSFAS bursary will enter into a contract to work in a specific sector in South Africa for a specified amount of time after their graduation.

NSFAS has been highly successful in helping to educate the youth; available funding has grown from R441 million in 1999 to a whopping R8.5 billion in 2013.

What Does The NSFAS Bursary Cover?

NSFAS Requirements for Online Application

The following basic requirements must be met in order to apply for any of the NSFAS bursaries; applicants must:

  • Be South African citizens
  • Comply with the entry requirements set by the universities of their choice / have proof of registration or acceptance to said university

Once successfully awarded the bursary, students must pass all courses and complete the qualification within the minimum time frame prescribed by the particular university to avoid the risk of having to repay the bursary amount.

In some cases, bursars may be required to report their particular NSFAS bursary exam results in order to continue to receive funding.

All applications will require certified copies of the following:

  • ID document
  • Grade 12 results
  • Parent/guardian’s ID and employment documents (salary slips/pensions slips if applicable/affidavit if unemployed)
  • Proof of university acceptance/registration

NSFAS Bursary Package

Unless otherwise stated, the bursary fund will allow for a portion of, if not all of, the following study-related costs:

  • Tuition
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Travel
  • Prescribed books/study material

The amounts prescribed for the above-mentioned costs will be dependent on the outcome of the NSFAS Means Test. This test assesses to what extent the student’s family can contribute – mainly through determining the gross annual family income. Students can qualify for varying amounts up to the maximum of R60 000 per year.

1. Funza Lushaka Bursary

The Funza Lushaka bursary is a teaching bursary, for individuals who wish to study to become teachers. Read our detailed article for more information and access to the NSFAS online application.

2. Social Work Scholarship

This bursary is available to students who are currently studying Social Work as well as prospective students who wish to enroll and work towards a Social Work degree. The bursaries are conducted through the Department of Social Development.

The bursary package will also cover funds needed for practicals.

How to Apply

Applications can be found on the DSD website from 1 September every year (or visit your regional Department of Social Development office). This particular NSFAS closing date is 31 October.

Contact Details
Ms Vuyelwa Mngadi; tel: (012) 312 7294 / email: VuyelwaM@dsd.gov.za

Ms Kefiloe Bosman; tel: (012) 312 7223 / email: Kefiloeb@dsd.gov.za

3. Scarce Skills Bursary

This bursary is funded by the National Skills Fund (NSF) with the purpose of supporting the development of scarce skills in South Africa. Scarce skills include fields such as Engineering, Science, Commerce, IT and Medical. The full list of skills/occupations can be found on the Department of Higher Education document, from page 14.

In addition to the basics, this bursary also includes a maximum of R150 for Internet access (paid directly to the university) and an R3 300 cash allowance (paid directly to the bursar’s bank account) for books, study equipment and other expenses as needed.

Those who wish to apply for Engineering, Geology or Science degrees must have achieved a minimum of level 6 for Mathematics and Science. Those who wish to apply for Accounting degrees must have achieved a minimum of level 6 for Mathematics.Mathematics Literacy will not be accepted.

How to Apply
The NSFAS Bursary application form for this particular bursary can be found on the Career Wise website and the closing date is 30 May.

Contact Details
Email: nsfburs@careerwise.co.za / info@careerwise.co.za

Tel: 0861 007 787

4. NSFAS Bursary for National Certificate (Vocational) and Certain Report 191 Courses at FET Colleges

Vocational and Further Education and Training (FET) courses are those that offer education and training for students who plan to work towards a specific range of jobs or employment possibilities. In some cases, students may qualify for admission to the University of Technology in order to continue their studies at a higher level. In order to qualify for this bursary, candidates must demonstrate that their potential for academic success with a minimum overall average of 50%.

How to Apply
Visit the NSFAS website or simply visit your nearest FET college to apply. Applications open in October and September each year. For more information have a look HERE.

Contact Details
Tel: 0800 87 22 22

5. Bursary for Students with Disabilities

This bursary program, conducted through the Department of Higher Education and Training, is applicable to disabled students who wish to study in all fields, as long as they are accredited higher and further education and training programs. Candidates must also be academically able and financially needy (as determined by the NSFAS Means Test or at the discretion of the Disability Support Unit).

In terms of defining a disability, it is regarded as a long-term impairment (has lasted or is likely to persist for at least 12 months) that is recurring and substantially limiting. For this program, chronic diseases are also included as a disability; these include HIV/AIDS, diabetes, asthma, cancer and tuberculosis (TB).

The NSFAS bursary also covers the costs of an assistive device or human support that the student needs in order to improve their quality of life.

NSFAS Contact Details

For any further queries either visit the NSFAS Student Bursaries page. Or, call 0860 067 327 or email info@nsfas.org.za.

NSFAS bursary

13 thoughts on “NSFAS Application for 2020 | Online Application For the NSFAS Bursary”

  1. I would just like to know would we receive a latest copy of 2015 Guidelines for students with Disabilities?
    Or would we still have to use the 2013 Guidelines ,regarding students with Disabilities.

    Thank You


  2. I did try and apply for funza lushaka and i did put my id and student number but it is telling me about username and password so im confused because i don’t know username and password

  3. I failed my matric 2012 so now am upgrading 4subjects and I have many chances of passing wit a bachelor. is it possible for me to get a funza lushaka bursary cause I want to do teaching.

  4. I am in need with finance for next year i have already applied for teaching. It would be gratefully if you could help me please. Thank you

  5. I am currently enrolling at tut with nsfas, should i have to re-apply for the next academic year? N is it compulsory to submit the supportin documens again?

  6. I am a 2017 learner and have financial problems in terms of funding my tertiary education.I therefore humbly ask your consideration as you deliver funds to other students like me. Your consideration will be highly appreciated.

  7. my matric results and my college results are so bad so I want to know what should I do to qualify for a bursary because I want to study advertising ?

  8. i am a Swazi citizen who graduated in 2014 with a Degree in Bachelor of Science, my wish is to further my studies. which bursaries can you. recommend that help Swazis too. thank you

  9. Is it possible to apply for nsfas tomorrow on a closing date? it’s just that the other scanned copy of mine isn’t clear

  10. My name is Goitsemang residing in Alberton Johannesburg area,i would like teaching diploma but i dont know if i will qualify because im 49 years old nd ive been working as a security officer but now i want to pursue my career in teaching as it was my prior dream but because of my financial background i was unable but still it hurts me a lot ….. I still want to become a teacher old or what

    • Always follow your dreams! First see if you can be admitted to a study and then ask advice if you can get any related bursaries. This website is only a medium, we can not change any outcome.

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