The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has tested its online application system and says it has been improved from the system seen in 2017/2018.

The aim of improvements was to shorten the time it takes for users to apply for funding.

“This is an effort to showcase the improved efficient process. The aim and focus was to make the online application system simpler for applicants, with the process shorter and reactive, providing feedback to the applicants within a week,” explained the organisation.

NSFAS says that it tested the improved system in Cape Town at the weekend where eight Grade 12 learners applied for funding online.

This is a rather small sample of students considering the vast number of applicants that require funding in South Africa.

Despite this, administrator at NSFAS, Dr Randall Carolissen is confident that the system is ready for applications.

“With this successful testing I can tell the nation confidently that NSFAS is ready for the 2019 application cycle, but it is important to note that our readiness will be determined by how smooth the process runs in terms of giving funding decisions timeously,” says Carolissen.

Backlog being addressed

While NSFAS has opened applications for funding for 2019, the organisation is still coping with payments from 2017/2018 that have yet to be paid out.

“NSFAS has deployed teams led by senior management to universities and TVET colleges across the country to finalise the closeout of 2017/18 student funding decisions and disbursements, in order to prepare for the smooth opening of the 2019 application cycle,” said Carolissen.

The organisation added that these back payments will be dealt with speedily.

Students that require funding for 2019 are urged to contact NSFAS on 0860 067 327, reach out to the firm on social media (Twitter, Facebook) or simply head to the website for more information.

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