Applications for the bursaries for 2019 through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) opened this week and applicants are streaming in.

Speaking to SA News, Higher Education and Training deputy minister Buti Manamela said as many as 45 000 people logged on to the NSFAS website in one day.

“They also received more than 10 000 calls yesterday and I think it shows that the information has gone out there. Interest has spiked and therefore it means that capacity has to be developed here in order for us to respond all of those things,” said Manamela.

The NSFAS application system relaunched this week with multiple improvements. The system has been improved to allow for faster decisions as regards funding and students are able to complete applications more easily regardless of where they are.

The deputy minister also took time to assure students that NSFAS is working hard to clear the backlog of payments.

“About two weeks ago when the administrator was appointed, it was up to [over] 60 000, and more than 23 000 of those have been resolved,” the Manamela told SA News.

“What is urgent is to ensure that we resolve the backlog of the students that have not been paid and the administrator has given me his assurances that he will not withdraw his troops on the ground until the last student has received their remittances and I think that also gives us hope,” concluded the deputy minister.

As a reminder, student in need of funding for 2019 can contact the NSFAS contact centre on 0860 067 327 or alternatively head to website and apply online.

[Image  – CC 0 Pixabay]