At the beginning of the month, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) confirmed that applications for the 2021 academic year would be extended until 30th November.

Now the student-focused organisation has confirmed that it recently did an audit of the learners currently receiving funding, and a few changes have been made.

The major one is that 5 000 students will no longer receive funding for the 2020 academic year.

According to NSFAS, this is because their household family income was above the R350 000 threshold required for the programme.

“NSFAS has issued communique to all affected students to notify them of their funding status and the process that they should follow,” it added in a statement earlier today.

Those defunded students do have 14 days to appeal the process, however, from the date it was issued. This will require students to re-submit proof of their household family income.

Given the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on many families’ ability to earn money, we suspect that there will be quite a few petitions launched following the recent defunding.

It should also be noted that a successful appeal is not solely contingent upon providing the accurate statement of income, with NSFAS stating that it, “reserves the right to make the correct funding decisions based on its financial eligibility verification processes.”

With the organisation receiving a record number of 543 268 first-time funding applications, 430 000 of which were successful, funding will prove more important than ever given the current constraints placed on learners in the lockdown-era.

Here’s hoping those that need the funding, get it.

Those interested in submitting their documents for petitioning a defunding can send them to IncomeReview[at]nsfas[dot]org[dot]za.

[Image – Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash]