COVID-19 has truly ravaged the South African education system. The lasting effects of it are as yet an unknown, but regardless of when reflection happens, there is still a need to help those get the education they want. This is exacerbated by the cost of education in the country, which brings us to The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and its applications for funding in 2021.

Said applications officially opened on 3rd August, with the institution noting that it has already amassed more than 160 000 applications since then. That’s 160 536 to be more precise, with NSFAS administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen, noting that the scheme saw an average of between 5 000 and 6 000 applications during early August.

She adds that, “To date, over 188 733 applications have been submitted.”

Those numbers are likely set to increase significantly, with the closing date for 2021 funding approaching quickly on 30th November.

While acknowledging that the vast majority of applicants will regrettably not receive the funding they desire, the administrator has pointed to partnerships with local organisations to ensure that as wide a pool of applications can be received and reviewed by the scheme.

“NSFAS has strengthened its partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to further increase NSFAS footprint and reachability, specifically for learners in Grade 10 to 12. DBE will link NSFAS with provinces and district offices and provide database of National Teachers Centres which will assist with applications,” she explains.

“Applications are submitted online via myNSFAS portal. New applicants need a copy of their ID document or birth certificate to register and create a profile on the myNSFAS portal. Applicants with existing accounts need to log into their accounts, you’re only allowed to create one profile,” adds Carolissen.

For those learners still needing to apply, NSFAS has listed the supporting documents as follows:

  • Applicant’s ID document/card or birth certificate;
  • ID of parents/ guardian/ spouse (or death certificate where applicable);
  • Applicants proof of income (if applicable and should not be older than 3 months);
  • Parents/ guardian/ spouse pay advice/ letter of employment/ pension advice stating income (if applicable and should not be older than 3 months;
  • Vulnerable children must provide a completed and signed Vulnerable Child Declaration Form; and
  • Applicants with a disability must provide a Disability Annexure A Form (Downloadable on the website).

To access the myNSFAS portal, head here.