How to Apply for Financial Assistance from NSFAS 2020

nsfas online appllication

If you’re in need of financial assistance to study at a tertiary institution in South Africa, you might want to consider applying for Nsfas.

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was set up by the South African Government to provide students with financial assistance to cover the cost for registration and tuition and provide allowances for books, food, transport, and accommodation.

Many students face challenges in the application process and that’s why I have written this guide to answer any question regarding the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

The 2019 application is over and we’re looking forward to the 2020 application official date and deadline.

Here is a detailed guide on how to apply, how to check application status, how change contact details, requirements to apply and many others.

Who qualifies for Nsfas?

Here are the requirements to apply for Nsfas.

You may qualify for the NSFAS bursary at the Financial Aid Office / Student Support Services on campus if;

  • you’re registering for the first time for an undergraduate qualification and have been admitted.
  • you’re a South African citizen.
  • your combined annual household income does not exceed R350,000 per annum.

Who does not qualify?

  • Students with a combined annual household income of more than R350,000 per annum.
  • Students who have already applied for and qualify for NSFAS funding for the previous academic year (students who have previously received NSFAS funding and who qualify for NSFAS funding for the previous academic year will receive a bursary).
  • Foreign students (any student who is not a South African citizen).
nfsas quick facts
nsfas quick facts

Nsfas online application

Many students ask this question. How do I apply for Nsfas online?

Applying for Nsfas online involves a simple process. But before you apply, you need to prepare the following supporting documents for your application which should not be older than 3 months:

  • Your South African identity document/card or birth certificate
  • ID of parent/s and/or guardian/s (or death certificate where applicable)
  • Pay advice/letter of employment/pension advice stating income (not older than 3 months) (SASSA slips are not required and SASSA should not be included as household income)
  • Download the consent form from and fill it in with your parent/s or guardian/s signatures.
  • If you have a disability, download the Disability Annexure A from and fill it in.

How to apply for Nsfas online

Before you apply, you’ll need to create an account.

How to create an NSFAS profile:

  1. Go to nsfas website
  2. Click on MyNSFAS Account
  3. Register and create a profile.

After successfully creating your account, click on “apply” and follow a quick and easy online application process.

You can also visit your nearest NYDA Centre in your region, where you will be assisted to complete and submit a manual application.

You need to have certified copies of supporting documents ready before you start the application process.

Once you have applied to Nsfas, you should wait no longer than a week to have your application acknowledged.

If you do not receive acknowledgment of your application, you are requested to call the Toll Free Nsfas call centre (08000 673 27).

Note that your application will NOT be considered if;

  • you have already applied (for the current year) on the site and have an application reference number.
    you already have Nsfas funding for the previous year.
  • you already have an undergraduate degree/diploma or postgraduate degree, with the following exceptions:
    • BTech – Architecture / Architectural Technology
    • BTech – Engineering (all disciplines), Cartography, Forestry
    • BTech – Biokinetics, Biomedical Technology, Biotechnology
    • BTech – Chiropractic, Homoeopathy, all Nursing
    • BTech – Clinical or Dental Technology, Emergency Medical Care
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Education
    • Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting
    • LLB.

How do I change my Nsfas contact details?

how to update your nsfas cantact detailsWhen it comes to NSFAS bursary application, SMS’s are the main way in which NSFAS communicates with students, so make sure that your contact information is correct and up-to-date.

It is also important to make sure that the cell phone number connected to your account is one that you have regular access to so that you never miss any updates or information from NSFAS.

How to update your NSFAS account details:

  1. Login to
  2. Enter your username and password (on the ‘already registered’ tab)
    Click ‘sign in
  3. Select ‘My Personal Details’ and delete incorrect cell phone number and replace it with correct one (the same can be done with other incorrect information)
  4. Click ‘update details
  5. A one-time pin (OTP) will be sent to the new cell phone number
  6. You will be asked to enter and submit the OTP on the NSFAS website once it has been sent to you
  7. Once this is done, your details are updated.

The manual process of changing contact details is still available. This involves emailing a certified copy of an ID book or smart card, along with an affidavit stating that the cell phone number has been changed (the old and new number must be noted), to the following email address:

How to check myNSFAS Status

How do you check your Nsfas status?

If you’ve been waiting anxiously to find if you have been accepted into the scheme, here’s a simple guide on how to check your National Student Financial Aid Scheme application status.

When you apply for study funding at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), you can usually expect a response a few days after the application closing date.

However, if you still haven’t heard back from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, it might be time to take things into your own hands.

It’s not a difficult process, but to make things even easier, we’ve provided you with the below link which you can click to access.

Step 1:

If you would like to check the status of your NSFAS application, please visit the NSFAS website. Click on MyNSFAS account and login with your ID and the password you created during your application.

Step 2:

Click on MyNSFAS account and login with your ID and the password you created during your application.

If the status of your application is “Provisionally Funded”, please contact Unisa’s Division: Student Funding (DSF). Contact NSFAS for all other outcomes, as NSFAS is responsible for the application process.

Nsfas SBUX

sBux is a new cellphone payment system developed by Celbux which NSFAS uses to pay allowances to students who qualify for an FSFAS bursary.

sBux issues NSFAS allowances (in the form of cellphone vouchers) to students on their cell phones for the payment of food, accommodation, books, and travel.

These vouchers can ONLY be used at sBux registered merchants.

How to activate your sBux account

Do you want to activate your sBux account? Here are the steps on how to activate sBux:

You can simply follow these steps:

  • Receive SMS to welcome you to sBux
  • Dial *134*176#
  • Enter your ID number
  • You are now verified on sBux
  • Await SMS from NSFAS with your password
  • You will receive an SMS within 3 working days to inform you that the funds are available depending on what you qualified for.

How do I check my Nsfas SBUX balance?

To check your sBux Nsfas balance,

  1. Dial *134*176# (for free!) and it will ask you for your ID number.
  2. Enter ID number and wait 5 minutes.
  3. You will receive an SMS with your sBux password.
  4. After receiving your password you will receive your allowance within 48 working hours.
  5. You will later receive an SMS from NSFAS once the allowance is available in your account.
  6. After your received SMS confirming your allowance, dial *134*176# and enter your
  7. You will see a cash balance on top. This is your wallet. You will now need to create a cash voucher.
  8. Dial *134*176# and enter your PASSWORD and select SEND
  9. Select Option 1 to create a cash voucher and then SEND
  10. Enter AMOUNT and SEND.

sbux password reset

Nsfas sBux allowances are transferred to your cellphone. So it is important not to share your device and sBux password with any person.

Remember to memorize the password then delete it from your phone! Keep your password secure at all times. Anyone who knows your password will be able to access your account.

If your phone is lost, call the National Student Financial Aid Scheme to change your password immediately to prevent any fraudulent activity in your account.

How to pay using sbux vouchers

Nsfas sbux vouchers

  • Dial *134*176#
  • Enter password
  • Choose Option 4 (pay)
  • Enter Merchant Code
  • Enter Amount
  • Press 1 to confirm.

You can withdraw cash at Shoprite, Checkers, Boxer, USAVE or selected Spar stores.
Advise the cashier that you would like to withdraw cash (maximum allowed is R1000 per pay at Shoprite, Checkers).


Here are frequently asked questions about the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

How will this be paid?

All funded students will receive their allowances through their bank accounts, directly from academic institutions (universities and TVET colleges).

The scheme urges academic institutions and student organisations to encourage and assist funded students to open bank accounts with accredited financial institutions of their choice.

How do I repay the student loan?

NSFAS student loans are income-contingent, which means that repayment commences when you start working.

NSFAS will send you statements to help you keep track of how much you owe.

It is your legal responsibility to keep in touch with NSFAS and to inform us of any change of address and contact details.

What about students who drop out during their studies?

Students who drop out are still required to repay their loan when they start earning R30 000 or more a year.

Do you have to apply every year for Nsfas?

Full time registered students who meet the entry requirements for the scheme just have to complete and submit NSFAS applications forms at their university’s financial aid offices.

The only catch is that funding isn’t automatically renewed, so students need to make sure to reapply every year.

Do returning students apply for Nsfas?

Continuing students who are funded by NSFAS this year will be contacted by the scheme to sign their agreements online‚ if they have not done so already.

They are not required to reapply‚ as funding will automatically continue‚ if they meet the progression rule of a 50% pass.


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