NSFAS Eligibility Criteria

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in South Africa provides financial assistance to qualifying students for their tertiary education. To be eligible, both applicants and recipients must meet specific criteria.

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NSFAS Eligibility Criteria

Here are the eligibility criteria for NSFAS funding:

Financial Criteria

  • Household Income: Your combined household income must not be more than R350,000 per year. This includes the income of your parents, your spouse (if married), and any other dependents living in your household.
  • SASSA Grant Recipients: If you or someone in your household is a recipient of an SASSA grant, you are automatically eligible for NSFAS funding.
  • Students who started studying before 2018: If you started studying before 2018, your household income must not be more than R122,000 per year.

Citizenship and Residency Criteria

You must be a South African citizen or permanent resident with a valid South African ID number.

Registration Criteria

You must be registered to study for an approved NSFAS-funded qualification at a public university or TVET college.

Academic Criteria

You must meet the academic requirements of the institution you are attending. This typically means that you must have passed your matriculation exams with a minimum aggregate of 40%.

Additional Criteria

  • You must not have already obtained a qualification at the same level as the qualification you are applying for.
  • You must not receive another bursary or scholarship that covers the full cost of your studies.

Applicant Eligibility

  • Citizenship: South African citizens and permanent residents with valid ID numbers.
  • Registration: Formally registered for an approved NSFAS-funded qualification at a public university or TVET college.
  • Household Income:
    • For students who started studying before 2018: Combined household income not exceeding R122,000 per annum.
    • For all other applicants: Combined household income not exceeding R350,000 per annum.
    • SASSA grant recipients are automatically considered eligible regardless of income.
  • Academic Performance: Meet the minimum academic requirements of the chosen institution.
  • Disability Grant Recipients: Students receiving a disability grant from SASSA are eligible regardless of household income.
  • Financial Need: Demonstrated financial need based on a means test.

If you meet all of the above criteria, you may be eligible for NSFAS funding. However, it is important to note that meeting the criteria does not guarantee that you will be funded. NSFAS has a limited budget and there are more applicants than funding available.


These are general guidelines, and specific requirements might vary depending on your circumstances and the institution you are applying to.

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