NSFAS bursary: here are many expenses associated with higher education besides tuition. For example students may need to purchase specific learning materials, while others may require accommodation during their period of study. NSFAS aims to cover any extra costs through its student allowance system.
What Is A Student Allowance?
Students who qualify for a government bursary will be eligible to receive funding for study-related expenses, this is known as a student allowance.
NSFAS beneficiaries are provided with a student allowance on a monthly basis. These allowances are paid in cash, either directly to the student via NSFAS Wallet or via the institution to the student.
Allowances are subject to annual increases determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Students are funded according to their specific university needs and expenses.
NSFAS will typically start paying allowances to qualifying students at the end of January when academic activities resume.
What Type Of Allowances Does NSFAS Provide?
According to the NSFAS website the following allowances are included in the bursary: How much does NSFAS give students per month.
Students living at home will now receive a living allowance, and the transport allowance has been reduced to R7 500. Students in non-accredited accommodation will no longer receive an accommodation allowance.
The new NSFAS allocations for 2020 are set out in the table below:
|Accommodation Type||Allowance type|
|Learning materials*||Living allowances**||Accommodation**||Transport**|
|University-managed with catering||R5 200||R15 000 (loaded on the meal card) and R2 900 for incidentals***||According to University prices|
|University-managed self-catering||R5 200||R15 000||According to University prices|
|Living off-campus with family or non-accredited accommodation (own arrangements)||R5 200||R15 000||R7 500|
|Accredited private accommodation off-campus||R5 200||R15 000||Up to R53 000 (with lease agreement)|
* The learning materials allowance is paid once-off.
** Living allowances, accommodation, and transport allowances will be paid out in monthly installments from February to November.
*** With the exception of students living in University-managed accommodation with catering, the NSFAS living allowances for all other categories of a student include the provision for incidentals
What Has Changed In The NSFAS Allowance System?
NSFAS now incorporates a personal care allowance in its bursary scheme in order to cover the toiletry and sanitary needs of students.
Students should also note that NSFAS no longer provides book vouchers. Instead, students are paid a cash allowance to purchase relevant learning materials.
Are Student Allowances Monitored?
NSFAS has no mechanism to monitor students spending of cash allowances. NSFAS believes that students should be treated as adults and have the financial freedom to withdraw the cash voucher and make an informed decision on how to best utilize the funds.
Students need to spend their allowance responsibly and use this opportunity to learn how to manage their money.