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NSFAS rejects 2,000 appeals

Date Released: Thu, 20 April 2017 10:22 +0200

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has rejected the appeals of more than 2,000 students against their unsuccessful applications for study funding in the 2017 academic year.

The scheme initially rejected the funding applications of more than 9,000 prospective students, of whom 5,615 lodged appeals.

The scheme started the appeals process in February after the applications were rejected because they did not meet funding criteria.

The scheme's credit committee has approved funding for nearly 700 students who appealed against their unsuccessful applications.

This leaves 2,693 appeals that still have to be dealt with.

NSFAS spokesman Kagisho Mamabolo said on Wednesday the scheme would inform all applicants of the outcome of their applications.

"The NSFAS credit committee has endorsed and approved funding for 668 students who have appealed and [we] have declined a total of 2,254 students thus far," Mamabolo said.

"The monetary value of the funding, which will be allocated to the 668 students, is estimated at R30m," Mamabolo said. He said the scheme would be able to confirm the adequacy of this allocation only after funding had been approved for additional students, "but currently, the amount does suffice".

A total R15.6bn was earmarked for the scheme for the current financial year with which the scheme expects to fund 405,000 students.

Funding per student is capped at R76,000, which includes accommodation, tuition, meals (if catered for), books and devices required for specific modules.

Mamabolo said the highest number of appeals were received from University of Johannesburg students.

The total number of students approved for funding is just more than 399,000, which includes new and returning students at colleges and universities. Overall, funding applications of 65,829 prospective students from 2016 and 2017 were unsuccessful.

Funding was prioritised for first-year students.

Returning students received funding if they were part of the scheme in 2016, satisfied the 50% module-pass requirement for the 2016 academic year and signed their loan agreement forms.

The University of SA, Tshwane University of Technology, the University of Johannesburg, the University of KwaZuluNatal, Walter Sisulu University and the University of Limpopo were among the universities whose students were awarded the most NSFAS funds.

Source:Business Day