National Student Financial Aid Scheme
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a government funded organisation, providing financial aid to students studying for a tertiary qualification.
To be eligible, students must:-
- Be South African citizens;
- Be studying for a first qualification;
- Be financially needy;
- Demonstrate the potential to succeed academically.
To calculate the value of the loan to which a student is entitled, the NSFAS Means Test is used. Students with a gross annual family income in excess of R180 000 will seldom be eligible for funding.
Limited funds are available so applicants will not necessarily be granted funding from NSFAS. It is important, therefore that applications are submitted as early as possible.
If a student passes all subjects in the year that funding is obtained from NSFAS, 40% of the value of the NSFAS loan is converted into a bursary and is credited to the student's NSFAS accounting during the course of the following year.
The student will be asked to start repaying the loan once employed and earning a salary in excess of R26 300 per year. Repayments will be based on the individual's earnings.
For 2009, the interest on the loan is 7.6%. This amount is reviewed annually.