The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has received more than 300 000 applications since the opening date for 2021 application cycle on 3 August 2020.
Briefing media on regulations relating to the COVID-19 level 1 restrictions on Wednesday, Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, said the department is anticipating a high volume of applications leading up to the closing date in November.
“The pattern we have been seeing with regards to applications received per province remains interesting, as it has been consistent for the past three consecutive years, where Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo lead with the highest applications submitted.
“We have also seen some major improvements and positive changes from Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, as well as North West.
“To date, NSFAS has received over 300 995 applications, this number is extremely overwhelming and encouraging,” Nzimande said.
In an effort to reach out to students who meet the requirements and who are in need of financial assistance but unable to access NSFAS funding due to lack of internet facilities or application resources in their areas, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) offices nationwide are open to the public.
“These offices have been fully operational since 14 September 2020. Over 15 Department of Basic Education (DBE) National Teacher Centres from various districts and provinces have been made available to be utilised by applicants during this application cycle. Applicants can access these facilities during school hours,” the Minister said.
Applications are opened for Grade 9 to12 learners and out-of-school youth who wish to further their studies at any public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college or university across the country.