International students pay tuition in euros or US dollars

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) board and the South African Union of Students (SAUS) announced in a joint statement on Thursday that the application deadline has been extended till Feb. 15.

NSFAS board led by Acting Board Chairperson Professor Laurens Van Staden and the SAUS Executive President Yandisa Ndzoyiya held a meeting to discuss the beginning of the academic year, where the extension decision was taken.

Furthermore, the meeting also decided that the NSFAS Loan Scheme will be available from Feb. 2 to Feb. 15.

The new Comprehensive Student Funding Model will support those students who are not under the NSFAS bursary and funding policy. This category includes students whose family income is more than R350,000 but not more than R600,000 per year.

As per the statement, SAUS and NSFAS noted that those students who have already submitted their application for the NSFAS bursary scheme do not need to submit a new application for the student loan scheme.

"All students who did not meet the bursary scheme eligibility criteria, however, meet the loan scheme eligibility criteria, will be automatically offered a loan for their consideration," the statement mentioned, SA News reported.

The applicants can apply for this scheme online by filling out the form on Students need to create their profile before applying and then submit their application.

The application will be approved if the student qualifies the following: annual household income is between R350 000 to R600,000, TVET and university (public) students, undergraduate or postgraduate, got at least 70% in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, 30% Social Sciences programs and willing to sign the loan agreement.

NSFAS board's acting chairperson noted that all the information will be verified including the income level of the student's parents, guardians or spouses. "It is mandatory for applicants to download and upload a completed Consent form on the NSFAS website, portal, or mobile app," Van Staden said.

So far, NSFAS received 1,745,226 applications out of which 940,682 are provisionally funded while 269,915 are awaiting evaluations. Whereas, 48,643 applications have been withdrawn by the students and 232,559 are still in progress.

However, there are 136,531 applications on the not-started status as the students have created their profiles but have not submitted them yet.

"NSFAS has rejected 102,201 applications; 1,093 appeals have been lodged so far," Van Staden said. "NSFAS will upon making the funding decisions commence with the appeals process to ensure that appeals decisions are communicated to students and the institutions on time."