Written by Ruby Butz
Most students in South Africa do not know much about financial aid and do not consider receiving it unless they are told about it by an academic advisor. It is partially due to the lack of knowledge and proper management of available governmental resources for educational purposes. While there are usual scholarships that focus on academic merits and financial needs, the most popular is the South African bursary option which provides full governmental financial help and various types of accommodation.
NSFAS Allowance in 2023
You are also getting the possibility of becoming a private resident as you study. It is made possible by the NSFAS allowance. It stands for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and remains one of the most secure and guaranteed ways to receive financial aid if you are a South African citizen. In such a case, you will receive R25,200 monthly payments, which will be done annually. If you consider hostel accommodation for your studies in South Africa, it will be R33,000 per year. Now, if you reside in an urban area, the NSFAS allowance in 2023 will be R24,000 per year. Staying in the rural areas of the country will be much less as you receive R15,750 for your accommodation necessities.
How Do The South African Students Receive Financial Aid in 2023
Going Beyond the NSFAS
Without a doubt, not everyone may meet the required criteria, since the rules are constantly updated by the NSFAS team as it evaluates whether a student has a financial need. There are also funding alternatives that are related to governmental structures that offer financial assistance. The Department of Engineering Studies (as an example) offers financial aid for students who want to pursue a career in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering. Both degrees are quite popular among South African students.
Medical and Law learners can also apply for the Sector Education and Training (SETA) bursaries financial aid. It is most likely to include personal statement writing and the basic exam that will be related to your field of future or current studies. In case this sounds too challenging, you may consider approaching a trained expert with a typical type my paper for me request or ask for help with proofreading. In the majority of cases, getting a bit more help won’t hurt because you will also ensure that you understand the eligibility requirements!
Scholarships Are Always Available
The good news is that there are many South African scholarships and private grants that should not be ignored, especially if you are looking for financial aid to fund your academic project or sponsor the purchase of books or gain access to independent lab facilities. There are many options that are aimed at future students, like the famous Nelson Mandela Scholarship.
Students From Working-Class Families
There is also the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid program that is aimed at students from poor and working-class families. This type of support will require an interview and the presence of your South African residence in the poorer parts of the country. ISFAP is a great alternative to the other types of funding available in South Africa since they offer many types of help from the eligibility interview to the application process and financing.
University Funding As an Option
The chances are high that your university also offers some type of financial aid that you can receive because of your academic merits or learning challenges. It is one of the common cases among South African students who failed to receive NSFAS funding because of various reasons or had no success with the governmental help methods.
According to the legislation, you have a right to ask your academic advisor or the bursary officer for the list of rules and eligibility criteria regarding the types of help that is on offer. If you have participated in research or group projects, it should be mentioned as well as a way to increase chances of getting financial aid. You have to discuss your past efforts and mention them to the admission committee to ensure that you provide complete information.
Note: Although student loans may appear as an option, most students in South Africa choose to avoid them because the interest rate issued by the banks is too high and creates quite a financial burden by the end of the studies!
The Application Process Challenges
The most common problem in South Africa is passing through the application process and eligibility stages. There are new channels that have been made to make the overall application easier and more oriented for young people. It is possible to use the NSFAS mobile app with all the updates, contact a trained officer via Whatsapp, or use the USSD platform to track your application status and see what kind of funding may be available for you. You no longer need to access the web portal if there are any changes to your application, which has made it possible to address the majority of challenges starting from September 2022 and onwards.
About the writer
Ruby Butz is an avid traveller and educator who loves spending her time exploring the ways how people study and achieve academic success worldwide. Her posts always tell a story and explore it all from educational challenges to the best learning tips. Follow Ruby to learn something new and expand your creative horizons.