Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has urged Sassa beneficiaries to apply for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) funding.

Speaking at a media briefing, Nzimande said the financial aid scheme would continue to make immediate funding decisions for applicants who are beneficiaries of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants.

“In preparation for the 2024 funding cycle, I was informed Nsfas had already engaged the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and that quite a number of students who are in matric are Sassa beneficiaries,” said Nzimande.

“I therefore urge all those potential students to apply, as they will be immediately funded,” he added.

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‘Students don’t have to wait’

Nsfas provides funding to eligible students from poor and working-class backgrounds intending to pursue tertiary studies at public universities and TVET colleges for the first time.

Sassa grant recipients and applicants whose combined household income does not exceed R350,000 per annum are considered eligible.

In 2023, 35% of the 1.6 million students funded by Nsfas students were Sassa beneficiaries.

Applications for Nsfas will close on 31 January 2024.

With Matric results scheduled to be released on 19 January, it might seem like a good idea to wait to find out your fate first before completing those forms – but it’s not.

Nzimande implored matriculants not to wait until the last minute before completing their application.

“Students don’t have to wait for matric results in order to apply for Nsfas,” he said.

ALSO READ: Finished matric? Here’s how to apply for funding from Nsfas

‘No supporting documents’

In attempts to speed up processing of applications, the Department of Higher Education (DHE) has scrapped its list of required documents.

“… As part of improving the services to students, for this application period there will be no supporting documents required at the time of application,” said Nzimande.

Nsfas will liaise with Sassa, the South African Revenue Services (Sars) and the Department of Home Affairs to verify information provided by the applicants.

“The only time supporting documents will be required, is when prompted by Nsfas in case where they cannot verify the parental relationship,” Nzimande explained.

ALSO READ: ‘My conscience is clear, I have nothing to hide’ – Nzimande hits back at Nsfas corruption allegations


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