How much do Nsfas students get?

Students who qualify for a government bursary will be eligible to receive funding for study-related expenses, this is known as a student allowance. NSFAS beneficiaries are provided with a student allowance on a monthly basis. These allowances are paid in cash, either directly to the student via NSFAS Wallet or via the institution to the student. 

According to the NSFAS website, the following allowances are included in the bursary:


  • Accommodation: amount is the actual cost charged by the university. If private, the cost must not exceed costs for university residence.
  • Transport: R7 500 per annum (up to 40 km from institution)
  • Living allowance: R15 000 per annum
  • Book allowance: R5200 per annum (only applies at universities)
  • Personal Care allowance: R2900 per annum


  • Accommodation:
    • in urban area – R24 000 per annum
    • in peri-urban area – R18 900 per annum
    • in rural area – R15 750 per annum 
  • Transport: R7 350 (up to 40 km from institution)
  • Personal Care allowance: R2 900 per annum 

1.  Book Allowance 

All NSFAS students qualify for a book allowance of up to R5 200 for the year.  Students registered for the full year will receive the maximum book allowance during February 2020.  Students registered for one semester only, will qualify for R2 600 book allowance.  Please note that should you cancel your studies for the second semester and have received your book allowance for the year, you will be liable for the outstanding balance of R2 600.

Book allowance for students registered for the full year will be paid in two payments of R2 600 each during the week of 10 February 2020.

2.  Meal Allowance 

All NSFAS students qualify for a meal allowance of up to R15 000 for the year, except distance-learning students.  The allowance for students registered for the full year will be paid over a period of 10 months (Feb–Nov).  Students registered for one semester only, will receive R7 500 over a period of five (5) months (Semester 1: Feb–Jun or Semester 2: Jul-Nov). 

3.  Private Accommodation Allowance 

A valid lease agreement must be uploaded with the private accommodation online application process before the application will be considered.  After approval of your private accommodation application, you will receive your payment during the first week of the following month.  The first payment will include your rental payment up to date.  Payment will depend on your rental period and amount. 

Please note that you will not receive payment for private accommodation if you are staying in an on-campus residence or at home.  Distance-learning students also do not qualify for the private accommodation allowance.  The maximum private accommodation allowance for 2020 is R34 400 for a student registered for the full year.  The maximum for a student registered for one semester is R17 200.