How to Apply for Financial assistance at Nsfas

If you’re in need of financial assistance to study at a tertiary institution in South Africa, you might want to consider applying for Nsfas.

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was set up by the South African Government to provide students with financial assistance to cover the cost for registration and tuition and provide allowances for books, food, transport, and accommodation.

Many students face challenges in the application process and that’s why I have written this guide to answer any question regarding the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

Nsfas Applications for 2021 are opening from September 1 – November 30. Applications will also open for Unisa students in September.

Here is a detailed guide on how to apply, how to check application status, how change contact details, requirements to apply and many others.ADVERTISEMENT

Who qualifies for Nsfas?

Here are the requirements to apply for Nsfas.

You may qualify for the NSFAS bursary at the Financial Aid Office / Student Support Services on campus if;

  • you’re registering for the first time for an undergraduate qualification and have been admitted.
  • you’re a South African citizen.
  • your combined annual household income does not exceed R350,000 per annum.

Who does not qualify?

  • Students with a combined annual household income of more than R350,000 per annum.
  • Students who have already applied for and qualify for NSFAS funding for the previous academic year (students who have previously received NSFAS funding and who qualify for NSFAS funding for the previous academic year will receive a bursary).
  • Foreign students (any student who is not a South African citizen).

Nsfas online application

Many students ask this question. How do I apply for Nsfas online?

Applying for Nsfas online involves a simple process. But before you apply, you need to prepare the following supporting documents for your application which should not be older than 3 months:

  • Your South African identity document/card or birth certificate
  • ID of parent/s and/or guardian/s (or death certificate where applicable)
  • Pay advice/letter of employment/pension advice stating income (not older than 3 months) (SASSA slips are not required and SASSA should not be included as household income)
  • Download the consent form from and fill it in with your parent/s or guardian/s signatures.
  • If you have a disability, download the Disability Annexure A from and fill it in.

How to apply for Nsfas online

The first step to applying is creating an account.

How to create an NSFAS profile:

  1. Go to nsfas website
  2. Click on MyNSFAS Account
  3. Register and create a profile.

After successfully creating your account, click on “apply” and follow a quick and easy online application process as below;

  1. Click on the Apply tab.
  2. Your ID number, Name, Surname, Cell number and email address will be pre-populated. This information is taken from your profile registration. Fill in the rest of the required fields.
  3. Once your application is submitted an Application Reference Number is sent to your email and cellphone.
  4. Upload the relevant documents.
  5. Agree to the terms and conditions by ticking the box and click submit.
  6. Once you have successfully submitted your application you will be able
    to track your application status!

Download the Application form for new Nsfas applicants.

You can also visit your nearest NYDA Centre in your region, where you will be assisted to complete and submit a manual application.

You need to have certified copies of supporting documents ready before you start the manual application process.

Once you have applied to Nsfas, you should wait no longer than a week to have your application acknowledged.

If you do not receive acknowledgment of your application, you are requested to call the Toll Free Nsfas call centre (08000 673 27).

Note that your application will NOT be considered if;

  • you have already applied (for the current year) on the site and have an application reference number.
    you already have Nsfas funding for the previous year.
  • you already have an undergraduate degree/diploma or postgraduate degree, with the following exceptions:
    • BTech – Architecture / Architectural Technology
    • BTech – Engineering (all disciplines), Cartography, Forestry
    • BTech – Biokinetics, Biomedical Technology, Biotechnology
    • BTech – Chiropractic, Homoeopathy, all Nursing
    • BTech – Clinical or Dental Technology, Emergency Medical Care
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Education
    • Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting
    • LLB.

Important update

Most NSFAS applicants are concerned or worried why there was no documents or info of parent/s were not asked.

Those who will be applying should take note.

When start the process of Nsfas Application there are two Questions that will determine if your parents Documents will be needed or Not.

Those two Questions are;

Are you financially depended on your parents/legal guardian? (Yes/No)

Answer you pick here will determine the rest. If you select “Yes” the process will go further and ask you details of your Mother and Father.

If you select “Yes,” the next Question will be “Please Indicate whether you are dependent on your Mother”.

Then full information of your mother/father will be fully required.

If you pick (No), no Information will be asked about your Parents. It will only focus on you.

Selecting (No) on parents dependent means on the Documents, you will only need;

  • Your Id
  • Consent form
  • Payslip (if you indicated that you are working).

Selecting (Yes) on “depends on parents,” documents required will be;

  • Your Id
  • Mother Id
  • Consent form
  • Father (if you indicated you depend on him too) if you select No, no Copy of him is required.
  • Payslip/3 months bank statement (If indicated Yes means that mother is working). If indicated “No she’s not working,” no payslip will be required.

Those who didn’t upload documents of parents you stated you don’t depend on your parent/legal guardian.

If you depend on yourself you don’t need copy of you mother/father but your ID and consent alone.

If you depend on your parent/s/legal guardian you will need their copy (ies), your id, consent and payslip if they/he/she working.

How do I change my Nsfas contact details?

When it comes to NSFAS bursary application, SMS’s are the main way in which NSFAS communicates with students, so make sure that your contact information is correct and up-to-date.

It is also important to make sure that the cell phone number connected to your account is one that you have regular access to so that you never miss any updates or information from NSFAS.

How to update your NSFAS account details:

  1. Login to
  2. Enter your username and password (on the ‘already registered’ tab)
    Click ‘sign in
  3. Select ‘My Personal Details’ and delete incorrect cell phone number and replace it with correct one (the same can be done with other incorrect information)
  4. Click ‘update details
  5. A one-time pin (OTP) will be sent to the new cell phone number
  6. You will be asked to enter and submit the OTP on the NSFAS website once it has been sent to you
  7. Once this is done, your details are updated.

The manual process of changing contact details is still available. This involves emailing a certified copy of an ID book or smart card, along with an affidavit stating that the cell phone number has been changed (the old and new number must be noted), to the following email address:

How to check myNSFAS Status

How do you check your Nsfas status?

If you’ve been waiting anxiously to find if you have been accepted into the scheme, here’s a simple guide on how to check your National Student Financial Aid Scheme application status.

When you apply for study funding at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, you can usually expect a response a few days after the application closing date.

However, if you still haven’t heard back from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, it might be time to take things into your own hands.

It’s not a difficult process, but to make things even easier, we’ve provided you with the steps below.

Step 1:

If you would like to check the status of your NSFAS application, please visit the NSFAS website. Click on MyNSFAS account and login with your ID and the password you created during your application.

Step 2:

If the status of your application is “Provisionally Funded”, contact the scheme for all other outcomes, as NSFAS is responsible for the application process.

How to sign your nsfas bursary agreement (nba)

After the scheme has received confirmation from the university you’ve registered with, a NSFAS Bursary Agreement (NBA) is created and sent to you via email and SMS.

  1. Click on the link in the email (an email with a link to sign the NBA online).
  2. Insert your South African ID number to sign the Agreement.
  3. You will receive a One Time Pin (OTP) through an SMS to your registered cellphone number.
  4. Type in the received OTP to continue with the signing of the agreement.
  5. Submit your NBA
  6. When you finished, you will receive a notification on the screen that the Terms and Conditions have been submitted. This means you have successfully signed your NSFAS Bursary Agreement. Your parent or legal guardian should sign for you if you are under 18yrs.
  7. Log into your account on to check if your NBA has been changed or completed.

Nsfas SBUX

sBux is a new cellphone payment system developed by Celbux which NSFAS uses to pay allowances to students who qualify for an NSFAS bursary.

sBux issues NSFAS allowances (in the form of cellphone vouchers) to students on their cell phones for the payment of food, accommodation, books, and travel.

These vouchers can ONLY be used at sBux registered merchants.

How to activate your sBux account

Do you want to activate your sBux account? Here are the steps on how to activate sBux:

You can simply follow these steps:

  • Receive SMS to welcome you to sBux
  • Dial *134*176#
  • Enter your ID number
  • You are now verified on sBux
  • Await SMS from NSFAS with your password
  • You will receive an SMS within 3 working days to inform you that the funds are available depending on what you qualified for.

How do I check my Nsfas SBUX balance?

To check your sBux Nsfas balance,

  1. Dial *134*176# (for free!) and it will ask you for your ID number.
  2. Enter ID number and wait 5 minutes.
  3. You will receive an SMS with your sBux password.
  4. After receiving your password you will receive your allowance within 48 working hours.
  5. You will later receive an SMS from NSFAS once the allowance is available in your account.
  6. After your received SMS confirming your allowance, dial *134*176# and enter your
  7. You will see a cash balance on top. This is your wallet. You will now need to create a cash voucher.
  8. Dial *134*176# and enter your PASSWORD and select SEND
  9. Select Option 1 to create a cash voucher and then SEND
  10. Enter AMOUNT and SEND.

sbux password reset

Nsfas sBux allowances are transferred to your cellphone. So it is important not to share your device and sBux password with any person.

Remember to memorize the password then delete it from your phone! Keep your password secure at all times. Anyone who knows your password will be able to access your account.

If your phone is lost, call the National Student Financial Aid Scheme to change your password immediately to prevent any fraudulent activity in your account.

How to pay using sbux vouchers

  • Dial *134*176#
  • Enter password
  • Choose Option 4 (pay)
  • Enter Merchant Code
  • Enter Amount
  • Press 1 to confirm.

You can withdraw cash at Shoprite, Checkers, Boxer, USAVE or selected Spar stores.
Advise the cashier that you would like to withdraw cash (maximum allowed is R1000 per pay at Shoprite, Checkers).


Here are frequently asked questions about the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

How will this be paid?

All funded students will receive their allowances through their bank accounts, directly from academic institutions (universities and TVET colleges).

The scheme urges academic institutions and student organisations to encourage and assist funded students to open bank accounts with accredited financial institutions of their choice.

How do I repay the student loan?

NSFAS student loans are income-contingent, which means that repayment commences when you start working.

NSFAS will send you statements to help you keep track of how much you owe.

It is your legal responsibility to keep in touch with NSFAS and to inform us of any change of address and contact details.

What about students who drop out during their studies?

Students who drop out are still required to repay their loan when they start earning R30 000 or more a year.

Do you have to apply every year for Nsfas?

Full time registered students who meet the entry requirements for the scheme just have to complete and submit NSFAS applications forms at their university’s financial aid offices.

The only catch is that funding isn’t automatically renewed, so students need to make sure to reapply every year.

Do returning students apply for Nsfas?

Continuing students who are funded by NSFAS this year will be contacted by the scheme to sign their agreements online‚ if they have not done so already.

They are not required to reapply‚ as funding will automatically continue‚ if they meet the progression rule of a 50% pass.