This week on Khetha #Week40

Radio Stations: SABC Radio Stations
Topic: NSAFS Applications
Script Written by: NSFAS
Programme Date: 8 - 11 October 2018
Week: 40
Target Audience: Learners and youth

 

Script Notes:

  • The programme is entitled: NSFAS application processes
  • This script will be translated to other official languages and broadcast on 10Broadcasting Services (PBS) radio stations.
  • The programme is characterised by the radio presenter and a guest from the Department of Higher Education and Training.
  • The radio presenter is the main anchor of the programme and he/she will control the activities on the programme.

 

The objectives of this programme are:

  • To enlighten students from poor and working-class families who wish to further their education about NSFAS applications on how and where they must apply for funding.

The entire programme runs for 30 minutes; which includes Public Services announcements (PSAs).

Opening Billboard: ‘This programme is brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with SABC Education.’

Programme Introduction

Presenter: Thank you for joining us for another informative episode of Khetha brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in partnership with SABC Education. We are joined in the studio by our guest speaker from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Today we will be talking about NSFAS application processes. Our guest will enlighten students especially those who wish to apply for funding. 

Having this information will assist and guide students on how to apply, who is eligible to apply, and the requirements in order to qualify for funding. It’s good to have you on the show ********.

Guest: Thank you******. Greetings to you and the listeners!

Presenter: Please tell us; who is NSFAS?

Guest: NSFAS is an entity of the Department of Higher Education and Training, and our mandate is providing bursaries to eligible students at all 26 public universities and 50 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges throughout the country. Before the announcement of free higher education, NSFAS was providing loans to students who then had to pay back the loans when employed. The repayments were then reinjected into the fund and used to increase the budget.

Our role and objective are to make sure that we provide access to higher education and give financial support to deserving students. Our aim is to an efficient and effective provider of financial aid to students from poor and working-class families in a sustainable manner that promotes access to, and success in, higher and further education and training, in pursuit of South Africa’s national and human resource development goals.

NSFAS supports access to, and success in, higher education and training for students from poor and working-class families who would otherwise not be able to afford to study.

Presenter: How does NSFAS work?

Guest: The NSFAS Act enables any student to apply for a bursary from NSFAS. NSFAS bursary covers the actual cost of their tuition, plus an NSFAS determined allowance for prescribed learning materials. 

The actual cost of tuition means the tuition fee for the specific programme that the student is registered for at an institution; these tuition fees differ depending on the field of study (e.g. engineering, medicine, art, history, etc.) and the institution attended.  

Prescribed learning materials include the learning materials required for the actual courses taken – for example, a fine art student may require paint/brushes/canvasses; a graphics design student may require a laptop with a specific software package.

If a prospective student qualifies for a bursary, they will have to sign a contract with binding conditions.  Accepting the bursary funding will not require a beneficiary to pay back the funds in monetary terms. However, it does require that the beneficiary meets and maintains certain academic conditions/criteria, as well as service requirements for the duration of the study period, as well as a commitment to the country over the longer term.

  • Administer bursaries granted to students of the institution.
  • Receive loan and bursary applications from students.
  • Consider and assess the applications in light of the criteria for the granting of bursaries determined by NSFAS.
  • Grant bursaries if the criteria are met after ascertaining that funds are available.
  • Enter into a written agreement with a borrower or bursar in accordance with the provisions of the Act and on the terms and conditions determined by NSFAS.

 

Presenter: Who qualifies for NSFAS?

Guest: You qualify for NSFAS funding if:

  • You are a South African citizen. Your combined household income does not exceed R350 000 per year.
  • You are a SASSA grant recipient.
  • You are registering for the first time for an undergraduate qualification at a public university or you are registered at a public TVET College for one of the National Certificate Vocational or report 191 programme.
  • You are applying to study at a public university or TVET College.
  • You are an already registered university student with a household income of less than   R122 000 per year.
  • You need to have passed Grade 9 & 10 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a TVET       College.
  • You need to have passed Grade 12 to receive NSFAS funding to study at a university.

It is important to note that NSFAS does not accept applications from learners who wish to study at private colleges or universities.

Presenter: When do applications open?

Guest: The opening of the 2019 applications has always been prioritised and we had to ensure that the Minister is satisfied with our progress on the 2017 and 2018 backlog before opening the window. The decision to open the applications was taken after a process of testing the 2019 applications with a focus group of high school learners yielded positive results in terms of accessibility and user-friendliness. 

2019 applications opened on the 3rd of September and the application cycle is currently running. On the first day of the applications, we received more than 400 new applications which were successfully submitted. To date, we have received 50 000 new applications.

The new application process takes only 5 minutes to complete and requires only a copy of the Identification Document (ID) for the applicant and parents, a payslip (of both parents) if parents earn an income, and a consent form to give the Scheme permission to verify income. Those whose parents are not working are only required to submit a signed consent form.

It is imperative to note that continuing students who are funded by NSFAS this year do not need to apply as they will be funded for the duration of their studies, noting that funding will automatically continue in 2019 if they meet the progression rule of 50% pass. We encourage those students who are funded by NSFAS and have not signed their agreements to do to enable us to close all pending funding issues. 

Presenter: When will application close?

Guest: The closing date for all funding applications is 30 November 2019. Therefore, we urge students to apply before the deadline and submit all required documents.

Each application will be treated equally by the NSFAS funding committee. Applicants need to complete and submit applications as soon as possible to ensure full and timely consideration of an application. There are tips and guidelines online and a YouTube channel for step-by-step information.

Applicants can also track and trace the progress of your application online by simply logging in with your cellphone and ID number.

Presenter: How and where can applicants apply for NSFAS?

Guest: This year NSFAS has introduced a new channel of registering on the portal, prospective students who want to register and apply for NSFAS funding, can do so by using their Facebook or Gmail accounts. And the newly improved system allows each applicant to be considered with great care and enormous attention is given to evaluating every application. Therefore, the first applicant will be the first to know if they are funded or not.

Once a student has applied to NSFAS, they will receive a notice of acknowledgment. Should a student not receive the acknowledgment, they can call our TOLL FREE Call centre number 08000 NSFAS (67327).

In order to ensure that we reach each and every intended student we have put in place a comprehensive communications plan, which involves partnering with institutions of higher learning and training, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), community structures and organisations to ensure that all eligible students are reached.

Currently, there are four channels through which to apply for financial aid at NSFAS:

  1. Online applications (where a student will apply on their own)
  2. Walk-in centres (where students will be assisted to complete the online application)
  3. Drop and go (where a student will complete a hard copy version of the form and drop it off at designated centres to be captured)
  4. Isibindi programme (where specifically orphaned individuals will be solicited and assisted to apply through social worker support via an outreach team)

The following are compulsory documents for the applications process:

  1. Consent Form
    1. Download, complete and sign the consent form
    2. This must be attached to all applications, except for those applying through the Isibindi programme
  2. SA Identity Document
    1. Certified copy ID (not older than 3 months)
    2. Certified copies of parent/s, guardian, or death certificate
  3. Proof of income
    1. Only if a non-SASSA recipient
  4. A completed disability form(also known as Annexure A)
  5. Declaration form
    1. This will only be used by the social workers/outreach team and only applies to the Isisbindi applications process.

Thus, before you start make sure to:

1. Download & Complete: Consent form

2. Download & Complete:  Annexure A: Disability Questionnaire (if applicable)

3. Ensure that all documents are scanned separately for easy upload

An incomplete application will not be processed, and if all supporting documents are not included. It is also necessary to have your ID document, consent form, proof of income – scanned separately. Finally, you should have your parents IDs/Guardian/Death Certificate – scanned together.

  1. Online application

All students applying online for NSFAS funding, will have to first register and create a MyNSFAS profile. Once registered, they will only need to log-in. This MyNSFAS profile will be their connection to NSFAS from the time of application to the time they complete their studies. This will also be the platform that students can use to update contact details, especially cell phone numbers and email accounts.

The first step is to register on MyNSFAS: https://my.nsfas.org.za/mynsfas/selfservice.html

1.1.1 Register and log in

The registration page consists of the following fields:

  • Username: Here you are required to create a username
  • Create a password:
  • Confirm password:
  • Your ID number:
  • Your email address:
  • Your cell phone number:

Once all these fields have been completed, you will receive a one-time-pin (OTP), which will be valid for 24 hours. It is thus important that users have a valid cell phone number in order to receive the OTP. Once received, enter the pin and click submit. You will then receive a notification that your account has been successfully created.

Once the account has been activated, you can login. Now you are able to start the applications process by clicking ‘apply’.

1.1.2 Application

This section consists of the following fields:

  1. Personal Details
  • First names: Please note that you HAVE TO indicate your full names as per your ID document.
  • Surname: Is it important to note that you HAVE TO indicate your full surname as per your ID document.
  • Residential/postal address
  • Race: For monitoring and evaluation purposes, it is important for you to complete this.
  • Disability status: As there are different rules with regards to financial aid products for people with disabilities, it is important to indicate this on the form.
  1. Family details

This section consists of the following fields:

  • Confirming whether you are living with your Mother/guardian
  • Confirming whether you are living with your Father/guardian
  • Confirming whether you are living with your Spouse

For every yes, you will need to upload a copy of the ID of the relevant person.

  1. The highest academic level achieved

This section consists of the following fields:

  • The province of the last school attended
  • Select first letter of the school last attended
  • The last school attended
  • The highest academic level achieved

 

  1. Study levels
    This section consists of the following fields:
  • Selection of whether you are applying for university/ TVET college or both
  • Selection of the first choice between TVET college and University:
  • Option to select where you are currently studying
  • Confirming whether you are applying for postgraduate qualification funding
  • Selection of where you are applying from

 

  1. Uploading documents

This section consists of the following fields:

  • The uploading of a certified copy of identity card or an unabridged birth certificate
  • The uploading of a parental consent form
  • Agreement on the terms and conditions
  • Finalisation of the application process
  1. Submission
  • When the application is successfully submitted, a reference number will be sent to you confirming that your application has been received

Once the registration form has been completed, you will receive an OTP (one-time pin) for confirmation.  This will be sent both by SMS and email.  Before continuing, you will then need to enter the OTP and click SUBMIT.  If you do not receive it after about 10 minutes, then you can request for the OTP to be sent again.

1.1.3 Important reminders when completing the online application

  • NSFAS will use the contact details supplied by the applicant (cell phone and email address) to communicate with the applicant about the status of their application.  These will also be used to contact the applicant if there are missing documents.  These need to be kept updated, especially if the student changes cell phone numbers.
  • An applicant may save progress at any time. This will save the form information already captured and he/she may return at any time to complete the form.  SMS reminders will also be sent to the user to remind them to complete the form.

1.2 Walk-in centres and ‘drop and go

Application forms can also be completed manually at designated centres, these applications will be captured online by NSFAS agents. These options can be used by applicants who cannot access the online application platform.

NSFAS has partnered with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the Department of Social Development, Isibindi Centres and a range of other government and non-governmental partners to provide support and assistance to individuals to make use of this option across the country. In addition, these will be made available to the university and TVET college financial aid offices.

Presenter: Could you briefly tell us more about NYDA partnership with NSFAS, what is the purpose?

Guest: Our partnership with NYDA was a strategic one which is meant to address the issue of accessibility. NYDA has offices across all 9 provinces, and therefore this partnership has allowed us to utilise their offices nationwide as our application centres, where people could walk in and apply online or manually.  Those who do not have access to the internet can apply at an NYDA centre in their area.

This partnership increased our reach as we had people from townships and rural areas coming through to their local offices to apply.

NYDA provides both manual and online application support.

Presenter: How are institutions involved in this year’s applications?

Guest: Public Universities and TVET Colleges will be utilised as applications centres for both online and paper application forms at the Financial Aid Office. This is an addition to our existing partnership with NYDA, which provides us with a broader footprint in townships, rural and remote areas.

This was in accordance with ensuring that all necessary partnerships for managing the applications process are in place and can be effectively monitored, for the opening of the 2019 online applications process.

Applicants can apply for NSFAS funding at selected public university or request assistance from the financial aid office on campus.

Presenter: Any closing comment?

Guest: We encourage students to apply on time before the deadline and not wait for the last minute as there are processes between receiving the application, approval and the disbursement of funds. Furthermore, students must make sure they submit correct required supporting documents when they apply.

 

Presenter: Thank you so much. So how can one get in touch if they need further information?

Guest: For any inquiries students may reach us on:

  • Facebook: National Student Financial Aid (NSFAS)
  • Twitter: @myNSFAS
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NYDA Full Service Branches:  

Gauteng

Branch Telephone Address
NYDA Johannesburg Branch (011) 834 7660 or (011) 370 1800 17 Diagonal Street, Old JSE Building, Ground Floor, Newtown, Johannesburg, 2001
NYDA Tshwane Branch (012) 322 1375 429 Shoburg Building, Stanza Bopape Street
NYDA Soweto Branch (011) 938 4101 2127 Old Potchefstroom Road, Klipspruit, Soweto, 1809

Mpumalanga

Branch Telephone Address
NYDA eMalahleni Branch (010) 593 3290 Shop 3 Pavillion Centre 19 - 21 Botha Avenue, Witbank, 1035
NYDA Nelspruit Branch (013) 756 0100 Office no 7 & 8 Imbizo Place, Samora Machel Drive, Mbombela, 1200
NYDA Secunda Branch (017) 631 9500/9501 Shop no2, Game Park Centre, Horwood Street, Secunda, 2302

Limpopo

Branch Telephone Address
NYDA Polokwane Branch (015) 294 0800 60 Schoeman Street, Shop 10, Crescent Building, Polokwane, 0699
NYDA Thulamela Branch (010) 593 1927 Thulamela Information Center, Punda Maria Road, Thohoyandou, 0950

Eastern Cape

Branch Telephone Address
NYDA East London Branch (043) 704 4600 2nd floor, FNB Building, Oxford street, East London
NYDA Port Elizabeth (041) 503 9100 Kwantu Towers, Ground floor, Govern Mbeki Avenue, Market Square, Port Elizabeth, 6056

KwaZulu-Natal

Branch Telephone Address
NYDA Durban Branch (031) 327 9900 Ground Floor, Smart Exchange Building, 5 Walnut Road (Cnr. Dr. AB Xuma) , Durban 4001
NYDA Empangeni Branch (035) 907 5605 Cnr. Main and Bull Road, Old Museum building

North West

Branch Telephone Address
NYDA Rustenburg Branch (014) 591 9600  39 Heystek Street; Next to SARS, Rustenburg

Free State

Branch Telephone Address
NYDA Bloemfontein Branch (051) 411 9450 GF Shop 125, Sanlam Plaza, Cnr Maitland and East Burger Street, Bloemfontein, 9301

Western Cape

Branch Telephone Address
NYDA Cape Town Branch (021) 415 2040 Shop P 18a Piazza (Landmarks: African Bank & Sanlam), Golden Acre, Adderley Street, Cape Town

Northern Cape

Branch Telephone Address
NYDA Kimberley Branch (053) 807 1020 Old Telkom Building, 64-70 De Toit Span Building, Kimberley, 8300

  

You can also visit NSFAS website at www.nsfas.org.za to check if your NBA is ready for signing

To listen to Khetha podcasts, visit SABC Education platform at http://iono.fm/p/230

Closing Billboard: ‘This programme was brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with SABC Education’