The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has paid R1.3 billion to 26 public universities for registration fees for qualifying students.
This payment equates to at least 15% of the total and final budget that each university may get for enrolling students who are eligible for government funding.
On Monday, NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said they expect universities to work with them to ensure that registration of funded students goes as smooth as possible because government has confirmed funding.
“We expect that our students will be treated fairly and not be discriminated against based on their backgrounds,” he said.
With over 160 000 students having been approved for funding, NSFAS was confident that no student, who has secured space, will be turned away because of lack of funding.
For returning students who were funded in 2016, Mamabolo said they “should not panic as they will automatically be funded in 2017 without having to apply for financial aid, provided they have signed the agreement form for financial assistance and they have passed at least 50% of their enrolled modules”.
While there are still some students who have not received confirmatory SMSes from NSFAS, Mamabolo has reassured the public, saying “the scheme will continue to approve more students every day and is expected to finalise all applications by close of business on 27 January 2017”.
Applications for funding for university students are now officially closed, and there will be no extension, while TVET college students still have until midnight 14 February 2017 to submit their applications