how many years does nsfas fund a student


NSFAS, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, is a South African government program that provides funding to eligible students who otherwise would not be able to afford tertiary education. One common question that students often ask is how long they can receive funding from NSFAS. In this article, we will explore the duration for which NSFAS funds a student and shed light on factors that may affect the funding period.

The Duration of NSFAS Funding

NSFAS typically funds eligible students for the duration of their approved undergraduate degrees. This means that as long as a student maintains their eligibility and progresses satisfactorily in their studies, they can receive funding for the entire duration of their undergraduate program. This ensures that students have the financial support they need to complete their studies without worrying about tuition fees and related expenses.

Factors Affecting the Funding Period

how many years does nsfas fund a student

While NSFAS aims to provide funding for the full duration of an undergraduate degree, there are some factors that can affect the funding period. It’s essential for students to be aware of these factors to manage their finances effectively:

Academic Performance

NSFAS requires students to maintain satisfactory academic performance to continue receiving funding. This includes meeting the minimum academic requirements set by the institution and making progress towards the completion of the degree. If a student fails to meet these requirements, their funding may be suspended or discontinued.

Change of Degree or Institution

If a student decides to change their degree program or transfer to a different institution, they must inform NSFAS and the new institution. The funding for the new program or institution will be subject to NSFAS’s assessment and approval. It’s crucial for students to communicate such changes promptly to avoid any disruptions in their funding.

Maximum Funding Period

There is a maximum funding period for which NSFAS can provide financial aid. Typically, this depends on the accredited duration of the chosen undergraduate program. For example, if a program is typically a three-year degree, NSFAS may fund the student for a maximum of three years. Students must complete their studies within this maximum period to ensure continuous funding.

Repayment Obligations

NSFAS provides funding as a loan, and students are required to repay the loan after completing their studies and securing employment. The loan repayment amount is determined based on the student’s income and affordability. It’s important for students to understand their repayment obligations and plan accordingly for a successful transition after graduation.


NSFAS is dedicated to ensuring that eligible students have access to the financial support needed to pursue their undergraduate degrees. The funding period is generally aligned with the duration of the approved program, as long as students meet their academic requirements and progress satisfactorily. By understanding the factors that may affect the funding period, students can better manage their finances and make informed decisions regarding their education and future career. With NSFAS’s support, students can focus on their studies and pursue their academic goals without the burden of financial constraints.

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