Rejected by NSFAS ? Here's a Step Guide On What To Do

20:42 Monrovia 0 Comments


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a crucial entity in South Africa that aims to provide financial support to students who are unable to afford tertiary education. Its mission is to promote equal access to education and empower individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. However, being defunded by NSFAS can be a daunting experience for any student. This essay delves into the reasons for being defunded, offering advice on navigating this challenging situation and providing contact details for NSFAS. While the defunding may seem discouraging, it is important to remember that setbacks can be overcome, and success is still within reach.

Reasons for Defunding by NSFAS:

·    Academic Performance: One common reason for defunding is inadequate academic progress. NSFAS sets certain academic requirements to ensure that recipients of their aid are making satisfactory progress in their studies. Failing to meet these requirements, such as maintaining a specific grade point average or completing a certain number of credits, may result in defunding.

·    Income Discrepancies: NSFAS takes into account the financial status of applicants when determining eligibility for funding. If there are discrepancies or changes in the reported income, such as an increase in household income or failure to disclose additional sources of income, it can lead to defunding.

·    Course Change: NSFAS allocates funds based on the chosen field of study. If a student decides to change their course or program without prior approval from NSFAS, it can result in defunding. It is crucial to communicate any changes in academic plans to NSFAS to ensure continued funding.

·    Exceeding Maximum Timeframe: NSFAS provides financial aid for a specified duration, typically the minimum time required to complete a qualification plus one year. If a student exceeds this timeframe without a valid reason, NSFAS may choose to defund them.

·    Unfulfilled Responsibilities: Failure to comply with NSFAS requirements, such as not submitting required documentation, not attending mandatory meetings, or not participating in academic support programs, can lead to defunding. It is important to meet all obligations set by NSFAS to maintain funding.

How to deal with being defunded:

·    Communication is Key: If you have been defunded by NSFAS, reach out to them immediately to understand the reasons for the decision. Open and honest communication can help resolve any misunderstandings or address issues that led to the defunding.

·    Appeal the status of rejection should there be an option to appeal (see more information on how to appeal below).

·    Seek Academic Support: If the reason for defunding is related to academic performance, consult with academic advisors, tutors, or professors to develop an improvement plan. They can guide you toward the necessary resources and strategies to enhance your academic progress.

·    Explore Alternative Funding Options: While NSFAS is a significant source of financial aid, it is not the only option available. Investigate other scholarship programs, bursaries, part-time employment opportunities, or student loans that may help bridge the financial gap.

·    Financial Planning: Develop a comprehensive budgeting plan to manage your finances effectively. Identify areas where you can cut expenses, prioritize essential expenditures, and explore potential income-generating activities.

How to Appeal NSFAS decision:

If you have been defunded by NSFAS and believe that there are valid reasons for an appeal, you can follow these steps to appeal the decision:

·    Understand the Appeals Process: Familiarize yourself with NSFAS's appeals process by visiting their website or contacting their helpline. Understand the criteria for eligibility to appeal and the required documentation for the appeal.

·    Gather Relevant Information: Collect all the necessary information and documents to support your appeal. This may include academic records, medical certificates (if applicable), proof of financial circumstances, and any other supporting evidence that explains the reasons for your defunding or demonstrates your eligibility for continued funding.

·    Write a Formal Appeal Letter: Craft a well-structured appeal letter addressed to NSFAS, stating your intention to appeal the defunding decision. In the letter, clearly explain the reasons for the appeal and provide supporting evidence. Be concise, polite, and professional in your communication.

·    Submit the Appeal Letter and Supporting Documents: Send your appeal letter along with all the relevant supporting documents to NSFAS through the designated channel. Ensure that you meet the specified deadline for appeals and follow the submission instructions carefully.

·    Follow Up: After submitting your appeal, keep track of its progress by maintaining regular contact with NSFAS. You can do this through their helpline or by sending follow-up emails to inquire about the status of your appeal. Stay proactive and persistent in your communication.

·    Seek Guidance: If you encounter any difficulties or have questions regarding the appeals process, don't hesitate to seek guidance from your institution's financial aid office or student support services. They may provide additional assistance and advice on navigating the appeals process.

Remember to be patient throughout the appeals process, as it may take some time for NSFAS to review and respond to your appeal. Keep copies of all the documents you submit and any correspondence with NSFAS for your records.

Here is an additional section that includes a list of other national bursaries and student loans available to students in South Africa:

·    Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme: This program aims to provide bursaries to students who wish to pursue a teaching qualification. It covers tuition fees, accommodation, and a monthly stipend. Visit their website at for more information.

·    South African Reserve Bank Bursary Scheme: The South African Reserve Bank offers bursaries to students studying in the fields of economics, finance, and accounting. These bursaries cover tuition fees, accommodation, and a yearly living allowance. Check their website at for application details.

·    Department of Water and Sanitation Bursary Programme: This program provides bursaries to students studying in water-related fields, such as engineering, hydrology, and environmental science. It covers tuition fees, accommodation, and a monthly stipend. Visit for more information.

·    Thuthuka Bursary Fund: This fund is managed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and provides bursaries to students pursuing a career in chartered accountancy. The bursary covers tuition fees, textbooks, accommodation, and a living allowance. Check the SAICA website at for application details.

Student loans:

·    Fundi Student Loans: Fundi is a financial institution that offers student loans to South African students. They provide loans for tuition fees, textbooks, accommodation, and living expenses. Explore their loan options at

·    Standard Bank Student Loans: Standard Bank provides student loans to South African students pursuing tertiary education. These loans cover tuition fees, textbooks, and other study-related expenses. Visit the Standard Bank website at for more information.

·    Absa Student Loans: Absa Bank offers student loans to help cover education-related costs. They provide loans for tuition fees, accommodation, textbooks, and living expenses. Check the Absa Bank website at for loan details.

Remember to carefully review the eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and terms and conditions for each bursary or student loan program. Being defunded by NSFAS can be disheartening, but it should not deter your pursuit of education and personal growth. Take the opportunity to reflect on the reasons for defunding and identify areas for improvement. Utilize the advice provided to regain your financial stability and explore alternative funding options. Remember, setbacks can be stepping stones to success, and with resilience, determination, and proactive efforts, you can overcome this challenge and continue your education. Additionally, review the eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and terms and conditions for each bursary or student loan program. It is recommended to apply well in advance and gather all the necessary documentation for a successful application. With determination, thorough research, and diligent applications, you can explore these national bursaries and student loans to alleviate the financial burden and continue your educational journey.

Should you wish to contact nsfas:

NSFAS Contact Details:


NSFAS Contact Centre: 0860 067 327


Also, check out their social media pages as they do tend to reply faster on there as compared to their emails, call them around 07:55 on weekdays to avoid being in the queue for too long. Best of luck!

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