NSFAS Bursary Scheme 2025


NSFAS Bursary Scheme 2025

Do you wish to study or are already studying at a public university or TVET college and come from a family with an income of R350 000 or less? Then STOP and read this:

You qualify for a government bursary offered via the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

What is NSFAS?

NSFAS is a government entity under the Department of Higher Education and Training established according to the NSFAS Act (Act 56 of 1999) to provide financial support to disadvantaged students who wish to further their studies at public universities or TVET colleges.

What does the bursary cover?

Amounts indicated for accommodation, living allowance, transport, and learning materials need to be aligned with the approved latest DHET guidelines.


  • Accommodation
    As per the actual costs charged by the university (costs for private accommodation must not exceed costs for university residence)
  • Transport (up to 40 km from the institution) R7 500  per annum
  • Living allowance R15, 000  per annum
  • Book allowances R5200 per annum
  • Incidental/personal care allowance of R2900 per annum for students in catered residences


  • Accommodation in an urban area is R24,000 per annum
  • Accommodation in a peri-urban area is R18,900 per annum
  • Accommodation in a rural area is R15,750 per annum
  • Transport (up to 40 km from the institution) R7,350  per annum
  • Transport R7000 per annum
  • Incidental/personal care allowance R2900 per annum

Who qualifies for NSFAS funding?

  • All South African citizens
  • All SASSA grant recipients qualify for funding
  • Applicants whose combined household income is not more than R350 000 per annum
  • A person with disability: Combined household income must not be more than R600 000 per annum
  • Students who started studying before 2018 and whose household income is not more than R122 000 per annum.
Who should not apply?
  • Students who have completed a previous qualification.
  • Students with a combined household income of more than R350 000 per annum.
  • Students who have already applied, qualified, and received funding. They are automatically funded for the duration of their studies provided they pass their modules and meet the academic requirements.


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What is an appeal?

An appeal is a request to review a decision not to fund a student who applied for NSFAS funding.

Who can appeal?

A student whose application for financial aid is rejected or the financial aid for a continuing student is withdrawn, may lodge an appeal with the NSFAS.

Who cannot appeal?

Students are not permitted to appeal if they:

  • Are registered for a qualification that NSFAS does not fund;
  • They have reached N+2 (or N+3 in the case of students with disabilities).
  • The student is a gap year student who NSFAS previously denied financial aid to because s/he did not meet the academic eligibility criteria.
  • If the institution has not submitted its registration record to NSFAS or has submitted an incorrect registration record such enquiries should be directed to the institution.
  • The appeal decisions are subject to budget availability.
  • Appeals will only be considered for students who have applied to NSFAS for Financial Aid.





The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides financial aid to South African students using funds provided mainly by the government. The NSFAS Act No. 56 of 1999, section 14 (1) (b) and (e) refers to Funds of NSFAS; the funds of the NSFAS consist of (b) donations or contributions and (e) any other income received by the NSFAS.


The NSFAS Funder Relations Management Programme was established to manage bursary programmes on behalf of funding entities through the execution of the NSFAS mandate incorporating the increased funding amounts obtained from current funding entities in the form of Sector Education and Training Authority’s (SETA) national and provincial government departments.


The Funder Relations Management Programme strategy recognises the fact that since competition and demand for funding of socio-economic conditions of many people has remained and high and stiff in the country; NSFAS therefore must position itself competitively within the fundraising and funding management environment as an entity aligned to objectives helping students from poor financial backgrounds access tertiary education.

The Funder Management Programme’s four pillars strategy include:

  • Broadening the resource channels
  • Framework of dialogue with funders
  • Increasing capacity for fundraising
  • Planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation


  • Maximize the funds managed by NSFAS through the funding capabilities created through partnerships.
  • Maximise value for the donor/funder through expert stakeholder engagement.
  • Provide the growth required to supplement the income decline due to the NSFAS business model.
  • Offer comparative advantage and leverage on strengths as well as areas of interest to address funding challenges.
  • Provide room to come up with ideas, take them to scale and come up with solutions.
  • Encourage collaboration based on common interests.




NSFAS has over the years established and developed relationships with various industry stakeholders. These relationships must be cultivated, and new partnerships/relationships created to be leveraged and utilized for new funding.


Let us know which services you are most interested in by sending an email to FunderRelationsTeam@nsfas.org.za and we will get in touch with you.




The 2015 Centre for Development and Enterprise [CDE] report noted one of the greatest challenges facing the South African education system as the production of enough competent teachers who can provide quality teaching for all school subject phases.

Attracting young educators into the system has become a necessity in realisation of the aging teacher profile. The Funza Lushaka bursary programme seeks, in line with goal 14 of the action plan to 2030, to identify and recruit youth from all provinces to increase the supply of young teachers in the education system. For this reason, the strategic objective of the department through the Funza Lushaka bursary programme is to attract a new group of young, motivated, and appropriately trained teachers to the teaching profession every year. Therefore, the Funza Lushaka bursary programme will target students who are below 30 years of age to be considered for funding.

The merit-based criteria for awarding the bursary have contributed to a higher calibre of students entering initial teacher education programmes.

Courses covered
Two types of qualifications are be funded through the bursary:
1. A 4-year Bachelor of Education degree (B Ed), Specialising in Foundation Phase (FP) (Grade R – 3), Intermediate Phase (IP) (Grade 4 – 6), Senior Phase (SP) (Grade 7 – 9) and Further Education and Training (FET) Phase (Grade 10-12).
2. One-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in SP/FET Phase teaching for graduates.

Selection criteria include the following:
• The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme will target students who are below 30 years of age to be considered for funding.
• Allocation of Funza Lushaka bursaries to Higher Education Institution employees, their spouse and their dependents/children is not permissible.
• The Funza Lushaka bursary is a prestigious bursary aimed at attracting high quality students to become teachers. Thus, it does not fund an extended programme.
• Students will need to meet the legal and institutional entrance requirements and be accepted into a study programme before they can apply for the bursary.
• Bursaries can only be provided for students who are registered for initial teacher education programmes offered at a Public Higher Education Institution, which are on the institution’s programme-qualification mix (PQM), are accredited by the CHE, and are recognized for employment in education by the Department of Basic Education.
• The bursary is only awarded to South African citizens with a valid South African ID number.
• The applicant should demonstrate good academic ability.
• Students must meet the minimum academic criteria for award of the bursary.
• It is expected that a student specializing in SP/FET should take either at least two FET subjects or one FET and one SP.
• Students studying towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Education – (PGCE), Further Education and Training(/FET) may either take two FET subjects; one FET subject and one Specialization (SP) subject.
• The applicant must show commitment to a teaching career, which includes interest in working with young people; enthusiasm for a professional career in teaching; readiness to face and surmount difficult challenges and personal integrity.
• The applicant must be committed to teach in any school to which a student may be placed by a Provincial Education Department (PED).

Recipients of these bursaries will be required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they used the bursary. No repayment will have to be made unless the bursary holders’ defaults on the conditions of the bursary contract. In such cases, the amount that is repayable is the full amount of the bursary received under the programme, less than a year’s funding for every year spent teaching at a public school. Interest will be charged at the rate determined by NSFAS.

What does the bursary cover?
1. Funza Lushaka bursaries cover most of the recipient’s essential expenses inclusive of tuition, accommodation including meals, books and learning materials, and if possible, a small allowance for monthly living expenses. The allocation to any individual student is capped at a specific value. Where the university charges more than the capped value the bursars will have to top up from own funds. Universities have different cost structures, so the total value of a bursary differs from institution to institution.

2. The bursary is awarded for one academic year at a time. It is not automatically re-awarded. Re-award will depend on academic success. There is no automatic promise of support for 4 years plus 1 more year. On evidence of academic success, and pending the availability of funds, the bursary may be renewed each year until the recipient of the bursary has qualified as a teacher.

NSFAS partnership since inception
NSFAS has been appointed to financially administer the Funza Lushaka bursary funding and has been administering the funds on behalf of the department since 2007. NSFAS’ roles and responsibilities are set out in an approved Memorandum of agreement (MOA)that was signed on December 14, 2018. 147164 Funza Lushaka bursaries have been awarded between 2007 and 2019 at a cost of R 9,6 billion.

For more information on the Funza Lushaka bursary programme please visit: www.education.gov.za or www.funzalushaka.doe.gov.za

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