National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) makes tertiary study accessible and further changes are being made constantly as it deems fit, thus making it the best student financial scheme in the world. You might find this post very useful if you are a child of the working class, a current student who wants to further his studies through NSFAS, or Student who got blacklisted in the credit bureau by a public university.
The excerpt below is in no way the ideas of the author of this blog. It is a section taken from the 2011 Budget Vote speech delivered by the Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande.
An announcement by the President was made on January 8 and elaborated in his State of the Nation Address regarding further assistance for FET students and final year university undergraduates who qualify for NSFAS. I also wish to announce further changes on NSFAS aimed at making higher education more affordable.
In the past, NSFAS has charged interest on student loans throughout the period when the students were studying. This has resulted in students leaving university with large debts. In future, NSFAS will not start charging interest on student loans until 12 months after a student has graduated or left university. This will apply to all the NSFAS loans to students registered on 1 April 2011 and moving forward.
R200 million has been provided to enable NSFAS to grant loans to students who have completed their studies but have not received their certificates or graduated, due to outstanding debt. This will enable an estimated 25 000 students to receive their certificates and enter the job market. All students who met the requirements for graduation between 2000 and 2010 and who are eligible for NSFAS loans can apply for this special funding through their student financial aid offices. In cases of scarce skills, consideration may be given to honours students for such assistance.
A further R50 million has been provided for postgraduate students who require financial assistance to complete their honours, masters and doctoral degrees. These students will enter into loans agreements with NSFAS and the money they pay back will be earmarked to fund future postgraduate students.
Despite the progress we have made in assisting students through NSFAS, I am very concerned that there are many former university students who have been blacklisted with credit bureaus by our public universities. Blacklisting prevents these young people from getting the start in life for which they have studied so hard.
We have asked NSFAS to remove from the credit bureaux all the students they have blacklisted. My Acting Director-General is engaging the universities to do the same, especially for students who were recipients of NSFAS loans. We will further be engaging the National Credit Regulator on this matter. We will also be approaching SARS to assist us to trace NSFAS beneficiaries who are now working but not paying their loans.
Full speech available at: Budget Vote speech
Source: The department of Higher Education and Training.