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NSFAS Says No Compromise On NSFAS R350 000 Income Threshold Requirements



NSFAS Says No Compromise On NSFAS R350 000 Income Threshold Requirements

Students in need who wish to further their education can apply for NSFAS funding. NSFAS has qualifying requirements, including an income threshold, which many have expressed opposition to.

NSFAS Says No Compromise On NSFAS R350 000 Income Threshold Requirements

NSFAS provides funding to students from low-income or working-class backgrounds who wish to further their education at a tertiary institution.Bursaries go beyond paying for your tuition. NSFAS allowances will also cover registration, accommodation, transportation, and books.

In order to qualify for the bursary scheme, you need to have an income threshold of R350 000 or less per year. In order to qualify for funding, the combined salary of everyone in the applicant’s household should not exceed R350 000.

However, this excludes a portion of the student population called the missing middle. It refers to those who are too rich to qualify for NSFAS, but too poor to afford their own fees. Between R350 000 and R600 000 would be their income threshold.

Many people have called for the NSFAS income threshold requirement to be raised to R350 000, instead of R600 000, as missing middle students often have difficulty paying fees.However, NSFAS has stated that there is no compromise on the household income threshold and that everyone who exceeds it will not be funded.

It is not possible for a student who falls under the missing middle to apply for a NSFAS bursary, even if they appeal to NSFAS saying they cannot afford their fees.NSFAS appeals are handled by the Independent Tribunal. NSFAS Spokesperson stated that such a case would not be considered as it exceeds the income threshold.

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How is NSFAS and the Department of Higher Education helping the missing middle?

NSFAS spokesperson revealed in an interview that the department is working on a comprehensive student funding model focused on students in the missing middle bracket.A loan funding option will be available to these students.

Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, said at a media briefing earlier this year

We have got a report now of the ministerial task team and we’re just concluding consultations on that, with the aim of going back to cabinet to hopefully adopt a comprehensive student funding model on that by the end of the current financial year or not very late in the new financial year.

His department is developing an alternative funding model for university and technical vocational education and training (TVET) college students, according to Nzimande.

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