How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Accommodation? [2023]

How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Accommodation

Students from underprivileged backgrounds were encouraged to attend higher education through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in 1996. The purpose of this article is to provide you with an overview of How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Accommodation in 2023, hoping to keep you updated. We last checked, NSFAS applications totaled more than 750,000 yearly, which is how many learners apply for funding.

What is the NSFAS?

It provides financial support to students entering tertiary education (colleges, universities, and vocational courses) at a national level in South Africa. Students without regular student loans or bank funding may apply for the NSFAS if they cannot afford such education through other means.

Overview of Accommodation Allowance

The NSFAS provides students with an accommodation allowance to help cover the costs of their accommodations while studying. Assisting students who do not live with their families and need to find housing nearby their institutions is the purpose of the accommodation allowance. It depends on a variety of factors how much the accommodation allowance is.

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How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Accommodation

How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Accommodation

Additionally, bursaries cover other annual allowances in addition to registration and tuition fees.  2023 allowances are:

The accommodation allowance depends on the fees charged by the college or university (private accommodations cannot exceed the costs of halls of residence or hostels provided by the institution).

  • There is a book allowance of R5,200.
  • The living allowance is R15,000.
  • There is a personal care allowance of R2,900.
  • The student will receive a transport allowance of R7,500 (no farther than 40km from their place of study).

How Much Does NSFAS Pay Per Student?

The NSFAS pays TVET students living in towns and other urban areas R24,000 a year, peri-urban TVET students R18,900, and rural TVET students R15,750 a year.

How much does NSFAS pay for university accommodation?

Depending on the university, the maximum allowance for student housing varies. 

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) requires universities to adhere to guidelines when regulating their fee structures. Universities have the discretion to decide how to do so. 

DHET guidelines set a cap amount annually for NSFAS to pay directly to tertiary institutions for student accommodation.

There is a variety of accommodation options available for students, including university-owned catered residences, university-managed self-catering residences, or private off-campus accredited accommodation, subject to specific terms and conditions. 

During NSFAS funding, NSFAS will pay the actual costs of university-managed off-campus self-catering residences and on-campus catered residences charged by the institutions. 

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How much will NSFAS pay for off-campus accommodation?

How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Accommodation

University-managed off-campus housing, accredited private off-campus housing, and non-accredited off-campus housing are the three categories of off-campus housing.

Unless the cost of off-campus accommodations exceeds the maximum cost of on-campus accommodations, NSFAS will cover the actual cost.

When choosing private accommodation, students should ensure the residence is accredited by NSFAS. A copy of the lease, along with the student’s proof of residence, should be submitted to their respective institution as part of the application process. Students should consult their institution’s fee structure before signing a lease.

How much will NSFAS pay for TVET college accommodation?

TVET colleges are funded differently under NSFAS. The amount allocated for accommodation varies per type of accommodation and location, apart from students being required to apply for financial aid through their colleges. 

A TVET college will be able to receive the following amount from NSFAS per year for students studying there:

  • Managed residence at TVET College – R33,000 
  • Accommodation in rural areas – R 15,750
  • Private accommodation in the peri-urban area – R 18,900
  • Private accommodation in the city – R 25,200

The institution requires a copy of the student’s lease agreement as well as proof of residence if they want to reside in private student accommodation.

Up to R 7,350 may be awarded to TVET college students living within 40 kilometers of campus.

Factors Affecting NSFAS Accommodation Allowance

How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Accommodation

Accommodation allowance amounts provided by NSFAS can be affected by several factors. A few of these factors are:

  1. Location: Student residence can be affected by the location of the institution they attend. Higher accommodation allowances may be paid to institutions in metropolitan areas where living costs are higher.
  2. Type of Accommodation: Student accommodations can also affect allowances. Residents of university residence halls, for instance, may receive a different allowance than those of privately rented apartments.
  3. Institution’s Policy: Accommodation allowance policies vary between institutions based on budgets and resources. A fixed amount may be provided by some institutions, while a sliding scale may be offered by others depending on the student’s financial situation.

Who is eligible to apply?

NSFAS online applications for 2023 are open to South African citizens and those who have been accepted for their first undergraduate qualification and are able to prove a household income of less than R350,000 a year. The NSFAS is not a guarantee of acceptance, even if you meet these criteria.

Accommodation Allowance Eligibility Criteria:

  1. By meeting the requirements of the NSFAS means test, demonstrating financial need.
  2. Income must not exceed the threshold set by NSFAS for combined family income.
  3. Assuring that all documents and information necessary for the application process are provided to NSFAS.

To maximize their chances of receiving the accommodation allowance from NSFAS, students should carefully review and meet all eligibility criteria.

What is needed?

This information will be required, so it is a good idea to prepare it beforehand. A copy of your contact information, ID, and birth certificate, as well as proof of your income and the income of your household, and your disability annexure (if applicable), as well as your child’s Vulnerable Child Declaration and Consent (if applicable), are all required. The NSFAS email address for sending documents is [email protected]

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How to Apply for NSFAS Accommodation Allowance?

How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Accommodation

NSFAS provides an application process for eligible students to apply for the accommodation allowance. In most cases, applications are submitted online, documentation is provided, and eligibility criteria are met. The application process will be more efficient if students submit their applications on time and provide accurate information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am eligible for the NSFAS accommodation allowance?

You can find more information about NSFAS’ eligibility criteria on their official website or by contacting their helpline.

How much is the maximum accommodation allowance provided by NSFAS?

A maximum accommodation allowance of ZAR 40,000 per year is available through NSFAS as of 2023.

How is the accommodation allowance paid by NSFAS?

Student accommodation allowances are typically paid directly to institutions where students are enrolled.

Can I apply for the NSFAS accommodation allowance if I am studying part-time?

No, students can only apply for NSFAS accommodation allowances if they are full-time undergraduates.

What documents do I need to provide when applying for the NSFAS accommodation allowance?

As required by NSFAS, you may have to provide documents such as proof of identity, proof of enrollment at a public university or TVET college, and proof of family income.


In South Africa, as well as for individuals who might otherwise struggle to pay for their higher education, the NSFAS is a hugely beneficial program. To maximise your chances of acceptance, you need to understand the application process, how it works, and what to expect.

Using the NSFAS, South Africa’s educational and human development goals will be positively impacted by bringing people with limited financial means into further education. A student’s tuition was subsidized fully from 2018 onwards; prior to 2018, loans were issued and partially repaid.

Furthermore, you can check the status of your NSFAS application here if you have already applied.

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