Nsfas Allowances For University Students in 2023

Nsfas Allowances

In accordance with its plans, NSFAS will distribute allowances in 2023 to qualified students. Check out this page for more information about Nfas Allowances For 2023 University Students.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) have announced new allowance funding allocations for 2023.

What are NSFAS allowances?

Nsfas Allowances

NSFAS allowances provide funds to eligible students to assist with the costs of tertiary education. In addition to covering a variety of expenses, these allowances may also be used for:

  • Accommodation
  • Transport
  • Meals
  • Books and study materials
  • Personal expenses

In this way, students who cannot afford to attend university or college on a full-time basis are still able to attend without having to worry about basic living expenses.

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The Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, said

Nsfas will spend R47.6 billion on funding allocations in 2023, said Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education.

Nsfas’s allowances have been adjusted for inflation as part of its budget for this year.

A new allowance program has been introduced by NSFAs to cover the majority of the extra costs associated with higher education, such as accommodation and textbooks.

Students can receive funding for study-related expenses as part of the government bursary program.

NSFAS beneficiaries receive their monthly student allowance as soon as academic activities resume. It is possible for students to receive these allowances directly through their NSFAS Wallets or through their institutions directly.

Student accommodation allowances of R61,500 and R5,460 per year will be provided to university students according to Nzimande. 

There will also be a 7% increase in the number of students eligible for funding

A learning materials allowance is only available to students who study less than 60-course credits toward their qualification.

Distance university students studying an equivalent full-time course load are eligible for a personal care allowance of R3,045 per academic year. It is required that a student registers for a minimum of 120 credits in one academic year in order to be eligible.

The NSFAS will provide a living allowance to students living in universities without catered residences. An R15,750 allowance will be paid in 2023, with R3,045 allocated to personal care and R12,705 allocated to meals. 

There may be two types of travel allowances available to students: travel allowances and accommodation allowances

There will be a cap of R45,000 per academic year on accommodations owned or leased by the institution, as well as private accommodations. Private accommodation allowances will be paid directly to private accommodation providers by NSFAS or institutions.

The Minimum Standards for Student Housing (MNSFSH) will be used to ensure that university accommodations (private and public) are adequate for students.

A verification process will be conducted by NSFAS or an institution for accommodations that do not meet MNSFSH criteria.

NSFAS defines the following criteria for rationing accommodation that does not meet the MNSFSH criteria: 

  • Accommodation allowances are not available to students living with immediate family or relatives. Students in this category are instead eligible for a travel allowance determined by their institution, with a maximum of R7,875 in 2023. 
  • An annual accommodation allowance of up to R45,000 is available to students living in institution-owned or leased housing.
  • Accommodation allowances for students living in accredited private accommodation are capped at R45,000 per annum.
  • Institution-catered students are eligible for an annual allowance capped at R60,750 (accommodation allowance that includes living allowance and personal care allowance).
  • Nsfas is responsible for accrediting institutions offering private accommodations.
  • The NSFAS will give a three-month notice to institutions that have been approved for accreditation and in which the NSFAS has put processes in place to take over accreditation.
  • Student accommodations will be graded by NSFAS based on the grading process.
  • To ensure the costs of private accommodation are in line with the quality of accommodation and meet MNSFSH requirements, NSFAS will verify the costs of private accommodation.
  • The National Student Financial Aid Service is allowing students in need of private accommodation to apply directly to the agency beginning in 2023 as long as the institution has not initiated the accreditation and placement process.
  • Where the student applied directly to Nsfas for private accommodation, Nsfas will facilitate signing a lease agreement and ensure that payments are made directly to the landlords.
  • Each academic term, students are only eligible for one type of accommodation allowance.

There is a maximum learning material allowance of R5,460 available to university students in the 2023 academic year.

An academic book allowance, as well as a device allowance, must be purchased in order for you to receive a learning material allowance. Academic year allowances are limited to one per student.

NSFAS requires that first-time students receive a digital learning device (such as a laptop) if they receive financial aid from NSFAS.

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How much money can you get from NSFAS allowances?

NSFAS allowance amounts are influenced by a variety of factors, including your financial need, the type of institution you attend, and the cost of living in the area where you study. Most NSFAS allowances are between a few thousand and tens of thousands of rands per year.

Maximum NSFAS Allowance

NSFAS reserves the right to acquire devices on behalf of its beneficiaries despite an institution’s exemption request. Distance education students are entitled to the maximum allowance of R5,460 per academic year.

Students at FTEN are required to purchase digital devices with part or all of their learning material allowances. Students are responsible for covering insurance, maintenance, and/or repairs of their computers.

How do you apply for NSFAS allowances?

Financial aid must first be applied for through the NSFAS website before you can apply for NSFAS allowances. A detailed description of your financial situation, including your income and expenditures, will be required as part of this application. Amounts of funding will be notified to you once your application has been processed and approved.

When do you receive your NSFAS allowances?

It depends on your institution’s policies, but NSFAS allowances are usually paid monthly. As soon as the academic year begins, you should receive your first allowance payment, and you will continue to receive payments throughout the year.

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Can you use NSFAS allowances for anything you want?

There is no need to worry about the NSFAS allowance; it is meant to cover specific living and educational expenses. These funds cannot be used for entertainment or luxury items other than education. The funds may need to be repaid if you misuse your NSFAS allowances, and you may lose future funding eligibility if you do.

What are the requirements for receiving NSFAS allowances?

It is necessary to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for NSFAS allowances. Some of the most common requirements vary by institution and financial situation, but they include:

  • Being a South African citizen
  • Living on less than R350,000 per year as a gross family income
  • Attending an accredited tertiary institution
  • Retaining a satisfactory academic record
  • Having not defaulted on any previous NSFAS loans or bursaries

Can you lose your NSFAS allowances?

If you fail to meet the requirements for continued funding, you will lose your NSFAS allowances. In this case, you may be in default on previous NSFAS loans or bursaries, have failed to maintain a satisfactory academic record, or have misused funds. Any funding you have already received may have to be repaid if your NSFAS funding is lost.

What should you do if you’re having trouble with your NSFAS allowances?

The NSFAS helpline or your institution’s financial aid office should be contacted if you are having trouble with your allowances. If you have any questions or concerns about your funding, they may be able to assist you. If you have any issues, you should address them as soon as possible to prevent any disruptions to your funding.

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What are the common misconceptions about NSFAS allowances?

In relation to NSFAS allowances, there are several common misconceptions, including the following:

  • The NSFAS funds don’t have to be repaid (in fact, they are usually issued as loans that have to be repaid after graduation).
  • In order to receive NSFAS assistance, you must show that they pay for all of your expenses (NSFAS allowances are intended to cover specific expenses related to your education and living expenses, but they may not be able to cover everything.)
  • There is a high level of competition for NSFAS funds, so not everyone who applies will be accepted)

How do NSFAS allowances compare to other forms of financial aid?

Students in South Africa have access to several forms of financial aid, including NSFAS allowances. A number of other forms of assistance are available, such as scholarships, bursaries, and loans from private lenders. Depending on your individual financial situation, you should determine which type of funding is best for you.

How have NSFAS allowances changed over time?

Several changes have been made to NSFAS allowances over the years. Currently, more funding is being provided to students from low-income families and those who are studying in fields critical to the development of the country, like science and technology. In addition, efforts have been made to streamline the application process and make funding more accessible to students.

What are the benefits of NSFAS allowances?

Students who qualify for NSFAS allowances will receive the following benefits:

  • Providing assistance with living expenses and other necessities
  • Providing financial assistance to low-income students so they can attend university or college
  • Contributing to the growth and development of the country by encouraging more South Africans to pursue higher education

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What are the drawbacks of NSFAS allowances?

In addition to providing important support to many students, NSFAS allowances also have some potential drawbacks.

  • Student debt is a significant burden for some after graduation, due to the need to repay funds
  • College and university tuition may not be fully covered by NSFAS allowances
  • There is a high level of competition for NSFAS funding, which means that not all students who apply will be funded

5 Unique FAQs About NSFAS Allowances

Can I use NSFAS allowances to pay for my tuition fees?

No, NSFAS allowances are meant to cover living expenses and other essentials, not tuition. However, NSFAS provides bursaries and loans to cover tuition fees.

How do I know if I’m eligible for NSFAS allowances?

Financial need, academic record, and other factors are required to qualify for NSFAS allowances. A list of eligibility requirements can be found on the NSFAS website.

What happens if I fail a course while receiving NSFAS allowances?

It is possible for your funding to be affected if you fail a course while receiving NSFAS allowances. A portion of your funding may need to be repaid or your eligibility for future funding may be lost.

Can I receive NSFAS allowances if I’m studying part-time?

Yes, part-time and full-time students are eligible for NSFAS allowances. Depending on your enrollment status, you may be eligible to receive different amounts of funding.

How do I apply for NSFAS allowances?

To apply for NSFAS allowances, go to the NSFAS website and submit an online application. Your financial situation and academic record will be required in this application.


NSFAS allowances are a valuable source of financial aid for many South African students. Low-income students can attend universities or colleges without worrying about financial barriers thanks to these allowances, which cover living expenses and other essentials. NSFAS funding has several disadvantages, including the requirement for repayment after graduation and high competition.

NSFAS allowances are subject to certain requirements and expectations, so it is important to do your research before applying for them. You can make an informed decision about whether this funding is right for you if you learn more about NSFAS allowances and the application process.

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