Student fees and funding your studies
Unisaís study fees are generally lower than other higher education institutions, but studying is a significant investment either way. The cost depends on the qualification, obviously, as well as the number of modules you choose. The average student takes between 4 and 6 modules per year at a cost of between R1 000 and R2 000 per module. The module costs do not include your prescribed books. Books are an additional cost that you must factor into your fee calculations. Click here for more information on registration fees.
Pay the application fee once you receive the reference number: R100,00 for web and self-help applications, R150,00 for post and fax applications. This fee is non-refundable even if you decide not to study through Unisa or do not qualify for admission to Unisa.
Average Unisa student fees
These fees reflect 2012 prices and are subject to change without prior notice. The maximum amount indicated below is based on 120 credits for the year.
|BA (including Bachelor of Information Science,
Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Theology,
Bachelor of Musicology)
|National Higher Certificate (Accountancy)
Steps in applying for student funding
An overview of the process of applying for student funding.
Ensure that you have complied with Section 6 regarding supporting documents.
Please note: late, incomplete and faxed application forms without all supporting documents will not be considered.
Semester 1: 1 August - 17 September 2012
Semester 2: 2 - 17 April 2013
Do a provisional registration
First-time Unisa students to register for a maximum of 3 modules.
Semester 1: 26 November 2012 - 4 January 2013
Semester 2: 3 - 14 June 2013
Notification of whether funding application successful or unsuccessful. Successful NSFAS applicants to sign agreement at nearest Unisa office.
Semester 1: 7 - 18 January 2013 Semester 2: 18 - 28 June 2013
All applicants who did not receive any notification must go to the nearest Unisa office for enquiries.
Semester 1: 21 - 25 January 2013
Semester 2: 1 - 5 July 2013
Bursaries and loans for Unisa students
Unisaís Student Funding Division administers donor funding in the form of bursaries and loans to Unisa students. The criteria for awarding these bursaries and loans are determined by the donors of the funding. All application forms are available at http://www.unisa.ac.za/studentfunding
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) operates according to the National Student Financial Aid Act 56 of 1999. If a NSFAS borrower successfully passes all their courses in a particular academic year, their loan amount for that year is reduced by 40%; they only pay interest on 60% of the loan amount. Both the 40% capital amount and all interest on that 40% is written off, because it is treated as a grant or bursary.
Who qualifies for a NSFAS loan?
A student qualifies for a NSFAS loan or bursary if he or she is
- a South African citizen.
- registered at a public South African higher education institution.
- an undergraduate student studying towards a first higher education qualification.
- a student studying towards a postgraduate qualification because itís a requirement to practise in his or her chosen profession (such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Education).
- able to demonstrate potential for academic success and the fact that he or she is financially needy. Students who receive loans, bursaries or scholarships from other sources that cover the full cost of study are not eligible for a NSFAS loan. If you wish to enrol for postgraduate studies such as an Honours in Theology or an Advanced Diploma in Management, you are not eligible for NSFAS funding. Interest on loans
- The annual maximum and minimum loan amounts made by institutions are determined by the NSFAS Board. The NSFAS maximum loan amount is generally equal to the national average full cost of study, as determined by NSFAS.
- The percentage (a maximum of 40%) of the amount lent to a student may be converted to a bursary if the student is academically successful. The date of the conversion will be determined by NSFAS.
- The following parameters apply in respect of every year, unless they are changed by NSFAS. - Interest on loans will begin to accrue one year after the date of completion of a funded qualification. - The NSFAS interest rate is lower than that of the Reserve Bank when it lends to other banks. It is also less than the interest the borrower would pay to any other lender. How to apply for a NSFAS loan
- Apply for admission to Unisa and get a Unisa student number.
- Complete a NSFAS application form (also available from any Unisa office) and attach all the documents stipulated on the application form.
- Submit your application and required documents via the drop-off boxes at all Unisa centres. Late, incomplete or faxed applications without supporting documents will not be considered.
- Register provisionally. (First time Unisa students can register for a maximum of 3 modules.)
- You will receive an SMS telling you whether your application was successful. Successful applicants will need to sign a loan agreement form at the nearest Unisa office.
- Unsuccessful applicants should enquire at the nearest Unisa office.
Students are selected by Unisaís Student Funding Division (DSF) in conjunction with the Unisa Foundation.
||Students from designated groups registered for Nursing. Must obtain an average of 60%.|
Application forms are issued by DSF and the selection is done by DSF.
||Only for South African students registered for postgraduate studies in logistics. Selection done by DSF.|
|Only South African students from designated groups. Any qualification, but must obtain an|
average of 70% or higher. DSF selects the students.
||Background Black South African students who show good academic progress. Final-year selection done by DSF.|
||Graduating students with outstanding fees. Students with disabilities. Selection done by DSF.|
|Five best female students. Evaluation done each year. Application forms are issued by DSF and|
selection done by the SAWG Association.
|Old Mutual Bursary
||Best performing students in identified areas: Accounting, Economics, Statistics, Agriculture. South|
African citizen only. List drawn by DSF and forwarded to the sponsor for selection.
||Once-off allocation of R5000. Art students studying towards a module in visual arts.|
||Teaching qualification, specifically priority areas. South African Citizens. Selection done by|
selection committee (DSF, College of Education & representatives from DBE).
||Students studying Social Work. Selection done by National Department of Social Welfare. Academic progress.|
||Qualifications in finance, law and agriculture. Students are identified by Nedbank.|
||Students affected by TRC. Allocated by the TRC. South African citizens only.|
||Students who have a permanent disability. South African students only. First undergraduate qualification. Pay tuition, books & assistive device.|
||Students studying in area of identified scarce skills. Academic performance. Undergraduate. Means test. South African citizens only.|
|Department of Arts
& Culture Heritage
|Students studying archaeology. Students apply directly to Heritage Foundation.|
||Students studying towards a teacherís qualification. Students are identified by the KZN DoE.|
||All qualifications only for ZCC members. Selection and application process done by ZCC.|
||Undergraduate education, PGCE application and selection is done by the SETA.|
||Postgraduate finance. Application and selection is done by the SETA.|
||Engineering students. Application and selection done by De Beers.|
||Unisa Theology students, selection is done by the School of Theology.|