Student Funding: bursaries & loans

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Who qualifies to apply for NSFAS funding and where can I apply?
  • Applications are done online on the NSFAS website:
  • Who qualifies:

    • Must be South African citizen / permanent resident.
    • Combined gross household income should not exceed R350 000 per annum.
    • SASSA recipients automatically qualify on financial eligibility.
Does NSFAS provide support for students with disabilities?
  • Yes, students with disabilities must complete Annexures A and B (available on the NSFAS website) and attach proof of disability and quotation for assistive devices with the online application form.
How do you know if registration data is sent to NSFAS?
  • Registration for approved students as per the NSFAS funding list is activated without paying a minimum registration amount.
  • Students receive SMS from UNISA confirming that registration has been finalized.
  • By tracking updates on NSFAS portal created during application process, status will show “registration received".
Why is study fees account still owing while NSFAS has approved my funding?
  • NSFAS take responsibility to settle your study fee account later or during the year.
  • The balance owing on study fee account will not interfere with all services due to a student by the university, for example supply of study material, marking of assignments and exams.
  • NSFAS settlement of tuition fee account is subject to a student being registered for first qualification and funded qualification.
  • NSFAS does not cover additional charges such as, supplementary exam fees, remark fees and textbook charged on the study fees account.
How are NSFAS allowances paid?
  • NSFAS allowances are paid by the NSFAS service provider COINVEST.
  • Coinvest will send communication to students to onboard/register to receive their allowances.
  • Students are required to onboard/register on the coinvest platform to receive the NSFAS MasterCard and digital money account.
If allowances appear to be wrong or not loaded who should a student talk to?
  • Contact COINVEST via the below channels:
  • Call: 011 507 5555/ 0800 014 551


How are allowances calculated for NSFAS DHET Grant students funded at UNISA?
  • LMA is calculated at R700 per module for the first 4 modules,
  • R5460 for 5 or more modules per academic year.
  • Students registered for 10 or more modules qualify for incidental allowance of R304.50 per month for 10 months.
Why is the payout of allowance delayed?
  • NSFAS has not provided the service provider with the students’ allowance information.
  • Allowance reserved for laptop purchase.
  • If a student has not successfully registered on the coinvest platform.
Will a student get additional allowance for second semester registration?
  • Only if the student registered less than five modules during the first semester registration period and adds additional modules in the 2nd semester.
Who qualifies for the R304.50 monthly living allowance?
  • Only students funded by NSFAS DHET grant, DHET Disability and registered for a full load, that is, ten modules in an academic year.
How does a student choose between book allowance and a laptop?
  • During the 1st semester registration period, 1st year students are sent an email of their mylife emails to make a choice between a laptop or book allowance.
  • Only students registered for 5 or more modules in the first semester will qualify for the laptop.
How will a student who opted for a laptop receive it?
  • Students who opted for a laptop will be contacted by the laptop supplier when the laptop is ready for delivery or collection.

I made payment towards my studies and was later approved for funding by NSFAS, will I receive a refund?

  • Yes, refunds of R100 or more will be paid to a student except for payments made by another sponsor/bursary.
  • All refunds will be less other costs not funded by NSFAS such as previous years debt, supplementary and other exam cost and tuition cost for Non Degree Purpose registered modules. 
  • Refunds are subject to NSFAS successfully linking student registration data.

My NSFAS application was rejected, can I appeal the outcome?

  • Yes, you can submit an appeal by clicking on the 'Submit Appeal’ tab on the mynsfas portal.
  • Should the appeal be approved, NSFAS should notify the institution of the successful appeal outcome.
My NSFAS appeal requires a propensity letter to complete my appeal application, what is a propensity letter and how do I obtain it?
  • A propensity letter serves to confirm that student has the propensity to complete their qualification within one additional academic term.
  • To get the propensity letter email
Does NSFAS fund a 2nd qualification or postgraduate qualification?
  • No, NSFAS only funds a student’s first qualification.
  • As of the 2021 academic year, NSFAS will no longer provide funding for postgraduate courses.
What other funding is available/ administered by NSFAS and where can I get more information on how to apply?
  • Funza Lushaka bursary: For students studying towards a teaching Degree.


  • Department of Military Veterans (DMV) bursary: For Military Veterans and their dependents.


  • Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) bursary: For a person declared a victim of apartheid by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and their dependents.


  • Compensation fund (COID) bursary: For unemployed persons who suffered occupational injuries or diseases and, as a result, acquired a permanent disablement and dependents of COID Persons with Disabilities and dependents of fatally injured workers.


Which department is responsible for handling NSFAS bursary related enquires or queries?
  • The Directorate Student Funding administers NSFAS bursaries, and all enquiries and queries should be addressed to

Last modified: 2023/08/07