For many South African students, the dream of higher education can sometimes feel out of reach due to financial constraints. Thankfully, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is here to bridge the gap. NSFAS provides financial assistance to eligible students to help cover their tuition fees and living expenses. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how NSFAS handles tuition fees and allowances while answering some frequently asked questions.

 How Much Does NSFAS Pay for Tuition Fees?

NSFAS, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme in South Africa, typically covers the full cost of tuition fees for eligible students. This means that if you qualify for NSFAS assistance, your tuition fees should be fully paid, and you won’t have to pay them out of your own pocket. The exact amount NSFAS pays for tuition fees varies depending on the specific program or course you are enrolled in and your family’s financial situation. However, NSFAS aims to ensure that eligible students have their tuition fees covered in their entirety to make higher education more accessible.

How Many Months Does NSFAS Pay?

12 months.

NSFAS provides financial support for the duration of your academic program. For most students pursuing a three-year bachelor’s degree, NSFAS will cover your tuition fees and provide allowances for all 12 months of the year. This comprehensive support is designed to ease the financial burden and allow you to focus on your studies without worrying about funding.

 How Much Does NSFAS Pay Per Student?

The amount NSFAS pays per student can vary based on several factors, including your family’s financial situation and the cost of your tuition fees. NSFAS uses a means test to determine the appropriate level of financial assistance for each student. The means test takes into account your family’s income, the number of dependents, and other financial considerations. This ensures that the financial aid is distributed equitably among eligible students.

How do I check my NSFAS allowance balance?

The following are the steps to check your NSFAS allowance balance:

  1. Visit the NSFAS Website: Go to the official NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) website. You can access the website by typing “” into your web browser.
  2. Log into Your MyNSFAS Account: To access your allowance balance, you need to have a MyNSFAS account. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create an account by providing your details and following the registration process.
  3. Login to Your Account: Enter your username and password to log in to your MyNSFAS account.
  4. Navigate to Your Dashboard: Once logged in, you’ll be taken to your MyNSFAS dashboard, which provides an overview of your NSFAS account.
  5. Check Your Allowance Balance: Look for a section or tab on your dashboard that displays your allowance balance. This section will provide details about your NSFAS funding, including the amount allocated for tuition and allowances.
  6. Review Disbursement Dates: In addition to your allowance balance, you can also find information about disbursement dates, which indicates when your NSFAS funds will be paid out to you.
  7. Contact NSFAS Support (If Needed): If you encounter any issues or have questions about your allowance balance, you can contact NSFAS support for assistance. They can provide guidance and address any concerns you may have.

How Long Does it Take to Apply for NSFAS?

The NSFAS application process typically opens well in advance of the academic year to allow ample time for processing. The application period usually starts in September or October for the following year. It’s essential to apply as early as possible to ensure timely processing of your application.

Once you’ve submitted your application and provided all the required documentation, NSFAS will review and assess your eligibility. This process can take several weeks, so it’s necessary to monitor your application status through the NSFAS portal and respond promptly to any requests for additional information.


NSFAS is a lifeline for many South African students seeking higher education. However, understanding how NSFAS handles tuition fees and allowances is very important for those planning to pursue their dreams through tertiary education.

As the application period approaches, remember to check the NSFAS website for updates and apply early to secure the financial support you need to embark on your educational journey. With NSFAS’s assistance, you can focus on your studies and achieve your academic goals without the burden of financial worries.


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