Dept clarifies qualification criteria for NSFAS funding to settle historic debt

This means the allocation announced on Sunday is specifically for students who were funded under the previous NSFAS scheme before improved funding started last year.

FILE: National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) employees going through the application process. Picture: @myNSFAS/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Higher Education and Training has clarified that students who registered for tertiary education over the last two years will not benefit from the allocation of R967 million to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to settle historic debt.

This means the allocation announced on Sunday is specifically for students who were funded under the previous NSFAS scheme before improved funding started last year.

Now, this comes after years of student protests about poor and "missing middle" youths being kicked out of universities because they couldn't settle their debt.

The students have not been able to pay back the money after being required to settle their accounts through their own funding.

The department's director-general Gwebinkundla Qonde explained which students qualify for the funding.

“The students who are eligible are those who are in the system, who are continuing, who registered in 2017 and 2018 at the cap of R122,000 and as a result because the amount of money was not adequate to pay for the full cost of study [sic].”

He says students who registered last year and this year don't qualify.

"Those do not qualify because government is carrying the full cost of study for those students because the cap has been revised to R160,000."