NSFAS has withdrawn funding from students who are 'abusing the system', says CEO

A total of 5,000 students who were funded for the 2020 academic year have been recently unfunded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen. Picture: @myNSFAS/Twitter

NSFAS says financial information obtained from SARS has revealed that these students' declared total household family income was above the R350,000 threshold.

The affected students will have 14 days to petition this decision by submitting proof of family income or change of income to NSFAS for review.

NSFAS CEO Dr. Randall Carolissen says students must submit all the documents need to the following email address: IncomeReview@nsfas.org.za.

Carolissen says the student funding scheme has found a more reliable way to validate and check applications against the SARS database.

He says the newly implemented income review process will be built into the application system going forward.

According to Carolissen, students have already submitted their petitioning documents, explaining the changes to their financial circumstances.

He says NSFAS will work to recover the funds given to the ineligible students and make sure the money is allocated to those who need it.

We've invited the students to make a petition to us because we understand that things could have changed in the meanwhile since we had access to the validation data.

Dr Randall Carolissen, CEO - NSFAS

We checked all the applicants against SARS and we found that these 5,000 - according to their household income - is above the threshold.

Dr Randall Carolissen, CEO - NSFAS

When students apply for NSFAS they have to declare their household income.

Dr Randall Carolissen, CEO - NSFAS

Based on the data, there are definitely people that should not be funded by NSFAS with [a household income] way above the threshold.

Dr Randall Carolissen, CEO - NSFAS

We've had reports from different campuses that students are abusing the NSFAS systems and are living lavish lifestyles, which is not the spirit of the funding.

Dr Randall Carolissen, CEO - NSFAS

Meanwhile, some young South Africans on social media have argued that the NSFAS administration is failing students, particularly those in the so-called missing middle.

An online petition has been created urging Higher Education Minister Balde Nzimande to support students in the missing middle who cannot afford university fees.

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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : NSFAS has withdrawn funding from students who are 'abusing the system', says CEO