How to Check Your NSFAS Application Status (2023)

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is South Africa’s solution to the problem of poor students not being able to afford higher education. It was instituted by former president Jacob Zuma with the aim of providing free tertiary education to many students from poor and working-class families. The scheme has already become very successful; it has become a lifeline to the poor and struggling; helping a large number to gain higher education.

The three avenues of applying to the NSFAS are online, at any NYDA office near you, and at the Financial Aid office of your school. No matter what avenue you use to register there is still quite some significant waiting time; and this causes many applicants to worry about whether or not their applications were successful.

Having applied for the NSFAS you should periodically check the status of your application so as to check whether your NSFAS application status is successful or not.

How to Check Your NSFAS Application Status

  • If you have a personal computer with an internet connection you can do this from home, but if not you may use a public computer at an internet café. Go to the official website of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). The NSFAS provides the application results online so you have to check it over the internet. 
  • When you are on the website, the next thing to do is to click on MyNSFAS account. Then the system will show bring forth a panel for you to log in using your username and password. This is the same username and password you created when you applied. 
  • Once you log in you are shown your dashboard. Then you click on the Track Funding Progress tab to monitor the progress of your application. The system will either say Pending, Approved, or Declined.

If the system says Pending then you have to wait while they review your application. If it says Approved then you have nothing to worry about; you will soon receive funding. But if it says Declined then you must have done something wrong.

Why is Your NSFAS Application Declined?

If you find out that the status of your application reads declined or unsuccessful, there are a lot of things that you could have done wrong. It could be that you did not key in the right information in the personal information section of the registration page. It could be that you did not upload the supporting documents as you were required to do. Sometimes, an applicant could upload all the proper documents but they may not be clear and legible. That is enough grounds for disqualification.

The proper thing to do at this time would be to check all the documents and information that you have supplied to the board. If you find that you have submitted the proper information, then it is also possible that you just do not qualify. If the committee decides that you are not eligible to receive funding from the NSAFS because your family income is above the threshold, then you may have to look for other bursaries or grants. 

However, if you are not comfortable with the rejection, you can file an appeal, after which the committee will take a second look at your application. The appeal form is available on the official website of NSFAS for review by the appeals committee.

What you need to Know about the NSFAS Qualification Criteria 

Qualification for applying for NSFAS depends on you meeting up a few requirements. These requirements are not difficult to reach, but failing to meet them will almost certainly lead to the application being declined.

We have already outlined the requirements needed to qualify for the NSFAS, but we will repost them here just for you to go over again; ensuring that your application will not be declined.


 You must be a citizen of South Africa. You can prove this with your National Identity documents.

 You must prove that you are poor. The combined annual income of your household must not be more than R350,000 per annum. You can prove this by uploading your parent’s payslips, or Pension Advice. You must also be a grant recipient of SASSA. You may upload evidence of this too. 

As a first-time applicant, you must be registering for an undergraduate qualification at a public university. Alternatively, you can be registered at a public TVET College for any of the National Certificate Vocational programmes.  

As an applicant, you should be applying to study at a public university or TVET College. However, if you are an already registered student of a university before you decided to register, it is expected that your annual household income is less than R122,000 in a year. You are required to upload evidence of this.

 A certain amount of preference is given to students with disabilities. If you have any form of disability, the NSFAS is willing to provide funding for you even if your combined household income is up to R600,000 per annum. 

If you are studying at a TVET College, the NSFAS requires you to have passed Grade 9 & 10 if you want to receive the funding. The threshold is slightly higher for Universities; if you are studying at any of the universities, you are required to have passed Grade 12. 

Special Consideration Courses

The NSFAS is primarily designed to help poor students fund their education. That means the main focus is education up to the Graduate level. The NSFAS does not usually fund postgraduate studies, and so such applications are usually declined. 

However, exceptions can be made.

Students who have a B-Tech degree in Architecture/Architectural Technology, and wish to pursue a postgraduate degree may apply.

Students who have B Tech degrees in Biokinetics/Biomedical Technology/Biotechnology, and wish to pursue postgraduate studies may apply. 

Students who possess Postgraduate Certificates in Education, and wish to pursue postgraduate studies can also apply. 

If you have a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting, you can apply for funding.

 If you have a Bachelor of Laws degree and wish to pursue postgraduate studies then you can also apply.



When applying for the NSFAS, it is better to ensure that you provide all the necessary information in a truthful and accurate manner, and also to provide all the supporting documentation so as to reduce the chances that your NSFAS application status will be declined. The appeals process is not as straightforward as the initial registration process, and there is no guarantee that an appeal will end in the application being approved.