Aid crisis for students

Hundreds could drop out if funding not through before registration cutoff

Students who applied for funding from the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) are becoming increasingly anxious about whether or not their applications will be approved. With no feedback and the deadline for late registration looming, hundreds of NMMU students face the possibility of dropping out.

The normal registration for NMMU students closed on March 10 and the deadline for late registration is at the end of the month.

NSFAS spokesman Kagisho Mamabolo has put the blame on universities, saying they failed to submit some of the required information.

“Matching applicants with admissions is a detailed process which must be carefully managed to ensure the right students are funded,” he said.

“This has been further complicated by the fact that not all universities have submitted the information required by NSFAS, as they themselves are still busy with the conclusion of registrations,” Mamabolo said.

Last month, the scheme said it had already responded to 2 496 applications from new students and would complete the process by February 28.

Second-year public relations student Sive Kupati, 20, of Mthatha, said: “Fortunately I have been able to attend lectures, but what is the point if I don’t even have stationery? “I don’t have a notebook to write in. “How do I study when I get to res?” Kupati said he could not buy textbooks or food, and had been forced to sell all his textbooks so that he could buy food last month.

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