NSFAS pays R600m to cover students' historical debt
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has paid over R600m to alleviate debt accumulated by its students before 2018.
Before 2018, students with fees over R85,000 were required to sign an acknowledgement of debt, which would sometimes block them from registering.
NSFAS administrator Dr Randall Carolissen said the scheme had received over 1.7-million claims from higher education institutions.
“We asked universities to give us details of those students who had previously accumulated debt because their fees went beyond the threshold at the time. Upon review, we found that only claims amounting to R600m met the set criteria,” he said.
Carolissen added that institutions have agreed to not stop NSFAS students from registering.
“This only applies to the students who accumulated debt before 2018, as students now get full funding.”
Higher education and training minister Blade Nzimande said at a media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday that the scheme had received a record number of applications by the closing date of November 30.
“More than 543,268 first-time applications [up from 428,929] were received from across the country, with the majority [of them] online via the myNSFAS portal,” he said.
To date 359,037 applications have been approved for full funding.