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Students funded by NSFAS to be allowed to register at institutions despite owing fees

Returning students who are funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)‚ will be allowed to register at institutions despite owing fees‚ higher education minister Blade Nzimande said.

“All institutions have been requested to register returning NSFAS qualifying students who meet the academic requirements but who still owe institutions fees in 2020‚” said Nzimande‚ addressing the media on the state of his department’s readiness for the 2020 academic year‚ on Thursday.

He said NSFAS qualifying students would be requested to sign an acknowledgment of debt form to enable them to register.

“All universities have also been requested to continue to implement processes to enable academically successful students who have outstanding student debt to continue with their studies in 2020‚ wherever possible.”

Nzimande said applications for NSFAS funding have been reopened after requests from prospective students.

“I wish to indicate that the NSFAS process is not closed to those students who will be accepted at universities and colleges who might not have applied for NSFAS assistance. As soon as universities and colleges bring these to our attention‚ these students will benefit from NSFAS‚ if they qualify. There is already a process in place to manage this between institutions and NSFAS to ensure that late applicants that have been accepted for registered places can access funding if they qualify‚” Nzimande said.

He noted improvements in the operations at NSFAS since the appointment of an administrator‚ and improved working relationships between NSFAS and institutions‚ “which has resulted in a relatively successful registration period in 2019″.

“It is our firm believe that through improved information management systems and augmented management structure‚ NSFAS will be able to deliver effectively in the 2020 academic year.

“I also want to re-emphasise the point I made during the press briefing I held on the 16th January 2020‚ that in 2020‚ we have arranged through NSFAS to pay the registration or first fee instalment for all NSFAS qualifying students as an upfront payment to universities and TVET colleges in January.

“Therefore‚ NSFAS qualifying students will not pay any registration or upfront fees in 2020. However‚ all other students are expected to pay their upfront/registration fees‚” said the minister.

Source: TMG Digital.