NSFAS reports on improvements


A year after National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) administrator Randall Carolissen took office, he yesterday reported that the institution has improved to where it could handle double the number of applicants. Addressing parliament yesterday, Carolissen spoke of the problems that needed to be cleared up when the scheme was placed into administration last August. He cited a lack of technical experts and a structure top-heavy with highly paid executives as some challenges it faced. This year, 93% of applications were finalised by the end of January, in time for academic registration and relieving beneficiaries of having to pay registration fees.

According to the report, NSFAS approved financial aid for 442,380 students at universities and colleges this year, out of a total of 546,499 applications. Last year, the number of applicants had been 267,866. NSFAS has now disbursed more than R21billion of the R22bn that was budgeted for last year. Despite the positive aspects, several institutions around the country have been brought to a standstill because of protests due to problems with NSFAS funding.

Applications for the 2020 academic year open on September 1 and close on November 30. NSFAS announced that the new improved online system includes fast-tracking the grant recipient. Learners with disabilities will also supposedly have an easier application process. – Read more on the IOL news site