The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has received more than 160 536 applications from students seeking funding for 2021, since the opening date for funding applications on 3 August 2020.

NSFAS Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen, said that during the first month on average NSFAS has been receiving more than 5 000 applications a day, with the number going as high as 6 000 during the last days of August.

“To date, over 188 733 applications have been submitted,” Carolissen said in a statement on Monday.

Carolissen said NSFAS anticipates a high volume of applications leading up to the closing date due to the recent economic strain due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications are opened for Grade 9 to12 learners and out of school youth who wish to further their studies at any public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college or universities across the country.

NSFAS urged prospective applicants to apply on time before the closing date on 30 November 2020. Applications are submitted online via a smartphone, personal computer, or by utilising applications centres of NSFAS partners.

Carolissen said NSFAS continuously provides easy access, reachability, and free access to information by forging and retaining relationships with stakeholder partnerships.

He said these partnerships provide customised links between an applicant and NSFAS during the application cycle and beyond.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) continues to be instrumental in assisting applicants to use their facilities as application centres, free of charge.

The NYDA has centres across nine provinces, offering a variety of services to students, and out of school youth.

Carolissen said the NYDA centres will be fully operational and accessible as NSFAS applications centres from 14 September 2020, Mondays to Fridays, during office hours.

“NSFAS has strengthened its partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to further increase NSFAS footprint and reachability, specifically for learners in Grade 10 to 12. DBE will link NSFAS with provinces and district offices and provide a database of National Teachers Centres which will assist with applications.

“Applications are submitted online via myNSFAS portal. New applicants need a copy of their ID document or birth certificate to register and create a profile on the myNSFAS portal. Applicants with existing accounts need to log into their accounts, you’re only allowed to create one profile,” the Administrator explained.

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