NSFAS news Today 23rd March 2023
In todays latest NSFAS News – A Special Investigating Unit probe found that more than 40,000 students who got money from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) between 2018 and 2021 did not meet the means test for the bursary.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) gives money to poor South African college students who are studying at public colleges and universities around the country.
To get the bursary, students must meet certain standards. One of these is that they must come from a household that earns less than R350 000 per year. This is part of the NSFAS means test.
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) found that more than 40 000 students who got money from NSFAS between 2018 and 2021 came from families with incomes of more than R350 000. This means that they did not meet the standards to get money from the bursary scheme. This likely cost NSFAS about R5 billion.
The SIU said that students didn’t give information about their parents when they filled out their applications, so the means test wasn’t done right.
Students who get a social grant from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) automatically meet the NSFAS criteria. However, this causes problems because any mistakes in the Sassa system are quickly transferred to the NSFAS system.
The SIU said that when they talked to students, some of them admitted that they did not qualify for NSFAS money.
Dr. Nkosinathi Sishi, who is the Director General of Higher Education and Training, said that there are a few things that need to be done to fix tertiary spending.
He said that the amount of money available to help students pay for school is far less than what is needed, and there are big gaps between what students get and what it costs to go to school.
Dr. Sishi said that the NSFAS eligibility criteria don’t take into account class problems like the “missing middle,” which are students who are too rich to qualify for NSFAS funding but too poor to pay for college.
He thinks that if these problems can be solved, the secondary sector can move into a new era in which no young people are outside the system.
He said that the 2.5 million young South Africans who are in school are not enough because another 3.4 million are not in school. Sishi wants all young people in Postsecondary Education and Training institutions to be registered within the next six months.