On 16 December 2017, the then President, Jacob Zuma, announced that poor and working class students will get free higher education.
This announcement was followed by the announcement of UNISA on the 24th of December 2017, that students will be able to Study for Free at UNISA from 2018. UNISA further more explained how this will work for students who want to Study For Free at UNISA from 2018 and onwards.
Read the Statement on Free Higher Education from the Department of Higher Education here.
Study For Free at UNISA for First-Time Students (New Students)
- If your application for NSFAS funding has been approved, then NSFAS will pay your 2019 student fees to UNISA, which means that you will then be able to Study For Free at UNISA.
- To qualify for financial assistance from NSFAS, your household must have a combined income of less than R350 000 per year. This only apply to new students.
- Remember, to be able to Study For Free at UNISA 2019, you have to be a new student who applied to study at UNISA, AND got accepted to study at UNISA.
- Applications for a NSFAS Grant is now open to give you the opportunity to Study For Free at UNISA in 2019, so do not delay and apply now.
- If you need help to apply why not join the .
Existing Students with NSFAS Loans
- If you already have a NSFAS loan, then your loan will now be changed to a bursary/grant.
- You will not have to repay this NSFAS bursary/grant back to NSFAS.
- As a returning student, the new increased limit of the combined income of less than R350 000 per household, does not apply to you.
- The old limit of R122 000 still applies to returning students.
Existing Students who do not have NSFAS Loans
- If you are an existing student, but you do not have a NSFAS loan, you will have to pay your own student fees.
When can you apply?
- Unisa students can apply for NSFAS funding as part of their UNISA Registration Process.
- NSFAS applications for 2018 are already closed.
- NSFAS applications take place during the UNISA Registration periods. For more information about when these UNISA Registration dates are, please click here.
Should I apply?
Yes, you should apply if:
- you are registering with Unisa for the first time, for an undergraduate qualification.
- you have never before registered for a formal qualification at any other higher education institution.
- you are a South African citizen with a South African ID document.
- your combined annual household income does not exceed R350 000 per year.
Who should NOT apply?
You should not apply if:
- you have a combined household income of R350 000 or more per year.
- you have already applied for and qualified for NSFAS funding for the 2018 academic year. Note that students who have previously received NSFAS funding or who qualify for NSFAS funding for 2018 will have their loans converted to grants.
- you have previously registered for any formal qualification at any higher education institution. This includes all re-registering Unisa students.
- you are a foreign student.
When will I know my application was successful or not?
- If you register for the first semester modules/subjects, you will be informed by the middle of February.
- If you register for year-modules/subjects, then you will be informed by the middle of April.
- If your application is successful, your student fee account will be adjusted once the NSFAS
Grant has been processed.
- If your application is unsuccessful, you will have to pay your fees yourself.
- For more information about NSFAS, please click here.