Financial Aid is funding based on approved costs of study. The approved cost of study is set annually by NSFAS. NSFAS no longer provides full cost funding for those staying in university residence or in private accommodation. For 2023, NSFAS set a R45 000 cap on accommodation costs. Students are encouraged apply to other funders to help meet the shortfall in NSFAS funding.

NSFAS will allocate funding to eligible students based on their approved cost of study; this does not include cover for clubs and societies or any penalties.

Applicants must check their MyNSFAS portal for the outcome of their application. NSFAS will advise Universities of applicants and returning students funding eligibility status.

The registration (cost of study) costs will be submitted to NSFAS for eligible students after registration. NSFAS will only confirm the actual funding amount once registration cost data is received and processed by NSFAS.

It is important to note that NSFAS is not aware of the programme of study an applicant registers for until registration data is submitted. A student may have a funding eligible status, but registers for an unfunded course the person responsible for submitting the registration data will not send the data in this instance. NSFAS will not process/award any funding in this instance; therefore, the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they are familiar with the list of NSFAS funded programmes.

Eligibility criteria for Financial Aid

UCT will receive from NSFAS the relevant application information confirming eligibility for funding.

All NSFAS applications are checked against the following eligibility criteria:

  • Citizens and permanent residents of South Africa 
  • First undergraduate qualification
  • Financial eligibility
  • If the student was registered at a tertiary institution before, and the number of years of registration to apply the N+1 rule.

Note: The post-degree law programme is no longer funded (LAWP01, as well as the PGCE, PGDA programmes)

How do I apply?

Use the link below to the NSFAS website to register and proceed to complete your on-line application.

How will my financial eligibility be assessed?

NSFAS assesses eligibility for funding based on annual NSFAS policy issued. Information is also available on the NSFAS website.

When will I know if I am eligible?

The outcome of your application will be communicated by NSFAS once your eligibility has been assessed. The funding eligibility statuses are normally available on the MyNSFAS portal after the NSC results are released; therefore, it is important that students monitor their MyNSFAS portal to track the status of the application. Universities expect to receive the information on students/applicants funding status the same time applicants do.

Will all my costs be covered if I am successful?

NSFAS funding is based on the parameters set in the annual NSFAS Funding Policy. The NSFAS has set a funding cap on residence and private accommodation funding, for 2023, the cap was set at R45 000, in residence meal costs are also capped. Funding for vacation accommodation for supplementary exams or summer and winter term is not provided for. 

As of 2023, NSFAS only provides tuition and book allowance for students who are registered for less than 60 course credits. 

Please note that a student will only be funded at one University. Should you cancel your registration at one University and register at another, your NSFAS funding may be compromised, if the study costs have already been submitted. UCT accepts no liability for the financial implications of changing your registered institution.

Applicants that are not NSFAS eligible may be considered by UCT for UCT GAP funding, within the GAP funding eligibility rules.

Can I appeal the NSFAS ineligible decision?

NSFAS normally opens an appeal process for applicants on the MyNSFAS portal. Please ensure that you follow the correct procedure, and it is therefore important that you regularly monitor your application status.

NSFAS Bursary

The Bursary funding includes requirements that must be fulfilled by recipients. These include but are not limited to:

  • Academic pass and progression requirements for renewal of funding.
  • Funding limited to the minimum duration of programme plus 1 extra year for undergraduate study. All years of study will be counted irrespective of the funding source for those years of study.

Further information on NSFAS funding is available at

Can I hold other awards along with the NSFAS?

Funds are limited, and we encourage students to look for other sources of funding to cover their costs, especially the NSFAS funding shortfall for accommodation. You are obliged to inform UCT of any other financial assistance or sponsorship that you receive.

Is UCT & NSFAS financial assistance renewable?

Yes, funded students are automatically considered for renewal for the next academic year based on academic performance each year and the number of years of study. Student will not be funded for longer than the minimum duration of the programme plus 1 year.