NSFAS Stages

How Do NSFAS Stages Work-A Complete Breakdown of 9 NSFAS Stages[2024]

Do you know about the nine NSFAS stages? If not, we’ll try NSFAS stages meaning step-by-step. After submitting the NSFAS application, you encounter these 9 NSFAS stages that are crucial, and every stage has its importance.

You have to understand the importance of these stages and respond as quickly as possible if the NSFAS team asks for additional information or documents at any stage.

NSFAS Stages 2024

The nine NSFAS stages are crucial, and deciding who will get financial help is a step-by-step process. These NSFAS stages and their meanings start with sending applications and end with qualifying for funds from NSFAS. Let’s discuss below:-

1Application SubmittedThis step means that your application has been submitted to the system of NSFAS successfully.
2FilteringThe filtering step is very crucial, it properly checks that you’re a returning student or have any previous qualifications. 
In this step, NSFAS gets help the 3rd party checks with SASSA/DHA(Department of Home Affairs)
4EvaluationIn the evaluation process, your all submitted documents are verified and thoroughly checked. 
5Funding EligibilityIn this stage, your funding eligibility is checked by verifying your household income through your submitted bank statements and other record. 
6Awaiting Academic Results/AdmissionsIn this stage, your academic results and institution admission status are checked to ensure that you’re eligible or meet the requirements. 
7Awaiting RegistrationIn this phase, registration data is received from your institution for creating a bursary agreement. 
8Signing of AgreementThe signing of the agreement is the eighth step of NSFAS where you are required to sign your bursary agreement for NSFAS to release your allowances. 
9PaymentsThe amounts of NSFAS funding are paid through your mobile wallet system or your institution. 
nsfas stages in order

NSFAS Application Process Overview (NSFAS Stages Explained)

The NSFAS application, after submission, undergoes a lengthy evaluation process. These applications are checked before final approval on different criteria as specified by the NSFAS. Let’s discuss the complete nine NSFAS stages:

1. Application Submitted

 It is the initial stage of the NSFAS application.  It shows that your NSFAS application has been successfully submitted and the system of NSFAS acknowledged it.  This stage means your application journey has started.  In this stage, your details are recorded in the NSFAS database, and your basic information or eligibility is checked. 

There is only advice to you to check your confirmation email or SMS from NSFAS and keep your application reference number for future use.  You should show patience at this stage as it can take from a few days to a couple of weeks(5-30 days) but it depends on case to case.  

You are advised to check the NSFAS portal regularly and official communications for the latest updates.  If this stage remains unchanged for an extended period, you should contact the NSFAS team immediately. 

2. Filtering

This NSFAS stage, “Filtering,” indicates your application status outcome, whether you’re a fresh or continuing student, and cross-reference of any prior educational qualifications. The NSFAS team in this stage, reviews your academic history and any previous interactions to classify your application.

The fresh students undergo a fresh eligibility assessment, whereas the continuing students’ past funding records and educational progress are checked thoroughly. The period of this stage can be a few days to a week, but an extension can be the cause of the peak period.

It’s advised that you please check your portal regularly for updates with NSFAS, and a quick response is recommended if the NSFAS team requires some additional documents or information. The accuracy in the classification of filtering is very important; it may affect your eligibility for any type of NSFAS funding. 

3. Validation

The “Validation” stage is where your authenticity is checked. NSFAS has the collaboration with third-party organizations like DHE(Department of Home Affairs) and SASSA for verification of your identity and other personal details. Through this process, your identification, household income, and any social grants have been taken from any other organizations.

During the evaluation of your monetary requirements, NSFAS considers SASSA grants as part of your household financial resources’s part. The period of this stage can be several weeks due to complete and thorough checks.

You are advised to submit your information correctly, check your application status regularly, and respond immediately to the NSFAS team as and when the team requires some additional information or documents.

Through validation, NSFS ensures transparency and fairness in the allocation of funds to eligible students by confirmation of their financial requirements and academic criteria. 

4. Evaluation

The stage of Evaluation of NSFAS application status is very important; in this stage, personal identification documents, academic records, and financial documents are used to check authenticity and compliance with their needs. The period of evaluation can be extended from 15 to 30 days, depending on the current workload.

The NSFAS team also checks by cross-referencing your information with other agencies and databases. If you wish to ensure a smooth process, check the status of your application regularly and reply to the NSFAS team as and when you’re contacted for additional information or documents.

It is recommended that to submit your complete documents without missing any documents, as this stage is crucial and can directly determine your eligibility for NSFAS funding.

5. Funding Eligibility

The stage of Financial eligibility is very important for NSFAS funding. In this stage, two types of students are those students have an R350,000 income threshold, and R6000,000 for students who have disabilities.

NSFAS team assesses the income of students through documents provided by students like payslips and employment letters, getting a record of cross-referencing with agencies like SARS. The income of all family members is checked, and eligibility is reviewed annually.

You are declared disqualified from NSFAS funding if you exceed the income threshold, but you can avail yourself of alternative options like scholarships and bursaries. You have the right to submit the right of appeal with updated documents if you feel your case is significant or has special circumstances. 

6. Awaiting Academic Results or Admission

In the “Awaiting Academic Results/Admissions” stage, your academic performance and status of enrollment with your selected institution are involved. All your academic records and enrollment by coordination of institutions, NSFAS verifies. It’s recommended that you should convey NSFAS about your admission and make sure your application details are up to date. Here, the response time depends on the institution’s reply; it generally from 10-15 days. 

7. Awaiting Registration

The “Awaiting Registration” is the seventh stage in your NSFAS application status. This stage means that NSFAS is in contact with your institution and waiting for registration details. The registration details are important for the approval of funding.

In this information, there are the details of your course and fees. Delay at this stage can affect the funding activation process and halt in release of financial aid. The timing of this stage depends on the response of your institution. It can take 7-15 days.

8. Signing Of Agreement

The status “Signing Agreement” means you’re close to acceptance of the bursary by signing your contract with NSFAS. It’s advised that you read the terms and conditions carefully. This agreement is an extension for both NSFAS and the institution. 

9. Payment

The status of “Payment” indicates that your funds have been disbursed to your institution or NSFAS Wallet, with the coverage of living expenses, tuition, accommodation, and other study material. You should make sure the usage of funds properly and monitor your banking transactions regularly.

Use this funding amount for the betterment of your future to excel in life. If you feel any issue, immediately contact with NSFAS team or your institution’s financial office. 

NSFAS Stages pdf


The journey nine NSFAS stages of the NSFAS after applying show a significant endeavour for students seeking financial assistance for their education. From the initial submission of the application to the critical moments of signing agreements and receiving payments, each stage plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth processing and disbursement of funds.

Understanding the implications and requirements at each stage, along with proactive engagement and communication, are key factors in navigating this process successfully.

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The payment of NSFAS allowances is made monthly, generally in the first week of each month. This payment is given for 10 months in each year. 

The process of repayment of NSFAS funding generally starts after the completion of your studies and getting employment. 

Exactly, NSFAS provides funds for medicine to the students, and this financial support also covers the extension of the duration of their courses.

What are the NSFAS stages?

After applying with NSFAS, your application has to go through the following nine NSFAS stages step-by-step. Let’s explore now. 

  1. Application Submitted
  2. Filtering
  3. Validation
  4. Evaluation
  5. Funding Eligibility
  6. Awaiting Academic Results/Admissions
  7. Awaiting Registration
  8. Signing of Agreement
  9. Payments

When your application with NSFAS is approved, you have a year to register yourself at a TVET college or a public university in South Africa.

The awaiting evaluation is the fourth stage, after submitting your application. This status indicates that your application and your submitted documents/details are pending for review.

The stage of evaluation is important, making sure that all NSFAS applications are thoroughly assessed before proceeding to the next stage or phase.

NSFAS can reject you when your applications and related documents show your household income has crossed the threshold of R350,000. 

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