Across all the provinces, KZN had the most applications, with 91,523. However, the figure represents only 45% of the total number of pupils who wrote their national senior certificate exams in the province, according to Pandor.
The lowest number were from the Northern Cape with 2,573 applications, representing only 18.04% of the total number of pupils who wrote in the province, she said.
The scheme was evaluating all applications received.
“This evaluation checks whether applicants are eligible for funding. The evaluation also verifies all the data received by students with third parties, i.e. Sars, home affairs, etc,” said Pandor.
The scheme will communicate to students who meet the financial eligibility criteria and have received an academic offer via SMS or e-mail at the beginning of January, once academic results have been made available to the NSFAS.
“Funding is only confirmed once a student has met the financial eligibility criteria and is formally registered at a public TVET college or university for an approved funded programme,” Pandor said.
Successful students will receive bursary funding to cover their tuition fee for their registered programme and an allowance for learning materials
This year the NSFAS disbursed loans and bursaries of R22bn. This amount is expected to increase next year to about R32bn, which is estimated to fund about 400,920 TVET college students and 377,050 university students, said Pandor.
“NSFAS continues to play a critical role in the country as a key institution for government in redressing past discrimination and ensuring inclusivity and equal access to higher education for students from poor and working-class backgrounds, in line with the national development plan,” she said.