Does NSFAS Fund Second Undergraduate Qualification?

By | September 26, 2023

Does NSFAS Fund Second Undergraduate Qualification?

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in South Africa is a critical source of financial support for many students pursuing their first undergraduate degrees. However, one common question that arises is whether NSFAS funds second undergraduate qualifications. Here, we explore this question and shed light on the policies surrounding NSFAS funding for second qualifications.

1. NSFAS Primarily Supports First Qualifications:

NSFAS is primarily designed to support students in their pursuit of their first undergraduate qualifications. This includes bachelor’s degrees, national diplomas, and national certificates. The aim is to make higher education accessible to students who might not have the financial means to enroll in tertiary institutions.

2. Limited Funding for Second Qualifications:

In general, NSFAS does not provide financial assistance for second undergraduate qualifications. The rationale behind this policy is to allocate available funds to new students entering higher education. Funding second qualifications can strain the budget and limit opportunities for first-time students.

3. Exception for Specific Courses:

There are exceptions to this rule. NSFAS may consider funding a second qualification if the student is pursuing a career in a field where there is a critical shortage of skills in South Africa. These exceptions are typically made for programs like medicine and some teaching qualifications, where the country needs more professionals.

4. Alternative Funding Sources:

Students seeking to pursue a second undergraduate qualification often need to explore alternative funding sources. These may include scholarships, bursaries, part-time employment, or personal savings. Additionally, some universities offer their own financial aid programs for second-degree students.

5. Seeking Clarity from NSFAS:

If you are considering pursuing a second undergraduate qualification and are unsure about your eligibility for NSFAS funding, it’s advisable to contact NSFAS directly. They can provide specific guidance based on your circumstances and the program you intend to pursue. However, be prepared for the likelihood that NSFAS funding may not be available for a second qualification.

In summary, while NSFAS is a valuable resource for many South African students, it is primarily geared toward supporting first undergraduate qualifications. Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree may need to explore alternative funding avenues to achieve their educational goals. It’s essential to research and plan ahead to secure the necessary financial resources for your chosen academic path.

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