Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Financial aid is comprehensive funding based on approved costs of study. The approved cost of study is set annually in the Department of Higher Education and Training National Bursary Rules and Guidelines.

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. NSFAS will not process any funding in this instance. It is therefore the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they are familiar with the list of NSFAS funded programmes (available on their website).

Eligibility criteria for financial aid

UCT will receive from NSFAS the relevant NSFAS financial aid application information to enable us to determine whether you meet the criteria for financial aid.

All NSFAS applications are checked against the following eligibility criteria:

  • South African citizenship
  • 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
  • A PGCE or PGDA is considered for funding provided the applicant has not undertaken other postgraduate studies

Note: The post-degree law programme is no longer funded (LAWP01/2)


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 the National Bursary Rules and Guidelines issued annually by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

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.

Will all my costs be covered if I am successful?

NSFAS funding is based on the parameters set in the National Bursary Rules and Guidelines annually.

See Undergraduate Funding Scenarios for examples of costs covered.

However, a student will only be funded at one University. Should you cancel your registration at one University and register at another, you NSFAS funding may be compromised.

Applicants that are not NSFAS eligible may be considered for 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.


NSFAS Bursary

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

  • Community service.
  • Academic pass 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 UCT financial assistance?

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

Funds released are used to support other financially needy students.

Is UCT & NSFAS financial assistance renewable?

Yes, funded students are automatically considered for renewal based on academic performance each year and the number of years of study. No student will be funded for longer than the minimum duration of the programme plus 1 year.