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University students in 2024 are presented with a range of NSFAS allowances designed to support their academic journey. Students are required to choose between an accommodation allowance and a travel allowance, with eligibility determined by factors such as residence status and distance from the educational institution.
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University Students Living Allowance, Accommodation, and Travel Allowance
- Living Allowance: University students are eligible for a living allowance of R16,500 per year, inclusive of a R3,045 personal care allowance and a R13,455 meal allowance.
- Accommodation Allowance: The accommodation allowance is contingent on the type of accommodation. Institution-owned or leased accommodation and private accommodation in metro areas are capped at R50,000 per annum, while institution-catered accommodation has varying caps of R66,500 in metro areas and R57,500 in other areas. Exceptions may be considered in non-metro areas.
- Travel Allowance: Students arranging their own accommodation or residing with relatives qualify for a travel allowance, up to a maximum of R7,875 per annum.
- Learning Material Allowance: All university students qualify for a learning material allowance of up to R5,460. This one-time payment at the beginning of the academic year is intended for the purchase of books and devices.
Distance Learning Students: Special Considerations
- The allowances for distance learning students, including those at institutions like Unisa, are determined by the number of registered modules, with a maximum allowance of R5,460. Students with a full-time course credit load may also qualify for a personal care allowance of R3,045 per annum, provided they accumulate 120 course credits within a year.
Students with Disabilities get Assistive Device Allowance
- Students with disabilities are eligible for a once-off assistive device allowance of R50,000. Additionally, NSFAS provides funding for repairs and maintenance, amounting to R2,000 per year. It is crucial to note that automatic qualification for these allowances is not guaranteed; approval is subject to a successful application by the student, meeting all conditions, and adhering to criteria outlined in the policy standard.
In navigating these allowances, university students in 2024 have the opportunity to tailor their financial support to align with their unique circumstances, ensuring a more inclusive and supportive academic experience.