First year students who are eligible for a loan from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Applications are made directly to CPUT’s Financial Aid office after a student has been accepted for a course and successfully registered online.
Students need to come prepared with the appropriate documents to complete their application (See checklist below).
Financial Aid has also gotten stricter about the type of paperwork submitted. These days an affidavit claiming parents’ unemployment is no longer valid. Students need to visit their local Department of Labour office, with a certified copy of their parents ID, and get an official acknowledgment of unemployment. This tightening of processes strengthens the case of valid claimants and weeds out fraudulent applications.
After a staff member from Financial Aid has validated your paperwork the application will be subjected to a means test from NSFAS and thereafter successful applicants will be notified.
NSFAS loans and bursaries cover registration, tuition and allowances for books, travel, food and accommodation. Loans must be repaid once a student is employed and earning R30 000 per year or R2500 per month. The repayment amount is calculated from 3% to 8% of their salary.
NSFAS converts up to 40% of a loan taken in a particular year into a bursary when a student passes all their modules or subjects, which results in a debt of only 60% of the initial loan taken in that year. A student who is funded during their final year stands a chance of receiving a 100% bursary conversion if they pass all the modules or subjects taken in that particular year, which results in zero debt for their final year loan.
CPUT’s Financial Aid office can also advise on independent scholarships and bursary funds.