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Is NSFAS Available For Foreign Students?



Is NSFAS Available For Foreign Students?

Is NSFAS Available For Foreign Students? The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) plays a pivotal role in assisting South African students to access higher education by providing financial support. However, for foreign students aspiring to study in South Africa, the question of whether NSFAS is available can be a crucial one. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of NSFAS and its accessibility for foreign students.

Is NSFAS Available For Foreign Students?

As of the latest information available, NSFAS does not extend its funding support to foreign students. The scheme is specifically designed to assist South African citizens and permanent residents in financing their higher education. Foreign students, including those with study permits, are generally not eligible for NSFAS funding.

Eligibility Criteria For NSFAS

To qualify for NSFAS funding, South African students must meet certain eligibility criteria, including citizenship or permanent residency, financial need, and academic merit. However, when it comes to foreign students, the situation becomes more nuanced.

Alternative Funding Options for Foreign Students

While NSFAS may not be available to foreign students, there are other avenues they can explore to finance their education in South Africa. These may include scholarships, bursaries, student loans from private financial institutions, or funding opportunities provided by their home countries or international organizations.

Scholarships And Bursaries

Many universities in South Africa offer scholarships and bursaries specifically targeted at international students. These may be based on academic excellence, specific fields of study, or other criteria.

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Private Student Loans

Foreign students can also consider applying for student loans from private banks or financial institutions. These loans typically require a co-signer or collateral and may have varying terms and interest rates.

Government Sponsorship

In some cases, foreign governments offer sponsorship programs to support their citizens’ education abroad. Students should explore such opportunities through their respective government agencies or embassies.


While NSFAS does not currently cater to foreign students, there are alternative funding options available to support their educational endeavors in South Africa. It’s essential for prospective foreign students to research and explore these options diligently to ensure they can finance their studies effectively and pursue their academic goals.

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