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Missing Middle School Students Will Receive 31 000 Loans from NSFAS

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Missing Middle School Students Will Receive 31 000 Loans from NSFAS

Missing Middle School Students Will Receive 31 000 Loans from NSFAS. In a groundbreaking move, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is set to extend its support to the missing middle students, a group excluded from traditional financial aid structures. This initiative comes as part of the Comprehensive Student Funding Model, aiming to address the financial challenges faced by individuals whose households surpass the NSFAS income threshold of R350,000.

Government Commitment and Funding Breakdown

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande recently unveiled the Comprehensive Funding Model, signaling a significant milestone in assisting students beyond the NSFAS bursary criteria. For the initial phase in 2024, a total of R3.8 billion has been allocated for the missing middle student loan scheme. The National Skills Fund will contribute R1.5 billion, with an additional R2.3 billion sourced from Setas, collectively expected to support 47% of missing middle students.

Gratitude Expressed by NSFAS

NSFAS expressed gratitude for the government’s commitment to providing the necessary funds to support the missing middle students in their pursuit of tertiary education. The R3.8 billion capitalization fund, comprising R1.5 billion from NSF and R2.3 billion from Setas, is anticipated to benefit approximately 31,884 students, marking a pivotal step in addressing the financial barriers faced by this demographic.

Future Growth and Financial Outlook

Minister Nzimande outlined a visionary trajectory for the fund, emphasizing its growth over the next decade. The fund, dedicated to missing middle students, is projected to exceed R42 billion in value, demonstrating the government’s long-term commitment to bridging financial gaps in higher education.

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How NSFAS Missing Middle Funding Will Work

NSFAS, renowned for its comprehensive bursaries, is extending its support to missing middle students in the form of student loans. This marks a departure from the previous structure where NSFAS support was exclusively provided as bursaries, predating the 2018 changes.

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Eligibility Criteria and Conditions for Funding

While the financial aid scheme is in the process of finalizing eligibility criteria and funding conditions, several key aspects have been outlined:

  • Annual household income between R350,001 and R600,000.
  • Acceptance into a TVET College or public university.
  • Application possible in any of the four academic years.
  • Maintenance of a minimum average of 60% in coursework for continued funding.
  • Exceptional performance (above 70%) and timely completion can lead to a 50% loan write-off upon application.

Conclusion

The NSFAS initiative to offer loans to missing middle students represents a crucial step toward inclusive education, backed by substantial government funding and a strategic vision for future growth. As the financial aid scheme refines its eligibility criteria, this initiative holds the promise of unlocking educational opportunities for a significant segment of the student population.

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