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NSFAS Introduces ‘Missing Middle’ Loan For Students



NSFAS Introduces 'Missing Middle' Loan For Students

NSFAS Introduces ‘Missing Middle’ Loan For Students. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has taken significant steps to address the financial needs of students falling within the “missing middle” income bracket. In a recent update, NSFAS has extended the application deadline for its new loan scheme, providing crucial financial support to students from middle-income households.

This initiative aims to make higher education more accessible to a broader range of students with annual household incomes above the R350,000 threshold, who struggle to cover educational costs independently.

Extended Application Deadline

Recognizing the importance of ensuring equal opportunities for education, NSFAS has extended the application deadline for its new loan scheme until 15th February. This extension allows eligible students more time to apply and benefit from the financial assistance provided by NSFAS.

Objective of the New Loan Scheme

The primary objective of this new loan scheme, introduced by NSFAS last month, is to bridge the financial gap for students whose household incomes range from R350,000 to R600,000. These are students who, despite surpassing the R350,000 annual income threshold, still face financial constraints in meeting the costs associated with higher education.

Updates from the Meeting

In preparation for the academic year, NSFAS engaged in discussions with the higher education department and the South African Union of Students. Ishmael Mnisi from the department shared insights from the meeting, stating, “The NSFAS loan scheme will be opened on the 2nd of February 2024 and will close on the 15th of February 2024.” This decision was made collaboratively to ensure that students who did not meet the eligibility criteria for the bursary scheme but fulfill the loan scheme criteria are automatically considered for the loan.

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Loan Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the NSFAS loan, students must meet specific criteria, including:

  1. Annual household income between R350,000 to R600,000.
  2. Enrolled as public and university students.
  3. Pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate studies.


NSFAS’s commitment to supporting the “missing middle” students through the introduction of this new loan scheme demonstrates a proactive approach to addressing financial barriers in accessing higher education. With the extended application deadline, eligible students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and secure the financial assistance they need to pursue their academic aspirations.

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