When Unisa NSFAS Allowances Will Be Paid

The University of South Africa (Unisa) confirmed that National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances will be paid to students soon. This comes after it was reported that Unisa was the country’s only university that did not pay allowances to students.

NSFAS revealed that 25 out of the country’s 26 universities paid allowances to students. This came after the financial aid scheme made an agreement which saw institutions responsible for paying February NSFAS allowances to students. 

NSFAS confirmed the payment of allowances to all qualifying students and the process of disbursing allowances has now commenced.  

Unisa revealed that all allowances will be distributed to students from 19 March 2024. This means that students will have to wait for another week at least before they receive their NSFAS allowances. 

Allowances for both returning students and new students, including learning material and incidental allowances for qualifying students, will be disbursed from Tuesday 19 March 2024. 

Unisa has encouraged students to ensure that their bank details are captured correctly as failure to do this could lead to NSFAS allowance payment delays. 

Qualifying students are reminded to capture their banking details correctly on the link provided on myUnisa for their payments to be made timeously. Qualifying students would have received the link via their myLife email account.  

Unisa Distances Itself From Letter Circulating On Social Media 

In the wake of reports that Unisa allowance payments will be slightly delayed, the university has distanced itself from a post circulating on social media platforms purporting to be from the intuition. 

The fake letter indicates that Unisa used NSFAS allowances to print study materials and will therefore be unable to distribute allowances to deserving students until the end of April 2024. The letter also insinuates that the institution is not in a stable financial position. 

Unisa denies any association with the letter, labelling its contents as false and advising students to be cautious of such unsigned communications. 

Unisa distances itself from this letter and its contents; and confirms that it has not issued any communication on any platform recently relating to the payment of NSFAS allowances. 

They clarify that official messages are distributed through recognized channels and platforms. The university considers the letter an act of fraud and is pursuing legal action against the misuse of a staff member’s identity.
The letter in question is bogus and its contents farcical and completely false. Unisa students are therefore advised to view this letter, and any other unsigned communication purporting to be from the university, with caution and suspicion.
Additionally, Unisa reassures its financial stability and emphasises the proper allocation of NSFAS allowances for students’ needs. They reaffirm NSFAS’s statement regarding the finalisation of allowance disbursement, slated for 19 March 2024, urging students to ensure accurate banking details for timely payments.
Why Universities Are Paying Allowances To Students Instead Of Direct Payment Service Providers 
NSFAS confirmed that allowances will be distributed using the direct payment method in 2024. Students are required to register with direct payment partners assigned to respective institutions last year as they will be utilised for the 2024 academic year.
However, NSFAS requested universities to pay allowances for both February and March due to challenges experienced at the beginning of the 2024 academic year. 
The financial aid scheme said universities were also requested to allow direct payment service providers to conduct the process of onboarding students whilst they continue with payments.
The direct payments of allowance for the 2024 academic year will commence in April 2024 and universities will administer the payment of allowances for only two months (February and March) because the 3rd allowances will be made on the direct payment platform. 
No exceptions or deviations will be allowed. 
How Unisa NSFAS Allowances Work 
NSFAS defines Distance Learning as a mode of provision based primarily on a set of teaching and learning strategies (or educational methods) that can be used to overcome spatial and/or transactional distance between educators and students. 
It avoids the need for students to discover the curriculum by attending classes frequently and for long periods. Instead, it may use a combination of different media, tutorial support, peer group discussion, and practical sessions.  
A university student studying at a non-contact university.  
NSFAS’ funding policy sets out that allowances for students in distance education programmes are calculated based on the number of courses registered up to a maximum of R5,460.
Distance University students studying an equivalent full-time course credit load qualify for the personal care allowance of R3,045 per academic year. This requires a student to be registered for a minimum of 120-course credits in one academic year.
University students, who are studying less than 60 course credits towards their qualification, qualify for the learning materials allowances only.