Financial Assistance For Students In South Africa (2024)

South Africa has a lot of financial assistance programs to help students pursue their dreams. If you need funding for your education, check out these options to see if any apply to your situation.

Some of the financial assistance schemes for students in the form of bursaries include National Student Financial Aid Schemes, the FUNZA Lushaka bursary programme, and the Student Sponsorship programme amongst others.

Financial Assistance Schemes For Students In South Africa

1. National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

NSFAS is one of the government financial assistance schemes for students in South Africa.  The scheme provides financial assistance to students. It operates on the concept of loans and allows students to access some of their course fees.

NSFAS also provides additional funding for students who are studying at universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning. The amounts given by NSFAS depend on your needs as a student and on the type of institution you’re attending.

2. FUNZA Lushaka Bursary Programme

This is a government initiative that is available to all students in South Africa. If you are a student, this bursary will help you with your education fees for both primary and high school. You don’t have to be enrolled at any particular institution; all students are eligible for this bursary.

3. The Student Sponsorship Programme (SSP)

The Student Sponsorship Programme (SSP) is a government-funded programme that provides financial assistance to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The programme is open to students from all educational institutions and provinces, as well as any race or creed. It’s important to note that the SSP only accepts applications from registered tertiary institutions in South Africa.

4. The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation.

The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation offers bursary funding for students pursuing postgraduate studies in the fields of public health, epidemiology and HIV-related research. The foundation aims to support young academicians who are committed to improving healthcare outcomes through the development of research evidence.

The foundation welcomes applications from candidates that want to pursue a career in medicine or related fields, as well as those with an interest in advancing HIV/Aids treatment options through scientific research.

5. ABSA offers Banking and Investment Management bursaries

ABSA offers Banking and Investment Management bursaries to students pursuing a career in the financial services industry. The bursary is open to students who are currently enrolled in Grade 11 or 12 and will be graduating the following year.

Applicants must be South African citizens or permanent residents or have been granted refugee status, by application for asylum or under our laws.

To apply for this bursary you must complete an application form on the Student Financial Assistance website and attach a copy of your ID document, proof that you are living with a parent/guardian (i.e., a copy of their income tax returns), as well as proof that they have signed on as guarantor (this can either be a bank statement showing that they have opened an account at ABSA).

6. The SASOL bursary scheme

The SASOL Bursary Scheme is offered to high school learners who are currently enrolled in Grade 11 or 12 and will be graduating the following year.

SASOL is a large oil and gas company that offers bursaries for students in South Africa. The bursary scheme is open to students who want to pursue any career related to technology, engineering and science.

To apply for a bursary from SASOL you must meet certain requirements:

  • You must live in South Africa;
  • You must be between the ages of 18-30 years old;
  • You cannot have completed your tertiary studies;
  • Your parents’ annual income cannot exceed R100 000 (around $7000).

There are many options available if you are a student struggling to finance your education. It is important to apply for as many of these as possible because not all bursaries are awarded equally and it may be difficult to obtain one without being able to afford the application fee.

Bursaries are available for both students and parents, but these differ depending on whether you have been born in South Africa or not. If you were born in South Africa, then you will be eligible for a bursary through any of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

These programmes provide financial assistance to students who meet certain criteria and have been designed so that they can help those from disadvantaged backgrounds receive higher levels of education than usual. If your family income falls below R100 000 per year then this is one option worth considering applying for especially if it means that your parents won’t have to take out loans or save up over time just so they can pay off their children’s fees each year!



There are plenty of options for financial assistance for students in South Africa to study at the tertiary level. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a good place to start, as it provides funding support for all students who qualify based on their household income levels.

In addition, there are many bursaries and scholarships offered by private companies and trusts that cover everything from tuition fees to accommodation costs. If none of these options suit your needs then try contacting your local bank or investment management company directly – they may have something available too!

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