How Do You Know If Your NSFAS Application Is Unsuccessful?

Applying for NSFAS funding can be a confusing experience, and the process of finding out whether you have been accepted or not can be just as confusing.

Hopefully this article will shed some light on what to expect and how to proceed if you find out your application was unsuccessful.

How Do You Know If Your Nsfas Application Is Unsuccessful?

If you have applied for NSFAS funding, you will find out whether your application was successful or not in the second semester. The second semester is usually in February and if you do not receive any letter from NSFAS about the status of your application by then, it means that it has been successful. If however you do not receive a letter, it means that your application was unsuccessful.

This may seem confusing at first but once you get used to how things work at NSFAS we are sure that it becomes quite clear.

If your application has been unsuccessful, you will be sent a letter by NSFAS to inform you of this decision. You may also receive an email from them informing you that your application was unsuccessful. If your application is unsuccessful, you should expect to receive one of the following notifications:

  • You will receive a letter from NSFAS;
  • You will receive a phone call from NSFAS;
  • Someone from your university or institution will visit and inform you in person; or
  • The results will be posted on their website and/or published on social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook

If you’re not successful, the letter from NSFAS will explain why your application was unsuccessful and what steps you can take should you disagree with the decision.

The letter will also include information about the appeal process.

If you disagree with their decision and wish to appeal against it, there are channels available for this purpose as well. The decision made at the appeals level may differ from what was decided in the first instance, but it will still depend on whether or not they agree with your arguments.

If even after that, if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your appeal or court case (if taken), then your only option left would be to go back and resubmit another application along with all supporting documents once again.

What next If Unsuccessful?

If you are unsuccessful, don’t worry. You can reapply as many times as you like, up to a total of three applications. When reapplying for NSFAS funding, it is important to keep in mind that the second and third time around, you will need to meet different requirements.

  • The first time: You must be an undergraduate or postgraduate student at a South African university
  • The second time: You must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree (leading to a National Diploma), National Professional Qualification or Higher Certificate; or an associate diploma at any South African institution


If your application is unsuccessful, you should not lose hope. You will be given a reason why your application was declined and can then reapply in case you disagree with the decision or want to rectify an issue. If you are unsure of how to proceed, contact NSFAS and they will guide you through the process so that your application is more likely to go through next time.

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