This circular seeks to expand on the process for Prefunders for distribution of living allowances for the 2020 extended period, the finalisation of student data ingestion, the uploading of student registration data, manual payments and the manual payments reconciliation process.
The circular further communicates important information regarding the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) funded qualifications, to which institutions must recognize and action during the process of registration of National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funded students.
2020 EXTENDED ACADEMIC PERIOD
In Circular Notice No. 21 of 2020 institutions were informed that NSFAS will continue the payment of living allowance for students who are affected by the extended academic year, the NSFAS Prefunders unit has also engaged funders to consider the necessary increase for this period. Most funders have approved an increase in the allowances to accommodate the extended academic year. FUNZA-DBE funding is still considering the request to avail additional funds in this regard.
DOUBLE DIPPING UNFUNDING
Institutions are required to submit a written directive in instances where a student’s funding was approved by both DHET and the Prefunder and where the student has received funding from both Funders. The institution is requested to provide NSFAS with a written instruction to facilitate the unfunding process. Once DHET unfunding is complete, the systematic funding for the Prefunder will be completed through the ingestion process, only then will the institution be able to load the Prefunder Reg.
REGISTRATION DATA UPLOAD
The delay in funding processes has been resolved, therefore the registration handler is ready to accept 2020 Prefunder registration data. Error logs are to be submitted to NSFAS for speedy resolution which will be prioritized. We urge the Financial Aid Officers to complete this process no later than February 28, 2021.
The December 2020 payments backlog has been cleared; Proof of Payments (POP) have been issued. All outstanding 2020 claims must be submitted by February 20, 2021.
2020 PAYMENTS RECONCILIATIONS
Institutions are requested to start preparing manual payment reconciliations as NSFAS prepares for the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) audit. Submission deadline is March 15, 2021. Please submit to the Funder Relations Team: FunderRelationsTeam@nsfas.org.za
2021 DHET FUNDED QUALIFICATIONS
The list of funded qualifications per institution is currently under review in consultation with DHET. The following should be noted:
1. FTEN students will not be funded for the below list of qualifications:
• Any qualification that has the word National in its title
• BTECH qualifications
• Legacy two-year diplomas
• Legacy NQF Level 8 qualifications
• B Ed qualifications
• B Curr qualifications
• Bridging programmes
2. The overall funding status for the following qualifications is being reconsidered:
• Post Graduate qualifications
• B Curr qualifications
NSFAS will provide a final list of funded qualifications once all the above-mentioned aspects have been clearly defined and implemented on the NSFAS systems.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER