UCT Financial Aid

The UCT Financial Aid is funding based on approved costs of study. The approved cost of the study is set annually by NSFAS. 

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is the primary source of funding for financially disadvantaged students in South Africa. It covers tuition fees, living expenses, and a book allowance. You can apply through the NSFAS website. The application window for 2024 usually closes at the end of January.

The university has committed significant funds for financial aid packages to support financially needy students and has details of outside organizations that also provide financial assistance.

NSFAS no longer provides full-cost funding for those staying in university residences or private accommodation. NSFAS set a R45 000 cap on accommodation costs. Students are encouraged to apply to other funders to help meet the shortfall in NSFAS funding.

NSFAS will allocate funding to eligible students based on their approved cost of study; this does not include cover for clubs and societies or any penalties.

Applicants must check their MyNSFAS portal for the outcome of their application. NSFAS will advise Universities of applicants and returning students funding eligibility status.

The registration (cost of study) costs will be submitted to NSFAS for eligible students after registration. NSFAS will only confirm the actual funding amount once registration cost data is received and processed by NSFAS.

UCT Eligibility criteria for Financial Aid

UCT will receive from NSFAS the relevant application information confirming eligibility for funding.

All NSFAS applications are checked against the following eligibility criteria:

  • Citizens and permanent residents of South Africa 
  • First undergraduate qualification
  • Financial eligibility
  • If the student was registered at a tertiary institution before, and the number of years of registration to apply the N+1 rule.

Note: The post-degree law programme is no longer funded (LAWP01, as well as the PGCE, PGDA programmes).

Can I appeal the NSFAS ineligible decision?

NSFAS normally opens an appeal process for applicants on the MyNSFAS portal. Please ensure that you follow the correct procedure, and it is therefore important that you regularly monitor your application status.

NSFAS Bursary

The Bursary funding includes requirements that must be fulfilled by recipients. These include but are not limited to:

  • Academic pass and progression requirements for renewal of funding.
  • Funding limited to the minimum duration of programme plus 1 extra year for undergraduate study. All years of study will be counted irrespective of the funding source for those years of study.

Further information on NSFAS funding is available at www.nsfas.org.za

Can I hold other awards along with the NSFAS?

Funds are limited, and we encourage students to look for other sources of funding to cover their costs, especially the NSFAS funding shortfall for accommodation. You are obliged to inform UCT of any other financial assistance or sponsorship that you receive.

Is UCT & NSFAS financial assistance renewable?

Yes, funded students are automatically considered for renewal for the next academic year based on academic performance each year and the number of years of study. Student will not be funded for longer than the minimum duration of the programme plus 1 year.

Who can I contact for financial assistance?

Prospective and current undergraduate students may contact the Student Financial Aid Office on:
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 3545
Email: financialaid@uct.ac.za

Prospective and current postgraduate students may contact the Postgraduate Centre and Funding Office on:
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2206
Email: pgfunding@uct.ac.za