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Financial Aid

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Registration and other support for students

Nelson Mandela University has put additional systems in place to support students who will be registering at various campuses (North, South, Missionvale and George) from Monday.

This follows the announcement late last year of the new DHET bursary for students who are starting at a university for the first time. This is particularly to ensure that those students accepted by Nelson Mandela University, who did not apply to NSFAS because they fall into R122 000 to R350 000 per household per annum, do not miss out on the new bursary scheme.

Online status support

Given the complexities of the many different categories – from NSFAS loan scheme through to the Missing Middle grant subsidy of 8% (see attachment) - the University has created an online application system to simplify the process. This will ascertain your category and supporting benefits and will be operational from Monday, 22 January.

Certified copies of key documents

To complete this application, you must have certified copies of important documents (see documents on the right of this page). You will not be able to complete the application without them.

Only once this process has been completed will you be able to continue with assisted or online registration.

Additional venues

As large numbers of students are expected to take advantage of this, the University has opened additional venues to enable the online status application. These are at:

  • Aberdare Labs on South Campus
  • Community Lab on Missionvale
  • Financial Aid offices on North Campus
  • EBEIT Lab on North Campus
  • Lab 301 0054 George


The assisted registration process will start exactly a week after online registration for returning Mandela University students began. About 2000 students have registered online to date. Students can follow the link to register online. 

New students should report to the registration venues specified for them to register online and to get information on orientation. Assisted registration will continue until Friday, 2 February.  Thereafter, students can email if they require assistance. Classes commence on Monday, 5 February.


The University is still awaiting outcomes from NSFAS to enable students to register. NSFAS hopes to release the relevant information by Monday. 


Student Access Working Group 

NSFAS/registration challenges

The University is aware of the many challenges and uncertainties students who applied for NSFAS loan funding and other opportunities are facing in trying to register online.

NSFAS loans

As NSFAS has not yet released its 2018 application results nationally, online registration for senior students is being delayed. While the University is in constant communication with NSFAS on such matters, it is, in the interim, creating its own supporting solutions.    

Please be assured as we await key information that NSFAS students and those who fall into other categories of financial support – be it a NSFAS loan, a DHET bursary or grant subsidy (see attachment for categories) – that all those who qualify will eventually be able to register going forward.

A team from Financial Aid will also be available once assisted registration begins at the University on Monday 22 January.   

DHET bursary / Missing Middle

A new dedicated online system for students who might benefit from any of the national loans, bursaries or a grant is being created to simplify the present process. It is expected to be operational from later next week.   

In the interim, those students who believe they qualify (again refer to categories in the attachment) should gather necessary supporting documentation. It includes the new DHET bursary (household income of between R122 000 to R350 000 for first time entering first-year students only) and the missing middle (for students whose combined family income is less than R600 000) who may qualify for the grant of 8%.

Please be pro-active in gathering the relevant supporting documentation. This will speed up the application process, thus enabling students to register sooner.

This online solution will also generate a 24-hour advisory as to which category you qualify for.

Supporting documentation

In preparing to apply online for the relevant support, please be pro-active in gathering the necessary documentation listed below:   

  • Certified copy of Identity Document of yourself, your parents or legal guardians (If either of your parents is deceased, please provide a certified copy of the death certificate)
  • If you and/or your parents and/or guardian are employed, for each a certified or official copy of a recent payslip or a letter of employment, not older than three months.
  • If parents are employed by a company – salary/wage slips of both parents.
  • If parents/guardian/spouse are unemployed, an official letter from the Department of Labour proving unemployment status.
  • If parents/guardian receives income such as pension / grant / maintenance / rental / interest from investment, an official pension slip or bank statement copy.
  • If parents/guardian are informal traders/hawkers, proof of income, bond statement and council rates accounts.
  • If parents/guardian are earning commission, an IRP5, IT3 and IT12 (last 2 years).
  • If parents/guardian/spouse own or are members of a CC / Pty (ltd) and / or sole proprietor: complete 2016 financial statements signed by members;  IT14 – Tax return for the business (last 2 years); IT12 – Tax return for the individual (last 2 years);  IT3(b) Income Tax Certificate from the Bank (last 2 years).

We acknowledge your present frustration. Be assured, however, that the University is doing its utmost to make good on a process that is largely beyond its control.

Student Access Working Group

Frequently Asked Questions: Changes to DHET funding for poor and working class students in public higher education institutions... 

The document on the right will explain the different categories for funding applications.

Nelson Mandela University offers various forms of bursaries and loans, including our scholar and student merit awards which reward top academic performance. We also administer funds from corporate donors and from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). NSFAS funding is especially aimed at assisting financially needy and academically deserving students.

Aims and objectives of Financial Aid

The provision of financial aid to students has a threefold aim and is covered by the following objectives:

  • To recruit top students to the University,
  • To promote and reward academic excellence at the University,
  • To enable students who are both financially needy and academically deserving to gain access to the University.

The first two objectives will be met by providing merit bursaries to prospective and current undergraduate students, while the third objective will be met by allocating loans under the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).