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How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Private Accommodation?



How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Private Accommodation?

How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Private Accommodation? Navigating the realm of student finances can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to covering accommodation costs. For South African students, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) plays a pivotal role in facilitating access to higher education by providing financial assistance. However, understanding the specifics of NSFAS funding for private accommodation is crucial for students seeking clarity on their housing options. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of how much NSFAS pays for private accommodation and offer insights to help students make informed decisions.

How Much Does NSFAS Pay For Private Accommodation?

Private accommodation has a maximum amount of R34 400. There is no guarantee that all students who qualify will receive the maximum amount. You will have to pay your rental amount as indicated on the lease agreement, but not more than R34 400 per year.

Factors Influencing NSFAS Funding For Private Accommodation

NSFAS funding for private accommodation is contingent upon several factors:

  1. Eligibility Criteria: To qualify for NSFAS funding, students must meet specific eligibility criteria, including household income thresholds and academic performance requirements.
  2. Accredited Accommodation: NSFAS typically only covers accommodation costs for accredited residences or private accommodation facilities. Accreditation ensures that the accommodation meets certain standards of safety, cleanliness, and affordability.
  3. Cost Caps: NSFAS sets maximum limits on the amount it will cover for accommodation expenses. These caps vary depending on factors such as the location of the institution and prevailing rental rates.
  4. Means Test: NSFAS conducts a means test to assess each student’s financial need. The amount awarded for accommodation is determined based on this assessment, with priority given to students from low-income households.
  5. Financial Aid Package: The total NSFAS funding package may include allocations for tuition, textbooks, meals, and accommodation. The proportion allocated to accommodation will depend on the student’s individual circumstances and the availability of funds.
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Calculating NSFAS Funding For Private Accommodation

NSFAS uses a standardized formula to determine the amount allocated for accommodation expenses. This calculation takes into account the following factors:

  • Household Income: Students from lower-income households are eligible for higher levels of financial assistance, including increased funding for accommodation.
  • Rental Rates: NSFAS considers the prevailing rental rates in the area where the student will be studying. The accommodation allowance is adjusted accordingly to cover a portion of these expenses.
  • Type of Accommodation: Whether the student opts for a single room, shared apartment, or other housing arrangements can impact the amount of NSFAS funding allocated.
  • Additional Support: Students facing exceptional circumstances, such as disabilities or extended commuting distances, may be eligible for additional support to cover accommodation costs.

Tips for Students

  1. Research Accredited Accommodation: Prioritize accommodation options that are accredited by NSFAS to ensure eligibility for funding.
  2. Budget Wisely: Understand the cost caps set by NSFAS and plan your accommodation budget accordingly to avoid unexpected expenses.
  3. Seek Guidance: If you have questions or concerns about NSFAS funding for accommodation, reach out to your institution’s financial aid office or NSFAS representatives for assistance.
  4. Plan Ahead: Apply for NSFAS funding well in advance and explore alternative sources of financial support to supplement your accommodation expenses if necessary.


NSFAS plays a vital role in supporting South African students in pursuing their academic aspirations, including accessing affordable accommodation. By understanding the factors influencing NSFAS funding for private accommodation and navigating the application process strategically, students can make informed decisions to ensure their housing needs are met. Remember to research accredited accommodation options, budget wisely, and seek guidance when needed to maximize the benefits of NSFAS assistance.

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