Does NSFAS Pay For Supplementary Exams At Unisa?

As a student, the financial burden of supplementary exams can be overwhelming. However, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides crucial support by covering the costs associated with supplementary exams at the University of South Africa (Unisa). This relief comes with certain conditions and guidelines that every student should be aware of.

Eligibility Criteria for NSFAS Supplementary Exam Allowance

To be eligible for the NSFAS supplementary exam allowance, students must have passed more than 50% of their courses during the academic year. This requirement ensures that the financial aid is provided to those who are actively engaged in their studies and making progress toward their academic goals.

Coverage and Limitations

The NSFAS allowance covers the following expenses related to supplementary exams:

  • Travel and accommodation costs for the day before, the day of, and the day after the exam.
  • Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to the university campus or designated exam center.
  • NSFAS does not cover transportation costs from distant locations, such as from Johannesburg to Pretoria or Durban to Pretoria.

Application Process

To apply for the NSFAS supplementary exam allowance at Unisa, students must provide the following documentation:

  1. Two forms of government-issued identification
  2. Proof of registration for supplementary exams
  3. Evidence of travel arrangements
  4. A letter from Unisa confirming exam registration and travel plans

The completed application form, along with the required documents, can be submitted via email to or dropped off at the nearest NSFAS office. Postal applications are accepted but may take longer to process.

Claim Submission and Approval

Once the application is reviewed and approved by an officer at the NSFAS headquarters in Pretoria, students will receive an SMS notification. To maintain eligibility for the NSFAS benefit system, students must submit a monthly claim form by the deadline, which varies slightly between provinces.

When claiming an allowance, students must present two forms of identification, one of which must be a valid government-issued ID with a photograph.

People Also Ask

How can I check my NSFAS wallet balance?

You can easily check your NSFAS wallet balance by logging into your student account on the NSFAS website or mobile app. The current balance will be displayed, allowing you to monitor your available funds.

Can I receive multiple payments if I have more than one supplementary exam?

Yes, if you are enrolled in multiple courses per semester and have supplementary exams for each, you may be eligible to receive multiple payments from NSFAS to cover the associated costs.

What if I fail all my modules but still want to continue my studies?

NSFAS has stated that students who fail all modules in a particular semester can still receive semesterly payments until they have completed sufficient work to meet the 50% pass rate criterion.

Is there a deadline for submitting supplementary exam claims?

Yes, there is a monthly deadline for submitting claims, which varies slightly between provinces. It’s crucial to submit your claim form before midnight on the last day of each claim period to maintain your eligibility.

What happens if the claim period falls during vacations or weekends?

If the claim period coincides with summer vacations or weekends, the submission deadline will be extended to the next working day, ensuring that students have ample time to submit their claims without penalties.

Can NSFAS cover transportation costs from distant locations?

No, NSFAS does not cover transportation costs from distant locations beyond the vicinity of the university campus or designated exam center. Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to these locations.

By understanding the NSFAS supplementary exam allowance guidelines and requirements, students can take advantage of this financial support and focus on their academic pursuits without the added burden of exam-related expenses. Remember to apply on time, provide the necessary documentation, and stay diligent in meeting the eligibility criteria.


Chinua Achebe, with a decade of expertise in SASSA and NSFAS, is your trusted guide in navigating these vital support programs. Count on his experience to help you access the assistance you need.

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