NSFAS Funding: What Happens If You Fail Modules?

As a South African student relying on NSFAS funding, you might be wondering what happens if you fail your modules. Let’s dive into the details and understand how NSFAS handles academic performance and funding.

Understanding NSFAS

NSFAS, or the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, is a government initiative designed to make higher education accessible for students who can’t afford it. It offers bursaries to cover various educational expenses, including tuition, study materials, and sometimes even housing.

Eligibility for NSFAS Funding

To qualify for NSFAS bursaries, students must be enrolled in an approved undergraduate program at a public university or TVET college. Additionally, the household income should be less than R350,000 per year, or R600,000 for students with disabilities.

NSFAS Academic Requirements

NSFAS sets specific academic criteria to continue receiving funding. The main requirement is maintaining a pass rate of at least 50% for most modules. Let’s explore these requirements in more detail:

Student TypePass Rate Required
First-Time Entering Students (FTES)50%
Continuing University Students55%

N+ Rule

The N+ rule determines the duration NSFAS will fund a student. Typically, students qualify for N+1, which means the minimum years required to complete a qualification plus one additional year. Students with disabilities qualify for N+2.

Failing Modules and NSFAS Funding

What Happens If You Fail 2 Modules?

If you fail two modules but still meet the overall academic performance criteria (50% pass rate for FTES or 55% for continuing students), NSFAS will continue funding you. However, it’s crucial to maintain this pass rate to avoid losing funding.

Failing 60% of Modules

Failing 60% of your modules means falling below NSFAS’s minimum academic standards. While NSFAS doesn’t have a specific 60% failure threshold, falling below a 50% pass rate can lead to a review of your funding eligibility.

Consequences of Failing All Modules

If you fail all your modules, you won’t meet the required 50% pass mark, resulting in NSFAS withdrawing your funding. It’s important to stay on top of your studies to avoid this scenario.

Support and Appeals

NSFAS provides academic support, such as tutoring, to help students improve their performance. If you face exceptional circumstances affecting your academics, you can appeal for continued funding. Always submit appeals through the correct channels to ensure they’re considered.

Maximizing Your NSFAS Funding

To keep receiving NSFAS support, maintain good academic standing. Use your institution’s resources like tutoring and counseling services if you’re struggling. Communicate any academic changes with both your institution and NSFAS to address your specific needs.

People Also Ask

Will NSFAS fund me if I fail 2 modules?

Yes, NSFAS will continue to fund you if you fail 2 modules, provided you meet the overall pass rate requirement of 50% for FTES or 55% for continuing students.

How many modules should I pass for NSFAS?

To maintain NSFAS funding, you need to pass at least 50% of your modules if you’re an FTES or 55% if you’re a continuing student.

Should you reapply to NSFAS if you failed 4 modules?

You may reapply to NSFAS if you fail 4 modules but still meet the pass rate criteria (50% for FTES or 55% for continuing students).

Will NSFAS fund me if I fail all my modules?

No, if you fail all your modules, you won’t meet the 50% pass mark required, and NSFAS will discontinue your funding.

What is the N+ rule for NSFAS?

The N+ rule allows NSFAS to fund students for the minimum number of years to complete a qualification plus one additional year (N+1). For students with disabilities, it’s N+2.

Can I appeal NSFAS’s decision to withdraw funding?

Yes, you can appeal NSFAS’s decision to withdraw funding by submitting your appeal through the specified channels on time. Ensure to provide valid reasons for the appeal.

What happens if my academic performance improves after failing modules?

If your academic performance improves and you meet the required pass rates, you may regain NSFAS funding. It’s important to communicate these improvements to NSFAS.

NSFAS is a vital resource for many South African students, providing crucial financial aid. To continue receiving this support, maintain good academic progress and use available resources to help you succeed.


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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