Statement regarding registration and NSFAS issues

Posted on March 10, 2021

The University of Pretoria (UP) has taken note of the concerns of students, especially those students who are still waiting for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to approve their applications. We are working tirelessly to support all students, where possible, to ensure that no student is left behind.

To this end, we have extended the registration deadline to 31 March 2021 and undertaken that students will be able to register until the NSFAS issues have been resolved. We are engaging with first-year NSFAS students who have been provisionally accepted to prepare for their registration and eventual enrolment at UP. Messages have been sent requesting them to complete the pre-orientation and indicate whether they need internet-enabled devices, which will be funded from their book allowances. We have already lifted the financial blocks for returning and first-time entering NSFAS students in anticipation of approved funding applications. Almost 7 000 out of the approximately 9 000 provisionally accepted first-year students have already registered.

We are also providing other financial support, for example, NSFAS-funded students are not required to make the first payment. In addition, there are financial aid options available in the form of bursaries that are generally granted based on academic merit. The University has set aside approximately R20m in the form of bursaries to support students in financial need.

We are acutely aware of the financial challenges facing students and parents. While the first payment for tuition and accommodation is due before registration, to assist students the deadlines for the balance of the payment of student accounts (fees can be paid in instalments) have been moved to later in the year. The revised payment dates mean the second payment is due by 30 June 2021, and the final payment by 30 September.

For students who owe the University money in respect of prior years, the amount required to be paid before registration has been reduced from 50% to 40% of the outstanding balance. These students are required to enter into a financial arrangement for the remainder of the outstanding balance. This will only apply to the 2021 year.

Students who have been negatively affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and who feel constrained by the financial burden should contact the University by sending an email to [email protected] to make financial arrangements. You are advised to apply for financial assistance on the UP Portal. We will do everything we can to support you.

In the case of those students who are waiting to return to residences (students will be invited to return where applicable, within the approved health and safety protocols), we can confirm that the University has made adequate provision for their accommodation in UP-managed and accredited residences.

The University will do everything it can to ensure that it achieves financial inclusion as far as possible while ensuring sustainability.

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