NSFAS concludes ‘successful testing’ of online application system ahead of 2019 cycle

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme on Sunday tested its "improved" online application system on the eve of the opening of the 2019 applications cycle, which opens on Monday.

A group of Grade 12 pupils took part in the online application testing at the NSFAS offices in Cape Town.

This as the scheme attempted to make the process simpler for applicants, which will allow for feedback to be received within a week.

After submitting the application, the pupil received an SMS notification confirming that their application was captured successfully, NSFAS said in a statement.

This allowed it to test the readiness of its system.

Following the successful testing, NSFAS administrator Randall Carolissen said they were ready for the 2019 application cycle.

"But it is important to note that our readiness will be determined by how smooth the process runs in term of giving funding decisions timeously," he said.

NSFAS said it would work "effortlessly and remained focused" until such a time where students were "not frustrated by delays and system errors."

It was also "in earnest" completing the 2017/2018 backlog where unsigned agreements, non-payment of allowances and unpaid tuition fees are to be dealt with in a "robust and speedy manner".

Teams led by senior management to universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges have been deployed to finalise the current student funding decisions and disbursements ahead of the opening of the 2019 application cycle, it said.

NSFAS on Friday said an outstanding payment of R1.2bn had been "successfully processed" to students and institutions after work on the backlog started 10 days prior following Carolissen’s appointment.