Can You Receive Both NSFAS and the R350 Grant?

can you receive both nsfas and the r350 grant

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the Social Relief of Distress (SRD/ R350) are both grants offered by the South African government to financially boost needy students and citizens in the country. 

Whether you are eligible of both the NSFAS and R350 grant is a very common question. But there is no direct answer to it because of the different eligibility requirements for each. That being said, you can get approval for the NSFAS if you are a beneficiary of the R350 grant.

The converse, however, is not true. One of the requirements for the R350 is that you are not a beneficiary of the NSFAS grant. This means that if you receive the NSFAS grant and apply for R350, you are not likely to be approved. 

We will break it down for you below. 

Will I Be Approved for NSFAS if I Receive R350?

If you are a beneficiary of the R350 grant, and you have doubts about being approved for the NSFAS grant, you need not be. The good news is that even beneficiaries of the R350 (SRD) grant can still apply and be eligible for the NSFAS funding. Ideally, the NSFAS was designed to target underprivileged students in South Africa and help fund their post-secondary education. 

Will I Be Approved for R350 if I Receive an NSFAS Grant?

Unfortunately, being a beneficiary of the NSFAS makes anyone ineligible for the R350 grant. One of the requirements for the application is that NSFAS beneficiaries lose their rights to receive the R350 grant. This is because the SRD grant is designed for people with zero grants.

Hence, if you are already receiving the NSFAS grant, your application will be automatically declined. If by any chance you are receiving these grants simultaneously, SASSA will halt the payments upon discovery during the monthly review.

What Is the Eligibility Criteria for the R350 Grant?

To be eligible for the R350 grant, you must check all the boxes in their eligibility criteria. This includes being a South African citizen, a current resident in South Africa, unemployed, and between 18 and 60 years of age. Another important criterion for the R350 is that you should not be a recipient of any other social grant, be it NSFAS, Covid-19 government support, or employment insurance benefit. 

What Is the Eligibility Criteria for the NSFAS Grant?

The NSFAS offers bursaries to the needy university and TVET college students. Unfortunately, those who wish to study in private institutions will not be funded. Besides that, the eligibility criteria include being a South African citizen, being a member of a household that experiences financial constraints such as receiving a combined income of less than R350 000 and having applied for formal education from a public university. 

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What Are the Disadvantages of the NSFAS Grant?

There are a few notable cons of the grant. For one, this grant takes a considerably long time before the funds are disbursed for your tuition fees, living allowances, and more. Also, it limits you to only public institutions—if you intend to go to a private one, you are no longer eligible. Lastly, not all South Africans are qualified for this grant due to restrictions on nationality, income, educational qualification, and more.

How Much Does the NSFAS Fund Each Student?

The amount depends on the institution you are enrolled in, that is college or public university. A TVET college student will receive R7000 and R2900 worth of transportation allowance and incidental care allowance respectively. For university students, that rises to R7500 and R2900 for transportation and incidental care respectively. There is also an additional R7500 for learning materials and R15000 for living. 


The grants offered by the South African government are designed to bear the financial burden, to an extent, of its citizens. The NSFAS is targeted to help undergraduate students fund their education, while the R350 grant is available for all citizens.

However, it is important to understand that you cannot apply for the R350 grant if you bear the status ‘NSFAS Registered’. And even for the R350 recipients, the chances of receiving both these grants are slim. 

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