The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has advised students whose applications have been declined to constantly monitor their MyNSFAS portal for possible communication.

NSFAS announced on Monday that it has finalised processing about 500 000 applications.

Over 346 000 of the applications have been approved.

Returning students have, however, said they face a bleak academic year as 2019’s fees remain unpaid.

Disgruntled students took to social media to state their frustrations over the unpaid fees for 2019.

“Each and every time when I go to their website it does not show my application status. So, I don’t know actually at this point in time whether I will be able to go to university or not. It is stressful because I was medicated for depression last year because of such things.”

NSFAS spokesperson,  Kagiso Mamabolo says they have processed all the applications that they received for 2020.

“We have received over 540 000 first time applications for 2020. At least more than 60% of these applications are successful and majority of these applicants are social grant beneficiaries. We have confirmed 346 000 as successful and we have over 28 000 who are not meeting the minimum funding criteria.”

Mamabolo says the declined applications will be reviewed and applicants will get a response in two weeks’ time.

“We have confirmed 346 000 applications as successful and we have over 36 000 applications that were withdrawn by the applicants and we have over 28 000 who are not meeting the minimum funding criteria but we are reviewing this number again. So in about two weeks or so, the status might change.”

Funding challenges for returning students seem to be recurring.

Disgruntled students in 2019 organised themselves under the hashtag NSFAS Failed Us banner and mobilised for declined applications to be reviewed.