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This page is intended to assist you to navigate your way through financial aid, paying for your studies, costs etc.

The latest update on finance issues will appear just below this introduction - simply click on the link of the update you want to read. Lower down the page are links to our Financial Aid website, calculating your fees,  as well as a direct link to the NSFAS website.


NSFAS FUNDING - 3 February 2017   



2017 down-payments

Amounts payable before registration

Degree programmes, Postgraduate diplomas and related Occasional studies R 6 700 R 3 800
Diploma/Certificate programmes and related Occasional studies R 4 700 R 3 000
RESIDENCES (Students at all campuses) R 4 800 N/A

What will my course cost?

The costs for each course are worked out on an individual basis, adding up all the modules that YOU select. You can get your own personalised fee estimation by going to the Career & Study Fields page and then going to your specific course. For example, if you want to study to be an Accountant, you will go the letter "A", select "Accountant", pick the qualification to want to enrol for (e.g. BCom General Accounting), go the the "qualification details" and then ask for a "personal fee estimation" by clicking on the green button - as shown in the image below.


2018 Online applications Closing date 30 September 2017 No charge
Manually submitted applications Closing date 30 September 2017 No charge
International manually submitted Closing date 31 October 2017 R500.00

For specific residence fees, please download the "Student Accounts Guide" on the right of this page.

Apply for the 8% fee reduction grant

Visit our Financial Aid website

Visit the NSFAS website



NSFAS funding - 3 February 2017

Student Representative Council (SRC) presidents from across the country met with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) this week on student funding matters. A number of resolutions were made in a bid to enable a greater number of students to register in time for the start of lectures.

The resolutions effectively enable hundreds more students at Nelson Mandela University to go ahead with registration, provided that they meet the necessary academic requirements, are awaiting NSFAS funding confirmation and there is still place in their chosen programmes.

First year students who applied for NSFAS and are awaiting confirmation of funding

  • First year students who completed their studies in Quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools (no-fee paying schools) and who are indicated as NSFAS “Awaiting availability of funds” can proceed with registration
  • Students who come from families that receive a South African Social Service Agency grant and who are indicated as NSFAS “Awaiting availability of funds” can proceed to registration.

Returning students

  • Returning students who received NSFAS funding in 2016 and signed the loan agreement form last year, who have passed 50% of their modules and meet the NSFAS completion requirement, can proceed with registration
  • The 2016 cohort of Zero expected family contribution (EFC) students who continue to be academically deserving can go ahead with registration

Missing middle

  • Students who fall within the University-defined missing middle (those whose household is not more than R300 000) and received exemption from the minimum down payment in 2016, who are able to cut down their current student debt to R5000 and below will be allowed to register without down payment
  • Those who cannot cut their debt to the above-mentioned amount can approach a Panel set up by the University to attend to financial aid related matters. Details on the process to be followed will be communicated with the relevant students.

Honours and BTech students

  • The Financial Aid Task Team is still deliberating on funding options for this cohort of students and will give the necessary feedback in due course.

The decision by NSFAS in consultation with students is aimed at ensuring that as many students as possible are registered in time for the start of lectures nationally. Lectures at Nelson Mandela University start on Monday, 6 February.

In waiving the usual means test in order to speed up its processes, NSFAS also committed to work with universities to reconcile and confirm the validity of supporting these students.

The financial loan scheme for students whose families earn less than R244 000 annually will pay out R9.9 billion in 2017, of which R285m has been allocated for Nelson Mandela University students.

If students falling within the above mentioned cohorts continue to experience blockages when trying to register, they should consult the Financial Aid official stationed at the registration venue.

In the event that the matter remains unresolved even after consulting the on-site official, students can approach the Dean of Students who will, if applicable, direct the matter to a Panel set up to attend to such matters. Details of the Panel will be shared after it has convened its first meeting.



There is ongoing engagement on arising student finance matters through the Financial Aid Task Team. The task team’s mandate is to roll out any financial aid concessions that Council and/or Manco resolve on that fall outside the standard annual financial aid or bursary allocations. 


First-time entering students
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has committed to doing all that it can to finalise the allocation of financial aid packages to first time entering students.  The university is working closely with NSFAS to assist in this process and expect this process to be finalised by the end of the week.

Returning students
Returning students who are still awaiting NSFAS to confirm funding for 2017, but meet the following four conditions will be allowed to register for 2017:

  1. They received NSFAS financial aid in 2016
  2. They satisfied the module pass requirements for the 2016 academic year
  3. They satisfy the NSFAS completion requirement for the programme
  4. They have signed their 2016 NSFAS loan agreement form


Nelson Mandela University 2016 - Zero expected family contribution (EFC)
The University council resolved that only the 2016 cohort of qualifying Zero EFC students, who continue to be academically deserving, will be allowed to register with outstanding debt and be exempt from paying the down payments.

Nelson Mandela University 2016 defined “Missing middle”
Council, however, did not concede to a similar request for students from the Nelson Mandela University-defined missing middle cohort of 2016 (families who earn no more than R300 000) to be allowed to register while having outstanding debt and without paying the down payment.

The University would, however, consider entering into personal one-on-one agreements with students from this cohort in terms of making appropriate arrangements for outstanding financial commitments based on personal circumstances and academic merit.

The Financial Aid Task Team also asked that any returning students who may have fallen into the 2016 Nelson Mandela University Missing Middle ceiling gap be identified and put on a “waiting list” should support be made available.


Students falling within the government-defined missing middle – those whose annual household income is not more than R600 000 – are eligible for an adjustment grant that effectively covers the 8% fee increase announced by the University last year. This grant covers only the difference between the 2016 and current fees, and not the full amount. In other words, these students do not have to pay the 8% increase themselves as it will be subsidised by government.

Those whose combined family income is below R600 000 must apply to receive the grant by following the link:

Students are encouraged to apply for this grant as soon as possible as the verification process includes the verification of supporting documents by an independent national to ensure applicants are in fact compliant.


The call to settle outstanding fees prior to registration is extended to those students who do not qualify for the concessions made by the University. In other words, students who do not fall under the 2016 cohort of Zero EFC and 2016 University-defined missing middle.