Although the Lockdown restrictions are still in place, the University’s Financial Aid Office (FAO) is busy sorting out all NSFAS-related problems. The FAO has approved 512 NSFAS applications so far, after lodging appeals for continued funding. Andrew Kubone, FAO’s Manager, said of the 512 students, they managed to pay 481 students without physical contact. The challenge with the remaining 31 is that the email facility is not the right tool for this exercise, said Andrew. One of the major challenges they had to contend with was the payments of allowances direct to student accounts. “The list we receive from NSFAS is raw; we have to do a thorough clean up before we publish it. The critical part is to make sure that we pay the correct amount to the right person at the right time,” said Andrew. Andrew added that due diligence was done to eliminate certain categories that were not supposed to be funded. The categories of students that are not funded are Pre-Tech, Post-Graduate, privately funded and those who have exceeded N+2. There are almost 10 000 NSFAS-funded students at MUT and 9660 qualify to receive allowances.
The common issues FAO is dealing with are enquiries relating to NSFAS funding and appeals for funding from students who do not meet the minimum requirements. Andrew said in dealing with these enquiries they access the NSFAS portal to ascertain the application status of the student. “To determine academic eligibility, we access the University’s academic record to look at the student’s performance. This also assists us with finding out other relevant information,” said Andrew. Students can use firstname.lastname@example.org to send their applications to the FAO.