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Funding & fees FAQ

Undergraduate financial aid & NSFAS

  • How can I fund my studies?

    A significant number of students fund their studies through a combination of scholarships, bursaries (either administered by the University or by organisations outside the University), loans, help from parents, sponsorship by companies, and through part-time and vacation work.

  • How do I apply for undergraduate financial aid?

    As of 1 August 2016, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) opened its student-centred application model. First-time applications for financial aid, as well as funding renewal for those students who are already recipients of NSFAS funding, will be handled centrally via NSFAS. Applications closed 30 November 2020.

  • How do I apply for scholarships?

    Each year, UCT allocates over R8 million as entrance scholarships to school-leavers who are coming to study at the University for the first time. South African citizens and permanent residents are eligible for these awards. The awards range from R20 000 to R40 000. No application for a UCT entrance scholarship is necessary. Entrance scholarships are for the first year after which students are eligible for consideration for a faculty scholarship.

  • What is a sibling rebate bursary?

    It is funding for siblings who are studying undergraduate programmes at UCT and are not eligible for NSFAS or UCT GAP funding. Application forms are available after registration on the undergraduate financial aid web pages. The following requirements must be met:

    • the sibling must be a South African citizen or have South African permanent residence
    • the sibling of an undergraduate student at UCT must simultaneously be studying towards a full-time undergraduate degree
    • the total family income must be between R600 000 and R750 000 pa
    • the student or sibling must not be in receipt of financial assistance, sponsorship or the UCT Staff Tuition rate

    Successful applicants will receive a bursary equivalent to 20% of their tuition fees for the second sibling only.

  • What is an "earn while you learn" programme?

    The obvious benefit of earning money, taking on part-time work while you study can significantly boost your employability after graduation. To get more information check UCT Careers Service.

  • Where can I access the bursary noticeboard?

    View the online bursary noticeboard.

    Other sponsor information is available in the Undergraduate Bursaries and Loans Handbook on the Handbooks page.

  • Do I need a laptop to study?

    Yes, all students require a laptop to undertake their studies and should have one from Day 1 of Orientation.

  • What should I do if I do not have a laptop?

    UCT has a laptop project that provides students that do not have a laptop with one for a fee that will be charged to your fee account. The laptop project is open to all first time UCT students.

    Should you require a laptop, you can opt into the UCT Laptop Programme when you complete your registration declaration. All information regarding the terms and conditions of the Laptop Programme will be available.

  • I have a sponsor that will pay for my fees, will they pay for the laptop?

    You will need to ask your sponsor if they will provide a laptop for your studies or if they will pay for the laptop if it is charged to your fee account. It is important that your sponsor understands that you will need a laptop from Day 1 when Orientation starts.

  • What do I do if my sponsor does not pay for or provide a laptop?

    You can opt into the UCT Laptop Programme and use the book/learning materials allowance that your sponsor pays to cover the laptop charge.

  • Will NSFAS pay for my laptop?

    If you are a NSFAS recipient, the book/learning material allowance will be used to cover the cost of the laptop. There is no additional allowance from NSFAS for a laptop.

  • Can I apply/submit a late application for NSFAS funding?

    No late applications to NSFAS are allowed, unless NSFAS makes an announcement in this regard.

  • How do I check my NSFAS funding status?

    Log into the MyNSFAS portal and track the status of your application for financial assistance.

  • When will NSFAS make a funding decision on my application?

    Normally NSFAS finalises funding decisions at the same time the NSC results are released. Check the NSFAS website and their social media accounts for updates.

  • What if NSFAS indicates my application is ineligible on financial grounds but I am a first-time entering University student with a gross family income of less than R350 000 pa?

    NSFAS normally opens an appeals window on their website. Submit an appeal with all the supporting financial documents to prove that your gross family income is less than R350 000pa. Note you must submit the appeal, the University cannot process this appeal for you. It is therefore important that you keep checking the NSFAS portal for updates.

  • What if my NSFAS application is unsuccessful on financial eligibility grounds because my gross family income is above R350 000?

    UCT will consider you for GAP funding if your gross family income is between R350 001 and R600 000 per year. There is no application, we receive information from NSFAS regarding financially ineligible applicants where the income is within the GAP funding range.

  • What is UCT GAP funding?

    GAP funding is considered for those applicants that did not meet the NSFAS eligibility criteria but still need some financial assistance towards their study costs. UCT will receive from NSFAS the relevant NSFAS financial aid application information to enable us to determine whether you meet the UCT criteria for GAP Funding. View further information about GAP funding.

  • What is the NSFAS N+1 rule?

    NSFAS will only fund students that meet eligibility criteria for the number of years of the programme (N) plus one additional year (N+1). Note that all years registered in higher education are counted in the N, not just the years for which you receive NSFAS funding.

  • I am a transferring student and had NSFAS funding before, will I still be funded?

    That depends on how many years you studied before transferring to UCT. NSFAS counts all years of registration towards the N+1 rule, so you will need to find alternative funding from a sponsor to cover the remainder of your studies, especially if you start a new programme at UCT from academic year 1.

  • Can I apply for UCT financial assistance if I have exceeded my NSFAS N+1 funding rule?

    Unfortunately, not, UCT is unable to assist, UCT applies the same basic funding rules as NSFAS. Funding is limited and the focus is on assisting students to achieve a first qualification within the national funding rules.

  • I have an undergraduate qualification, will NSFAS or UCT still assist me with funding for another undergraduate qualification?

    Students are only considered for funding eligibility for a first undergraduate qualification. A second qualification will not be considered for funding.

  • I have an undergraduate qualification, will NSFAS or UCT still assist me with funding for a postgraduate diploma?

    In 2020 only funding for the PGCE and PGDA was considered. Funding will not be considered if the applicants hold and undergraduate and a postgraduate qualification.

    Further information or amendments regarding NSFAS funding rules will only be available when the 2020 National Bursary Rules and Guidelines is released.

  • How can I get more information about financial assistance at UCT?

    Please visit the Student Financial Aid Office web pages. You can also contact them via phone on +27 21 650 5094 or email at FinancialAid@uct.ac.za.

Fees

  • How much does it cost to study at UCT?

    The University uses a course-based fee structure. Tuition fees vary per academic programme. View the Fees web pages to find out more about the full costs of study at UCT.

    For a pro forma invoice of the estimate tuition fees and associated costs log into the Student Self-Service system and click on Self Service Proforma. Please ensure that you have a copy of your applicant ID (known as your Campus ID) to access the self-service pro forma page.

  • What are the Student Housing fees at UCT?

    UCT publishes a booklet, which is updated every year, giving the fee for each academic course and accommodation in different types of student housing. The University uses a course-based fee structure. The fee booklet, together with the relevant Faculty handbook, will enable students to calculate the cost of their academic studies at UCT. You can request a Fees booklet from the Fees Office by phone (+27 21 650 1074) or email (fnd-feeenq@uct.ac.za).

    Also see the Fees web pages.

  • I have secured a bursary for next year and the bursary funder wants an estimate of fees. Whom do I need to contact?

    You can now generate a pro forma invoice via online service. Log into the Student Self-Service system and click on Self Service Proforma to get such an invoice. Please ensure that you have a copy of your applicant ID (known as your Campus ID) to access the self-service pro forma page.

    If you are experiencing any problems, please contact the Fees Office at fnd-feeenq@uct.ac.za.

  • I am a South African/ Permanent Resident student. How much do I need to pay?

    Tuition fees vary per academic programme. The minimum initial fees payable include: R28 500 (or the full fee where this is lower than the initial payment), plus (if applicable):

    1. Residence (catering) initial payment R35 000, or
    2. Residence (self-catering) initial payment R23 000

    The initial fee payment may not cover the full costs for tuition and student housing. Final payment is due by 31 July 2021.

    If you were previously an international student and received your permanent residence permit and/or South African ID, please submit a certified original copy of your permanent residence permit/ SA ID to iapo@uct.ac.za for your citizenship record to be updated and to be eligible for local fees. Changes in citizenship status can only be captured on or before 31 July 2021. If this information is captured after 31 July 2021, there will be no adjustment to the fees; international and/or SADC fees rates will be payable.

    To generate a pro forma invoice of the estimate tuition fees and associated costs log into the Student Self-Service system and click on Self Service Proforma. Please ensure that you have a copy of your applicant ID (known as your Campus ID) to access the self-service pro forma page.

  • I am a South African/ Permanent Resident student. When do I need to pay tuition fees?

    An initial payment of fees (for tuition and residence) is due by Friday 12 March 2021. If payment is not received on or before the due date, a one-off late payment fee of 8% of the unpaid amount will be charged. Final payment is due by 31 July 2021.

  • I am an International Student from the SADC region. How much do I need to pay?

    R28 500 (or the full fee where this is lower than the initial payment), plus a non-refundable administrative service fee of R4 200.

    1. Residence (catering) initial payment R35 000, or
    2. Residence (self-catering) initial payment R23 000

    The initial fee payment may not cover the full costs for tuition and student housing. Final payment is due by 31 July 2021. Unless the minimum initial fee is paid and all prior fee debt cleared, you will not be able to register for your courses.

    To generate a pro forma invoice of the estimate tuition fees and associated costs log into the Student Self-Service system and click on Self Service Proforma. Please ensure that you have a copy of your applicant ID (known as your Campus ID) to access the self-service pro forma page.

  • I am an International Student from the SADC region. When do I need to pay tuition fees?

    An initial payment of fees (tuition and residence and the administrative service fee) is due before registration or by Friday 12 March 2021, whichever date is earlier. If payment is not received on or before the due date, a one-off late payment fee of 8% of the unpaid amount will be charged. Allow a minimum of 14 working days for the payment to reflect in UCT’s bank account. Final payment is due 31 July 2021.

    If the minimum initial fee payment is not received before your faculty registration date, you will not be able to register for your courses.

    To generate a pro forma invoice of the estimate tuition fees and associated costs log into the Student Self-Service system and click on Self Service Proforma. Please ensure that you have a copy of your applicant ID (known as your Campus ID) to access the self-service pro forma page.

  • I am an International Student outside the SADC region.  How much do I need to pay?

     

    • UCT full-time international fee-paying students (except master’s & PhD students): R100 000
    • Master's full-time international students (Coursework & Dissertation): R66 500
    • Master’s full-time international students (Dissertation only): Full fees + R4 200 non-refundable international service fee
    • PhD full-time international students: Full fees + R4 200 non-refundable international service fee This is not the full cost. Final payment is due 31 July 2021.

    plus, if applicable:

    • Residence (catering) initial payment R35 000, or
    • Residence (self-catering) initial payment R23 000 This is not the full residence cost.

    To generate a pro forma invoice of the estimate tuition fees and associated costs log into the Student Self-Service system and click on Self Service Proforma. Please ensure that you have a copy of your applicant ID (known as your Campus ID) to access the self-service pro forma page.

  • I am an International Student outside the SADC region. When do I need to pay tuition fees?

    International students must make a minimum initial payment towards the tuition fees, international term fees and residence fees (where applicable), prior to registration or before Friday 12 March 2021, whichever date is earlier. If payment is not received on or before the due date, a one-off late payment fee of 8% of the unpaid amount will be charged. Allow a minimum of 14 working days for the payment to reflect in UCT’s bank account. Final payment is due 31 July 2021.

    Unless the minimum initial fee is paid and all prior fee debt cleared, you will not be able to register for your courses.

  • What happens to my fees account when I cancel studies at UCT?

    You or your parents/guardians must give notice of your intention to discontinue your studies by completing the prescribed form obtained from the faculty. This must be delivered to your faculty office in person or sent by email. A reduction on the academic fees may be considered in special circumstances, depending on when the notice of intention to discontinue studies is received. Please consult Academic Fees Section 2.2 in the Student Fees Handbook for relevant dates. All cancellations are subject to the prescribed administration fee. Note: fees owing are due immediately on cancellation of studies.

  • Who is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the fees account?

    It is your responsibility as a student of UCT to check your fees account on a regular basis and make sure that all information is correct. This is especially important before the year-end. Various charges may be debited to fees accounts if these have not been settled previously. These include:

    • library fines·
    • traffic fines·
    • student health charges
    • residence damage costs
    • emergency loans.

    Such charges often appear on fees accounts late in the year.

  • Whom should I contact if I need help interpreting my fees account?

    Telephone or visit the Fees Office and discuss your account with a fees officer. Queries relating to student accommodation and meals should be directed to the Student Accommodation Office by telephone (+27 21 650 1704) or by email (fnd-feeenq@uct.ac.za).

    International students can email iapo-finance@uct.ac.za for assistance.

  • How can I obtain my fees balance?

    To access your account balance via the web, visit the Student Self-Service portal and follow the links. Alternatively, contact the Fees Office.

  • How often are fees accounts mailed and to which addresses are they sent?

    The university does not issue detailed statements of account before the start of the academic year. It is your responsibility to make the initial payment by the due date and we do not remind you that the initial payment is due. Detailed statements of fees accounts are sent monthly after registration to the Fees payer email address loaded on the system. Where there is no fee payer email address, we send the statement to the UCT student email address.

  • My fees account is being mailed to the incorrect address.

    You are responsible for maintaining personal address details on the student system. Update your Fees address via the Student Self-Service portal.

    Statements of account are sent to the fee payer email address loaded. The university does not accept responsibility for incorrect addresses or email service deficiencies resulting in statements of account not being received. Make enquiries promptly if you do not receive a statement of account.

  • I am not receiving a fees account and my address details are correct.

    Log into the Student Self-Service portal to check your fee account to see if you have outstanding fees as we do not send out accounts with nil balances. Contact the Fees Office if you are still experiencing problems.

  • I am receiving external sponsorship/bursary. Where do I send this information?

    Please send your bursary confirmation letter to fnd-feeenq@uct.ac.za.

  • How can I pay my fees?

    Deposits may be made into the university's bank account.

    The university's banking details are:

    Standard Bank Rondebosch

    Branch code: 025009

    Account number: 270689982

    Swift address: SBZAZAJJ

    Your name and student number must be quoted when using this method of payment.

    Credit card payments can be made online, directly to the student fee account.

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