11 January 2018

Important information regarding 2018 UFS tuition fees for first-time entrants

The recent announcement from President Jacob Zuma regarding fee-free higher education for new, first-year South African undergraduate students from poor and working class families in 2018 refers. While the University of the Free State (UFS) welcomes the initiative by the government to support the above category of students, South African universities remain fee-paying institutions for all other students. This bursary scheme will be phased in over a period of five years, starting in 2018.

The following information is important for students and parents to note:

  • It is important to note that new, first-year South African undergraduate students refer to students who will register at a tertiary institution for the first time in 2018. This includes students coming from TVET colleges, who were supported through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), and who meet the NSFAS criteria
  • New first-year undergraduate South African students from poor and working class households where the combined family income does not exceed R350 000 per annum, will be supported through government grants, administered by NSFAS, for their full cost of study
  • The definition of ‘full cost of study’ includes tuition fees, prescribed study material, books, meals where applicable, private and university accommodation, and transport
  • Students who were offered funding from another funder, but which funding does not cover the full cost of study, may be eligible for top-up funding through NSFAS if they applied and meet the academic and financial eligibility requirements. Double funding will not be allowed
  • Recipients of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grants will automatically qualify for NSFAS funding. All other students, no matter which school they attended, should have applied for this funding on the NSFAS website
  • If you have applied to NSFAS, please await confirmation of the outcome of your application. You can track your application status on the NSFAS website (www.nsfas.org.za)
  • Applicants who are NSFAS recipients will not have to pay a registration prepayment for 2018
  • The UFS Financial Aid Office will communicate with NSFAS recipients via SMS as soon as they can register
  • NSFAS is closed for applications for 2018. Late applications will not be considered
  • Students who did not apply to NSFAS for 2018 studies in 2017, and who are admitted to the UFS, may apply directly to the Financial Aid Office – their information will be forwarded to NSFAS for further consideration
  • Applicants coming from homes where the combined household income is more than R350 000 but less than R600 000, are eligible to apply for gap funding to cover the 8% increase on tuition and residence fees; students will need to apply for this gap funding. More information as well as the application form will soon be made available on the UFS website (https://www.ufs.ac.za/kovsielife/unlisted-pages/bursaries/financial-aid)
  • A first payment of R6 870 for non-residence students and R12 980 for students staying in UFS residences is payable before registration
  • NSFAS recipients will automatically qualify for gap funding and do not have to apply for it
  • Applicants from homes where the combined household income exceeds R600 000, will be expected to pay a first payment of R6 870 before registration for non-residence students and R12 980 for students staying in UFS residences
  • Students must take note that all students who are not funded through, for example NSFAS, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), etc., will need to find their own funding for 2018
International Applicants
  • International students are required to make the following payments five (5) working days prior to registration:
    • International Students (SADC)
      Residential R29 080
      Non-residential R19 360
    • International Students (NSADC) 
      Residential R43 160
      Non-residential R28 160
  • International students must pay all fees for the second semester in advance before registration can take place
  • South African and international SADC students pay the same fee per module. International non-SADC (NSADC) students pay the actual module price + 50%
  • An additional administrative levy for all international students is included in the amounts quoted above. The International Admin Levy is not refundable
  • All fees are Rand (ZAR) denominated
  • Please contact the Office for International Affairs for more details at:
    T: +27 51 401 3219/2501/3403/9436
    F: +27 51 401 9185
    E: internationalenquiries@ufs.ac.za
Postgraduate Applicants
  • Postgraduate students may consult the Postgraduate School for any queries regarding first payments prior to registration.  Please see the UFS website for contact details on:

The Fees Yearbook 2018 is available online on the UFS website. 

For queries, please contact the relevant offices during working hours:

  • Tuition Fees
    Undergraduate students (Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses):
    +27 51 401 3003
    +27 51 401 2806

    Postgraduate students (Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses):
    T: +27 51 401 9537
    F: +27 51 401 3579
    E: tuitionfees@ufs.ac.za 
  • Housing and Residence Affairs
    +27 51 401 3455
    +27 51 401 3562 
  • Financial Aid
    Undergraduate students:
    Bloemfontein Campus: +27 51 401 3741
    Qwaqwa Campus: +27 58 718 5061

I trust you will find this in order and wish you all the best with your studies during 2018.

Chris Liebenberg
Senior Director: Finance

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