Online applications for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) closed at midnight after the deadline was extended in the hope of receiving more applications from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.
This was also to give extra time to those who failed to submit supporting documents.
Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Buti Manamela said: “The student funding scheme has processed over 400 000 applications, with a large majority of those for students wanting to attend universities.”
Applications were opened in September and, initially, the deadline was set to November 30 for all submissions for students seeking funding at public tertiary institutions for the 2019 academic year.
The Department of Higher Education and Training said the date had to be extended because more than 50 000 applicants required supporting documents or because of the poor quality of the documents submitted.
Prospective students had to have all the necessary documents attached the first time, which included certified copies of IDs for parents or guardians and the applicant, proof of income and signed a consent form.