How to Find NSFAS Accredited Accommodation?

Finding a place to stay while studying can be a stressful experience. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple guide to assist you in this process? Especially for students relying on NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) in South Africa, finding accredited accommodation is critical. So, what are the key steps to take when looking for NSFAS-accredited accommodation?

--- Advertisement ---

How to Find NSFAS Accredited Accommodation: What Steps Should You Take?

To find NSFAS-accredited accommodation, start by consulting your educational institution’s accommodation office for a list of approved housing options. Next, do your own research online through websites and apps that specialise in student housing. Visit potential accommodations to assess their condition and proximity to your campus. Before finalising, thoroughly review the housing contract to ensure it aligns with NSFAS guidelines. Once satisfied, secure your accommodation by signing the contract and potentially paying a deposit. Finally, if you haven’t already, apply for NSFAS funding to cover your accommodation costs.

--- Advertisement ---

What is NSFAS Accredited Accommodation?

Before embarking on your search, it’s important to understand what NSFAS-accredited accommodation entails. This is housing that has been approved by the NSFAS and meets specific criteria in terms of safety, quality, and proximity to your educational institution. By opting for NSFAS-accredited housing, you not only ensure a safe environment but may also get financial aid to cover your lodging expenses.

--- Advertisement ---

Step 1: Consult Your Institution’s Accommodation Office

The first step in your journey should be to consult with your university or college’s accommodation office. They can provide you with a list of NSFAS-accredited places and may even assist you in booking a room.

Step 2: Research Online

Don’t rely solely on your institution for information. Utilise the power of the internet to search for NSFAS-accredited accommodation options. Websites and apps catering to student housing can be an invaluable resource.

Step 3: Visit the Accommodation

Pictures can be deceiving. It’s always advisable to visit the accommodation in person to assess its condition and to ensure it meets your needs. This also allows you to evaluate the distance from your place of study and the accessibility to public transport.

Step 4: Review the Contract

Once you’ve selected a potential place, it’s crucial to carefully read through the accommodation contract. Make sure it aligns with NSFAS guidelines and that you fully understand all terms and conditions, including the duration of stay, payment details, and any penalties for early termination.

Step 5: Secure Your Place

After going through the contract, the final step is to secure your place. This usually involves signing the contract and possibly paying a deposit. Make sure to keep copies of all relevant documentation for future reference.

Step 6: Apply for NSFAS Funding

Don’t forget to apply for NSFAS funding if you haven’t already done so. Once approved, NSFAS will usually pay your accommodation fees directly to the accredited housing facility.

Scenario: Finding NSFAS-Accredited Accommodation


  • Thando: A first-year university student who has received NSFAS funding
  • Sipho: Thando’s friend, also a first-year student but not on NSFAS
  • Ms. Naidoo: University Accommodation Officer
  • Landlord: Owner of an NSFAS-accredited student residence

Scene 1: University Accommodation Office

Thando: (Walking in) Hi, Ms. Naidoo. Sipho told me you might be able to help me find NSFAS-accredited accommodation?

Ms. Naidoo: Absolutely, Thando. We have a list of places that are NSFAS-accredited. Here you go.

(She hands over a printed list to Thando)

Scene 2: Thando and Sipho Research Online

Sipho: (Scrolling on his phone) Here’s an app that has a list of student accommodations, and you can filter it to only show NSFAS-accredited ones.

Thando: Awesome! This makes the search so much easier. Let’s shortlist a few to visit tomorrow.

Scene 3: Visiting the Shortlisted Accommodations

Thando: (Arriving at the first place) Hmm, this doesn’t look like the pictures. And it’s quite far from campus.

Sipho: Agreed. Let’s check out the next one.

(They visit a few more places)

Thando: This one looks great, and it’s close to campus. I’ll speak to the landlord about the contract.

Scene 4: Reviewing the Contract

Landlord: So, here’s the contract. Take your time to read through it.

Thando: (After reading) Everything seems to be in order, and it aligns with NSFAS requirements. I’ll take it!

Scene 5: Securing the Place and Applying for NSFAS Funding

Thando: (Signing the contract and handing over a deposit) So, when can I move in?

Landlord: You can move in next week. Welcome!

Thando: Great, I’ll finalize my NSFAS accommodation funding application now.

Scene 6: Thando Moves In

Sipho: (Helping Thando move his bags) Congrats, buddy! You’ve got a great place here.

Thando: Thanks! And it’s NSFAS-accredited, so my accommodation fees are sorted too.

Sipho: Perfect! Now let’s get you settled in.


Finding NSFAS-accredited accommodation doesn’t have to be a complicated process. By following these steps, you can simplify your search and secure a safe and conducive environment for your studies. And remember, you’re not alone; your institution’s accommodation office and online resources are there to assist you in this journey. So, have you started your search for NSFAS-accredited accommodation yet?