How much does it cost you to register at a South African university?

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Nationwide demonstrations at universities look set to begin again following protests today at the University of Johannesburg, Wits and Unisa, as the registration period began.

This week’s demands focussed on registration and upfront payments that students are required to pay before being able to begin classes. These upfront payments range from zero to over R20,000. So what do students have to pay at registration? UCT requires the largest upfront payment of the universities surveyed, with South African students having to fork out R21,500 for tuition (or their full fees if they are lower than this figure) by 5 February. Non-South African students, who do not have permanent residence but pay local fees such as students from a SADC country, must pay an additional R3,275 admin fee.



Students at the Graduate School of Business, the School for Legal Practice as well as all international students, have a different upfront payment structure depending on their course.

If a student has applied for a student loan from the bank the initial payment deadline is extended until 31 March and if the student has an external bursary or scholarship they may deduct one half of the annual award from the initial payment.

Students on the National Student FInancial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) do not need to pay the initial upfront payment but must pay their “expected family contribution” before the end of June. The initial payment for catering residences is R 25,500 and for non-catering residences it is R16,500. Again, non-South African students who pay local fees have to pay an additional R3,275 as an admin fee. The balance of all fees must be paid by 30 June.