Universities in South Africa Open for Late Applications in 2024

Universities in South Africa Open for Late Applications in 2024

For many reasons, you may have missed the initial application window for university in 2024. Fortunately, a number of institutions across South Africa offer late applications with extended deadlines. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of universities still accepting late applicants for the 2024 academic year as of January 2024.

We will cover key details like adjusted deadlines, late fees, availability by program, and expert tips for submitting a successful late application. Read on to find the right university for you that can still accommodate your 2024 studies through their late application process.

Universities in South Africa Open for Late Applications

Introduction to Late University Applications in South Africa

Most universities in South Africa open their application window around March and April, with initial deadlines closing between June and September for the next academic year. However, many learners miss these first deadlines for reasons like:

  • Wanting more time to decide on the right institution or course of study
  • Only receiving final Grade 12 marks later in the year
  • Financial constraints delaying application preparation
  • Illness or personal issues interfering with initial deadlines

Fortunately, you still have options! Over a dozen universities offer late application periods with extended deadlines from October through early January. This provides a second chance to apply for 2024 admission.

Late applications typically incur an additional fee and have limited space, but allow you to still pursue tertiary education when you missed earlier deadlines.

Overview of Universities Accepting Late Applications

Here is an overview of universities still open for late applications as of January 2024:

Durban University of Technology (DUT)

  • Late deadline: 28 February 2024
  • Late fee: R100
  • Availability: Limited space remains in most programs

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT)

  • Late deadline: 31 January 2024
  • Late fee: R100
  • Availability: Engineering, IT, natural sciences programs still open

Nelson Mandela University (NMU)

  • Late deadline: 13 January 2024
  • Late fee: R250
  • Availability: Limited space remains in humanities, business, and education faculties

Rhodes University (RU)

  • Late deadline: 31 January 2024
  • Late fee: R850
  • Availability: Select humanities, science, and education degrees still open

Sol Plaatje University (SPU)

  • Late deadline: 31 January 2024
  • Late fee: R100
  • Availability: Space remains in education, humanities, and social sciences

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)

  • Late deadline: 30 November 2023
  • Late fee: R100
  • Availability: Limited space remains in engineering, sciences, humanities

University of Cape Town (UCT)

  • Late deadline: 30 November 2023
  • Late fee: R450
  • Availability: Very limited space remains in select faculties

University of Fort Hare (UFH)

  • Late deadline: 31 December 2023
  • Late fee: R100
  • Availability: Limited availability remains across most faculties

University of Free State (UFS)

  • Late deadline: 30 November 2023
  • Late fee: R250
  • Availability: Limited space remains in humanities, law, education

This provides a sample of universities and their late application windows in 2024. Check individual university websites for any updates or changes to this information before applying.

Step-by-Step Process for Late University Applications

If you’ve identified a university you’d like to submit a late application to, follow these steps:

1. Confirm the late application requirements

Check the university’s website for any changes to the deadline, late fee, documents needed, available programs, and other requirements.

2. Gather necessary documentation

This includes your ID, matric results, academic transcripts, and any other required paperwork. Make certified copies.

3. Complete the online application form

Access the university’s portal to begin a late application. Provide all required personal, academic, and contact details accurately.

4. Pay the late application fee

The additional fee amount varies by university, from R100 to R850. This can be paid online via credit card, EFT, or other method.

5. Submit supporting documents

Upload scanned copies of any required paperwork like your transcripts, ID, and matric certificate.

6. Carefully review then submit your application

Double check that all sections are filled in, documentation is attached, and fee is paid before submitting your completed late application.

7. Await the outcome

The university will review your application and inform you if you have been offered late admission or not.

8. Accept your place

If accepted, ensure you formally accept your spot by the specified date and complete any other required steps.

Availability of Programs for Late Applicants

When applying late, it’s crucial to keep in mind that universities have limited spaces remaining in programs. Here are some tips:

  • Confirm which faculties or degrees still have room for late enrollments. Humanities and social sciences often have more availability than competitive degrees like medicine.
  • Call the university to inquire about availability for your specific chosen program before applying.
  • Have back-up program choices in case your original preference is now full. Be flexible.
  • Expect limited or no availability for highly popular programs like commerce, engineering, law, and others.
  • If the program you want is full, ask to be placed on a waiting list in case of withdrawals.

With flexibility and realistic expectations around late application availability, you can still find an opportunity.

Expert Tips for Successful Late University Applications

Use these pro tips when submitting your late university application:

Apply as early as possible – Don’t wait until the last minute, as availability declines over time. Apply as soon as you decide to pursue late admission.

Follow instructions precisely – Carefully adhere to all guidelines and make sure documents are certified if required.

Confirm documents uploaded – After submitting online, double check that your attachments uploaded correctly.

Pay late fee promptly – Don’t let the additional fee delay submission of your application.

Call the university for assistance – If facing any issues with the process, ask the admissions department for help.

Have alternate options – Apply to multiple universities in case your first choice is now full.

Check email frequently – Monitor your inbox for any communication from the university. Respond promptly to any requests for information.

Inform them if contact details change – If your address, email or phone number change, notify the university so you don’t miss crucial updates.

Following these tips will give you the best shot at securing a late spot!

Late University Application FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about applying to university late:

Do ALL programs accept late applications?

No. Each university and program has different policies. Some may already be at capacity or not offer late applications at all. Check availability per program.

Will I still qualify for residence if I apply late?

Not necessarily. On-campus residence spaces also become limited. You may need to pursue private off-campus housing if applying late.

What if I don’t have my final Grade 12 marks yet?

You can still apply using your term 3 Grade 12 marks. Just ensure your final marks meet university requirements once available.

When will late applicants receive an admission decision?

It depends on the university, but often 1-2 months after you have submitted a complete late application. Start following up if you haven’t received a decision closer to start of term.

If accepted late, can I still apply for NSFAS funding?

Yes! You can still apply for NSFAS even if admitted late to the university. Just be sure to apply for NSFAS funding promptly.


When you’ve missed initial application deadlines, late application provides a valuable second chance at university acceptance for 2024. Choose an institution with late availability in your desired program, and carefully follow the adjusted process.

Use this guide to understand late application policies, fees, availability across universities, and expert tips to strengthen your submission. While spaces are limited, late application maximizes your chances of still gaining 2024 admission. Don’t give up on your tertiary dreams!


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