From the total number of applications received by the end of November, some applications were incomplete or may have outstanding or incorrect supporting documents. These applicants have been contacted by officials.
Of the 473,911 valid and fully completed applications received by the closing date, 346,364 were declared eligible for funding at this stage, 36,865 were withdrawn, and 28,979 did not meet the minimum funding criteria.
Most of the applications were from KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Gauteng.
About 80% of applicants have indicated universities are their first choice for studies.
The scheme said it anticipated that, as in previous years, a "significant number of students will apply after they have registered at TVET colleges in January 2020".
In the previous year, this category of students totalled 160,000.
Students previously funded by NSFAS who will be continuing their studies in 2020 will be funded based on progression results to be received from the institutions.
Additional temporary staff have been employed to ensure all applications are processed before the start of the academic year, NSFAS said.