Adult Matric: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

by Staff Reporter

If you’re over the age of 21 and haven’t finished high school, you might think it’s too late for you to get your matric certificate—but that’s simply not true! Even if you’ve been out of school for a while, you can still get a second chance at matric by completing an adult matric course.

Getting your matric certificate as an adult can open up new opportunities for your career. It can help you apply for different jobs or go to college or university.

If you’re eager to get your adult matric, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about getting your adult matric in 2024.

Table of Contents

adult matric

What is Adult Matric?

An adult matric, also called a Senior Certificate (SC), lets you further your education by allowing you to study at college or university. A SC is similar to a National Senior Certificate (NSC) in that both are a NQF Level 4 qualification. With that said, the National Senior Certificate (NSC) and Senior Certificate (SC) are still different, so be careful not to confuse them.

To understand how the National Senior Certificate (NSC) is different from the adult matric, check out the comparison below to see how they work:

Adult Matric Versus National Senior Certificate (NSC)

The National Senior Certificate (NSC) is obtained by completing Grade 12 in high school through traditional schooling.

Adult matric covers the same subjects as most secondary schools, however, with adult matric, you can set your own pace for completing the course. You choose how fast or slow you want to go within the time frame set by the educational institution. Adult matric results are based only on final exams, not on assignments or classwork.

For a course to be valid, it must be approved by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

*Make sure your matric course is legitimate by visiting the SAQA website or checking its SAQA identification number.

Who Qualifies for an Adult Matric in 2024?

Adult matric certificates are generally given to those who could not complete their matric certificate the first time around. 

You may also get an adult matric if you would like the opportunity to improve your matric marks so that you may qualify to get into a higher educational institution.

The requirements for an adult matric may vary depending on the matric course or programme you’ll be undertaking.

With that said, the general requirements for an adult matric can be broken down into the following:

  • adults over the age of 21 who would like to obtain their Grade 12 Senior Certificate (SC)
  • adults with a completed Grade 9 General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) or equivalent (NQF 1)
  • adults with the ability to speak, read and write two or more South African languages (namely English and Afrikaans)
  • adults with an incomplete Senior Certificate (SC)

An adult matric certificate is for anyone over the age of 21 looking to attain their matric certificate so that they can use it to find work or further their education.

The requirements for an adult matric can vary depending on the course or programme you choose. However, the general criteria for adult matric can be found below:

  • Be over 21 and want to get your Grade 12 Senior Certificate (SC).
  • Have finished Grade 9 or have an equivalent certificate (NQF 1).
  • Be able to speak, read, and write at least two South African languages, like English and Afrikaans.
  • Have an incomplete Senior Certificate (SC).
young individuals registering for adult matric

Where Can You Register for an Adult Matric in 2024?

There are several educational institutions where you can complete your adult matric. They are:

  1. Adult education centres: These are places, either public or private, where adults can get basic education.

  2. Vocational schools: Also known as trade schools, these offer technical skills and training for specific careers.

  3. Community colleges: Many public Further Education and Training (FET) colleges in South Africa offer adult matric programmes, along with some private schools.

  4. Distance learning programmes: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many higher education institutions now offer online and distance learning options for adult matric programmes. This allows individuals to study from home at their own pace.

It’s a good idea to research and compare different institutions to find the best one for your needs, budget, and schedule. You can also seek guidance from a school counsellor or educational advisor.

Now, let’s explore three specific educational institutions where you can complete your adult matric in 2024: the Department of Basic Education (DBE), TVET colleges, and distance learning institutions.

Get Your Adult Matric Through the Department of Basic Education (DBE)

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) offers adults a chance to get their Senior Certificate (SC) through the Second Chance Matric Programme (SCMP).

The SCMP helps learners and adults get their National Senior Certificate (NSC) or Senior Certificate (SC) by letting them study and retake various matric subjects.

Subjects available in the Second Chance Matric Programme (SCMP) include:

  • Accounting
  • Agricultural Science
  • Business Science
  • Economics
  • English FAL
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematical Literacy
  • Physical Sciences
  • Life Sciences

A benefit of doing your adult matric through the SCMP is that you can access all the subjects listed above, whereas learners aiming for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) can only choose two subjects.

Registration for the SCMP open in November each year and closes in February of the following the year, so make sure to apply before the deadline!

adult applying for adult matric at tvet college

Get Your Adult Matric Through TVET Colleges

If you want to study at a TVET college, you’re in luck! There are many TVET colleges in South Africa where you can complete your adult matric.

The great thing is that some TVET colleges accept applications all year round. This means you can apply for your adult matric certificate anytime.

There are a few TVET colleges that accept year-round applications and offer adult matric courses, including Coastal KZN TVET College and Goldfields TVET College.

Each TVET college is unique, so it’s important to research them properly before choosing the right one for you. To help you start, we’ve provided details about each of the mentioned TVET colleges so you can see what matric courses they offer.

Coastal KZN TVET College

Coastal KZN TVET College offers various courses, including the National Certificate Vocational (NCV) Programme.

The NCV programme is for adults who passed Grade 9 and want to complete Levels 2, 3 and 4 of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which is like Grades 10, 11, and 12. Each NQF level takes a year to finish, so the whole adult matric course takes 3 years.

After finishing Coastal KZN TVET College’s NCV Programme, you’ll have the qualifications and skills to start working. You can also apply to higher education institutions if you meet the right subject requirements.

The NCV programme has both fundamental and vocational subjects:

Fundamental subjects (NQF Level 2 to 4):

  • Languages
  • Life Orientation
  • Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy

Vocational subjects (NQF Level 2 to 4):

Goldfields TVET College

Located in the Free State, Goldfields TVET College offers Adult Basic Education and Training to adults who would like to complete their adult matric. 

The adult matric courses available at Goldfields TVET College will allow adult matric learners to obtain a National Certificate Vocational (NCV).

 The adult matric courses available at Goldfields TVET College are:

  • Engineering and Related Design
  • Civil Engineering and Building Construction
  • Electrical Infrastructure Construction
  • Drawing Office Practice
  • Finance, Economics and Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Hospitality
  • Office Administration
  • Transport and Logistics
  • Tourism
young woman studying adult matric via distance learning

Get Your Adult Matric Through Distance Learning Institutions

Although there are several excellent educational institutions that offer adult matric in South Africa, we’ll be discussing two private educational institutions that are currently open for registrations in 2024: Elroi Academy and Matric College.

Elroi Academy

Elroi Academy is an online education provider that specialises in matric rewrites. 

All courses provided by Elroi Academy must be completed online via distance learning, which is ideal for adults who work full-time. 

The adult matric courses are entirely self-paced and you can choose from a range of matric subjects that can be completed in either English or Afrikaans:

  • Accounting*
  • Afrikaans Eerste Addisionele Taal
  • Afrikaans Huistaal
  • Business Studies*
  • Computer Application Technology
  • English First Additional Language
  • English Home Language
  • Geography*
  • History
  • Life Orientation*
  • Life Sciences*
  • Mathematical Literacy*
  • Mathematics*
  • Physical Sciences*
  • Tourism*

*Adult matric subjects offered by Elroi Academy that are available in Afrikaans

adult matric learner studying at matric college

Matric College

Matric College is an educational institution that offers adult matric to individuals over the age of 21. 

The adult matric courses at Matric College are registered by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and can only be completed via distance learning.

Matric College allows you to choose from a range of compulsory and optional subjects, and you can choose to take as many subjects as you’d like.

The compulsory and optional subjects available for adult matric at Matric College are:

Compulsory matric subjects:

  • English Home Language 
  • English 1st Additional Language 
  • Afrikaans Huistaal (Home Language)
  • Afrikaans 1st Additional Language 
  • isiXhosa 1st Additional Language
  • isiZulu 1st Additional Language
  • Sepedi 1st Additional Language
  • Xitsonga 1st Additional Language
  • Ndebele 1st Additional Language
  • Sotho 1st Additional Language
  • Tshivenda 1st Additional Language
  • Siswati 1st Additional Language
  • Setswana 1st Additional Language
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematical Literacy

Optional matric subjects:

  • Life Science (Biology) 
  • Physical Science (Physics and Chemistry) 
  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
adult working out costs of adult matric

How Much Does an Adult Matric Certificate Cost?

The cost of getting an adult matric certificate can vary based on several factors, such as the organisation offering the programme, where you’re located and any extra study fees.

On average, in South Africa, getting an adult matric can be around R5,000 to R10,000. However, the actual cost might change depending on the specific programme, requirements and location.

For accurate and current information about the cost of a particular adult matric course, it’s best to contact the educational institution directly.

To give you an idea of the costs for an adult matric certificate in 2024, let’s break down the expenses for obtaining it at the Department of Basic Education (DBE), TVET Colleges and private educational institutions.

Adult Matric Costs at the Department of Basic Education (DBE)

If you’re planning to apply for an adult matric through the Department of Basic Education (DBE)’s Second Chance Matric Programme (SCMP), the good news! Registration for the SCMP is completely free.

However, while registration is free, you should be ready to cover the costs of your study materials, textbooks, stationery, and any other additional fees that might come up during your studies.

Adult Matric Costs at TVET Colleges

The cost of getting an adult matric through a South African TVET College can vary based on the institution and the number of matric subjects you need to complete.

On average, you might expect to pay around +-R5,000 to +-R21,000 per matric course, but this can vary depending on the specific TVET college you’re applying to.

As for registration fees, some TVET colleges don’t require any registration fee, while others might ask for a small upfront payment.

To get more details, it’s best to contact your local TVET college directly to find out about their registration fees for adult matric courses. This way, you’ll know how much money you need to budget for your application.

If you’re considering getting your adult matric at KZN TVET College or Goldfields TVET College, you can check out the breakdown of their costs and fees below.

students writing adult matric at tvet college

Coastal KZN TVET College

At Coastal KZN TVET College, the average tuition fees typically range from R8,000 to R21,000 per year.

For adults wanting to complete their adult matric at Coastal KZN TVET College, there’s a requirement to pay a minimum deposit of R2,000 of the course fees at the time of registration if they don’t meet the funding criteria for NSFAS.

Goldfields TVET College

At Goldfields TVET College, many students receive funding through the NSFAS bursary. However, if you’re planning to pay for your adult matric course privately, here’s an overview of the courses and fee structure at Goldfields TVET College:

  • Engineering and Related Design: Up to R19,800
  • Civil Engineering and Building Construction: Up to R15,300
  • Electrical Infrastructure Construction: Up to R15,100
  • Drawing Office Practice: Up to R11,350
  • Finance, Economics, and Accounting: Up to R10,900
  • Marketing: Up to R9,750
  • Information Technology and Computer Science: Up to R14,900
  • Hospitality: Up to R18,500
  • Office Administration: Up to R9,700
  • Transport and Logistics: Up to R10,315
  • Tourism: Up to R14,115

These cost packages at Goldfields TVET College include registration fees, class fees, books, and consumables.

Note: The fees mentioned above are for guidance only. Any study fees or costs set by Goldfields TVET College may change.

Adult Matric Costs at Distance Learning Institutions

If you’re considering completing adult matric courses at distance learning institutions such as Elroi Academy or Matric College, you’ll want to know the cost of acquiring an adult matric certificate at each of these private educational institutions. 

Here’s what you should know about the cost of studying toward an adult matric at Elroi Academy or Matric College.

Elroi Academy

The cost of obtaining your adult matric through Elroi Academy is R4 025. However, if you apply for your adult matric at Elroi Academy through FundiConnect, you’ll get an additional 20% off all services.

Matric College

Adults looking to acquire their adult matric through Matric College will need to contact Matric College directly in order to find out the costs, as each course is personalised to the individual students’ needs.

learner registering for adult matric

How Do You Register for an Adult Matric in 2024?

To register for an adult matric in 2024, you’ll have to follow the application process provided to you by your chosen educational provider.

To help get you started, we’ve provided a guide below on how to apply for adult matric through the Department of Basic Education, TVET colleges and private educational institutions.

Register for an Adult Matric Through the Department of Basic Education

Adults who would like to register for the Second Chance Matric Programme (SCMP) can do so by either visiting the provincial education office or by registering online via the portal.

To register for the Second Chance Matric Programme (SCMP) online, all you have to do is:

  • Visit
  • Complete the registration form
  • Submit your supporting documents (certified copies of ID, birth certificate, passport and highest qualification)

After you’ve registered for the Second Chance Matric Programme (SCMP), you’ll need to wait for your confirmation letter before getting approved.

Register for an Adult Matric Through TVET Colleges

There are two ways to register for an adult matric through TVET colleges. You can either register for an adult matric through your local TVET college online (should they have the online option available), or by visiting your local TVET college campus.

The online application process for TVET colleges is fairly similar, and all you have to do to register for your adult matric is:

  1. Visit your chosen TVET college’s website
  2. Start the application process through your TVET college’s application portal.
  3. Complete your application form online.
  4. Upload or attach your supporting documents (certified copies of your ID, latest statement of results, proof of residence).
  5. Submit your application.

Depending on the TVET college you’ve chosen to obtain your adult matric at, you may have to submit your supporting documents manually by visiting the listed address on the TVET college’s website.

adult learning registering for adult matric online

Register for an Adult Matric Through Distance Learning Institutions

In order to apply for an adult matric through the two private educational institutions earlier in this article—Elroi Academy and Matric College—all you have to do is simply follow the application processes listed below.

Elroi Academy

The application process for Elroi Academy is simple and anyone who would like to apply for their adult matric can do so by following these steps:

  • Visit the Elroi Academy website
  • Fill in the “quotation” page
  • Accept the terms and agreements
  • Provide either your account details or the person who is in charge of your account
  • Upload certified copies of your ID and latest academic reports
  • Make an EFT or deposit payment for the registration fee 
  • Upload your proof of payment 
  • Submit your enrolment form
  • Complete your application

Once you’ve completed your registration for Elroi Academy’s adult matric course, you’ll get immediate access to the content and support portal.

Matric College

To register for an adult matric at Matric College, all you have to do is gather the right supporting documentation and follow the online application process.

Supporting documents needed to apply to Matric College are:

  • ID number (applicants must be over 21 years)
  • Latest school report (from grade 9 onwards)
  • Subjects you’d like to study
  • Personal details (name, surname, district, proof of residence)
  • 2 colour ID photos

Once you’ve gathered your supporting documents for Matric College, you can apply for an adult matric online by following these steps:

  • Go to the Matric College website
  • Fill in the registration form
  • Wait for a call or SMS from one of Matric College’s adult matric experts
  • Select your list of matric subjects 
  • Choose your payment plan 
  • Register via a telephone call 
  • Get the application processed 

After completing your registration at Matric College, you’ll only need to wait three days before you can begin your adult matric course.

adult matric learner studying at the library

Fund Your Tertiary Studies with Fundi

Once you finish your adult matric, many opportunities will become available. You can start a career or study at a college or university.

If you want to study further but don’t have enough money, you can turn to Fundi for help. Fundi offers student loans to people who can’t afford to pay for their studies on their own. Their loans can cover things like tuition fees, study devices and more.

You can use Fundi’s Loan Calculator to see how they can assist you in reaching your academic goals.

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