Fees-free tertiary education and your child

Find out what you need to know if you have a young person in your family thinking of doing some tertiary study.

Fees-free tertiary education

From 1 January 2018 all New Zealand students who finish school in 2017, or who will finish school during 2018, qualify for a year of free provider-based tertiary education or industry training. 

You can find out whether you are eligible, and what study is eligible, at the fees-free website(external link).

Raising student allowances and loans

From 1 January 2018, student allowance base rates will rise by a net $50 a week per student. 

For example, allowance payments for single students aged under 24 and living away from home will rise from $177.03 to $227.03 a week, while the rate for single students with children will go up from $329.57 to $379.57 a week, and the rate for couples with children (where one partner is not enrolled in more than half of a full-time course) will go from $379.34 to $479.34 a week. This means that some students with higher parental or family incomes may qualify.

The maximum amount students can borrow through a student loan to help pay for living costs will also rise by $50 a week – from $178.81 to $228.81 a week.

Students can choose how much they want to borrow if they don’t want to take out the maximum rate for living costs. The increase in student allowance will help keep debt levels down as will the first year of fees-free.

StudyLink is encouraging students to apply by 16 December and to provide their supporting documents promptly to ensure their applications are sorted for the start of the 2018 academic year.

Eligibility requirements for student allowance and loan living costs can be found on the Study Link website(external link)

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