Student loans and allowances

The Government contributes to the cost of further education in New Zealand for eligible students, but most tertiary education providers also charge fees depending on the type of course being offered. Students can borrow money for tuition fees, course costs and living costs, and they might qualify for a subsidy for living costs.

Financial support for further education

Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund

From 1 July 2020, young people who want to undergo training or apprenticeship in certain industries may be eligible to apply for the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund. The fund covers the costs of training and apprenticeship and covers things like tuition fees, compulsory course costs, assessments and compulsory student services fees. Go to the Tertiary Education Commission website to check if you’re eligible for this fund.

Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund – Tertiary Education Commission(external link)

Eligibility for tertiary education refund

All New Zealand students who finished school after January 2017 qualify for a year of free provider-based tertiary education or two years of a long industry training programme such as an apprenticeship.

If a young person in your family has already applied for a loan to cover their first year of fees and they find out that they didn’t have to do this because they are eligible for fees-free, they should approach the provider and ask for a refund.

Eligible students are entitled to a refund of the amount you have paid to do a course starting on or after 1 January 2018, up to the value of the $12,000 fees-free cap.

A full list of who qualifies and what study is eligible for fees-free tertiary education and training is available through the fees-free website.

Fees-free website(external link)

Student allowance

A Student Allowance is a weekly payment that can help with your living expenses while you’re studying. The Student Allowance is similar to the Student Loan living costs, but you don’t have to pay it back.

Allowance payments for:

  • single students aged under 24 and living away from home is $227.03 a week
  • single students with children is $379.57 a week, and
  • couples with children (where one partner is not enrolled in more than half of a full-time course) is $479.34 a week.

See if you are eligible for a student allowance: 

Student allowance – StudyLink(external link)

Student loan

Students can borrow money for the payment of tertiary fees, course related costs and to subsidise living expenses. The money borrowed will need to be repaid once you start earning over a certain income threshold.

The maximum amount students can borrow through a student loan to help pay for living costs is $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.

StudyLink encourages students to apply as early as possible to help get the correct payments on time.

Eligibility requirements and applications for student loans:

Student Loan – StudyLink(external link)

Scholarships and Grants

You might be able to get a scholarship or grant to help with our tertiary studies. 

Tertiary scholarships

Community Services Card

Tertiary students are eligible for a Community Services Card to help with health care costs.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Tell us what you think.