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.

Tertiary student support update

22 November 2017

From 1 January 2018,  the Government is committed to introducing one-year fees-free tertiary education and has already announced a $50 a week boost to student allowances and student loan living costs.

These changes will apply to any eligible young person enrolling in a university, a polytechnic, a wānanga, any other tertiary provider, or in industry training.

The new initiatives  are the first step in the Government’s plan to roll out a full three years’ fees-free tertiary education for New Zealanders by 2024.

Final decisions on how the new fees-free policy will be implemented, and how eligibility will be defined, are currently under consideration.

Further information will be made available as soon as possible.

StudyLink is encouraging prospective students to apply by 16 December 2017,  and to provide their supporting documents promptly to ensure their applications are sorted for the start of the 2018 academic year.

The Tertiary Education Commission is advising tertiary education organisations to continue enrolling students using current processes. This includes advising students to continue with their applications for student loans and allowances.

Student Allowance

The Student Allowance provides a subsidy towards the living costs of full-time students who meet certain income and age criteria. The scheme is aimed at students from low-income families who may not be able to afford to study otherwise.

Student Loan

As a student you can borrow money for the payment of tertiary fees, course related costs and to subsidise your living expenses. You need to repay money borrowed from the scheme to the government once you start earning over a certain income threshold.

Scholarships and Grants

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

Community Services Card

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

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