Important information about the government’s new fees-free policy

Please take some time to read this information about the government’s new fees-free policy.

From January 1, 2018 all students who are new to tertiary education or returning students who have not completed more than half a fulltime year of study are eligible for fees-free funding.

Regardless of your age, if you’re a New Zealand citizen, you no longer attend secondary school, have not completed 60 credits of tertiary study and are planning to study at Level 3 or above, you are likely to be eligible for fees-free study.

Are you eligible?

The website has all the information you need to determine whether you are eligible for this funding.

You will need your National Student Number (NSN) when visiting the website. 

If you are still at school, you can ask your school for your NSN.

You can also contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority on 0800 697 296 (between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday) or by email through the NZQA website.

What does the fees-free funding cover?

The funding covers tuition fees, associated mandatory fees and compulsory student service fees up to a value of $12,000 and for one year of fulltime study.

What if my Te Wānanga o Aotearoa programme is free anyway? Will I use up my entitlement to fees-free funding?

Yes. The fees-free policy covers all tertiary courses and industry training programmes above Level 3, starting January 1, 2018.

But what if I want to study another Te Wānanga o Aotearoa programme that is free next year? Will this mean I have to pay for it?

No, you won’t have to pay. Many of our programmes have no cost for our students. If you use your fees-free entitlement this year it will not affect you if you want to study next year in a programme that has no fees.

What if I have taken out a student loan and discover I’m eligible for fees-free funding?

If you're eligible you won't need to do anything further. However, you may need to borrow for living costs or course-related costs.

If you were only applying for fees and no longer need a Student Loan you can call Studylink on 0800 88 99 00 to cancel your application.

What do I do if I have already enrolled in a programme and have discovered I’m eligible for fees-free funding?

No problem. The Tertiary Education Commission will pay your fees – up to $12,000 - to your education provider to cover eligible courses.

If you have any further questions you will find the answers at
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