Covered on this page:

Who is able to get Fees Free?

Fees Free is for anyone starting tertiary education or training for the first time. If you’ve never done more than half a year of tertiary education, then you may be eligible!

To check if you’re eligible, go to the Fees Free website (linked to below) and enter your National Student Number (NSN) on the homepage. If you have an NZQA Learner Login, you can also check your eligibility status here.

If you aren’t sure what your NSN is, you can either ask your school or call the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) on 0800 697 296.

If you’re eligibility check says ‘Maybe’, you’ll need to check the eligibility criteria and answer the questions to find out if you’re eligible.

Useful links:

How do I access Fees Free?

Once you’ve checked whether you can get Fees Free, you’ll be given your eligibility status.

If your eligibility status is ‘yes’, then all you need to do is enrol in an eligible course or industry training programme and your fees will be paid directly to your tertiary provider.

If your eligibility status is ‘maybe’, then you’ll need to fill out a form called a statutory declaration to confirm you meet all the requirements, including residency requirements.

To find the eligibility requirements for Fees Free, check out the Fees Free website.

What fees will be covered by Fees Free?

Provider-based study

If you’re eligible for Fees Free and do provider-based study (that includes study at a university, institute of technology or polytechnic (ITP), wānanga or private training establishment (PTE) then you’ll get your first year of study Fees Free! This covers:

  • tuition fees
  • compulsory course costs
  • compulsory student services fees

If you study part-time, or do less than 120 credits of study in your first year (with fees less than $12,000), then you may have some left-over Fees Free to carry-over into future years.

Note: You can’t use your Fees Free entitlement to pay any optional and occasional fees. Things like students’ association and club memberships, some course materials, and late fees won’t be covered.

Industry training

If you’re eligible for Fees Free and enroll in an industry training programme that’s got a minimum 120 credits on the NZQF (New Zealand Qualifications Framework), then you can receive Fees Free for training and assessments for the first two years of your training programme. This includes all apprenticeships.

Note: If you’re eligible for Fees Free and you decide to enroll in the industry training programme made up of less than 120 credits, for example some barista training or lifeguard training, don’t worry – these credits won’t count against your Fees Free entitlement or affect your eligibility.

Useful links:

Can you access Fees Free while you’re in school?

Tertiary study done as part of a school programme or secondary-tertiary programme, such as the Student Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) or Trades Academies, will not count towards your Fees Free entitlement, or affect your eligibility.

However, if you do tertiary study outside of your school learning programme from 2019, then you’ll start using your Fees Free entitlement as a part-time tertiary student