Fees Free Tertiary Study Policy

Below are some FAQs to help you understand what’s happening around the introduction of a free year of study and how you can potentially make use of Fees Free as a way to study.

Am I eligible?

A: Eligibility details have now been released for the new one-year fees free post-school training and education policy, which will be introduced from January 1, 2018. If you want to find out whether you are eligible, please go to feesfree.govt.nz.

Are all programmes fees free?

A: The government is fast tracking the introduction of zero-fees associated with your first year of tertiary study. The details are still being worked through and there is no advice of any programmes being excluded from the scheme.

The Government will fund fees up to $12,000 for study in a year. This limit is expected to affect around 1% of first-time students. Please use the official fees free website as a guide, as they will have the most accurate and up-to-date information.

But what exactly is the government saying?

A: Great question! This is taken from the TEC website – The Tertiary Education Commission (the TEC) is working to progress the Government’s fees-free tertiary education policy. Students and tertiary education organisations (TEOs) will be advised as soon as possible about how the policy will be implemented including details on how eligibility will be defined.

The TEC cannot at this stage confirm any details. In the meantime, TEOs should continue enrolling students using current processes. This includes advising students to continue with their applications for student loans and allowances.

Does it apply to everyone?

A: Early advice is that this only applies to the first year of study for first-time domestic students.

Do I need to be accepted into a programme first?

A: Well, yes. Just apply for your preferred programme and once you have been offered a place/enrolled you should immediately apply through www.studylink.govt.nz following the instructions on that site.

How do I apply?

A: The latest update is that anyone intending to study in February 2018 should apply for their programme of choice and to StudyLink (for a student loan or allowance, preferably by December 16th) as you normally would.

Where can I find more information?

A: We are posting updates about the scheme on our website as we get more information. Alternatively, you can also get information at www.studylink.govt.nz.

What if I change my mind?

A: No problem, you have the opportunity to withdraw from your chosen programme as outlined in our terms and conditions. If you do not take up your place it is likely that you will be eligible to begin your first year with zero fees at a future time.

I only want to study if it’s free. What should I do?

A: I totally get that. If you want to study, you’ll still need to apply and be accepted into a programme. If you know what you want to study, we would still suggest that you apply and provide all of the documents and complete your enrolment. You can withdraw up to the class start date. However, do be aware that you’ll need to withdraw if you’re not coming, as you’ll be invoiced, and we’ll be expecting you.

The Government will fund fees up to $12,000 for study in a year. This limit is expected to affect around 1% of first-time students. Please use the official fees free website as a guide, as they will have the most accurate and up-to-date information.


Got a question? Call us on 0800 10 95 10 to talk to someone who can help.

For more information, please use the official fees free website as a more comprehensive guide.