Fees Free at the University
The New Zealand government introduced Fees Free to make tertiary study more affordable.
One year of fees-free study
The Government provides one year of fees-free study for students new to tertiary education. For more information and checking your eligibility, please visit Fees Free's Are you thinking about starting tertiary education? page.
Make sure you have your National Student Number (NSN) handy because that will make it quicker and easier. If you don’t have your NSN the website will tell you what you need to do to get one.
On the Fees Free website, there are also answers on their FAQs (frequently asked questions) page.
If you are a New Zealand citizen or resident who has lived in New Zealand for three years and will be coming to the University of Auckland direct from school, it is very likely that you will be eligible for fees-free.
Other categories of resident, including refugees, may also be eligible.
What do the free fees cover?
The government will pay up to $12,000 in fees to cover tuition, associated mandatory fees and compulsory student-service fees, for the equivalent of one year of full-time study (typically 120 credits). If you are studying part-time, you can spread this out over a longer period.
If your fees are more than $12,000, you will need to pay the difference.
I am eligible for Fees Free, what do I need to do?
If you are advised by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) that you are eligible for Fees Free support for the upcoming (even if you were not previously eligible or studying in the previous year), you do not need to contact the University to inform us.
The TEC will contact us directly, and we will apply the funds to your fees account for your study.
For more information on the Commission, please visit the Teritary Education Commission website.
Please note, the Government will pay up to $12,000 in fees.
Fees Free says I may be eligible for Fees Free, what do I need to do?
If your eligibility status is showing as ‘Maybe”, and you know you meet the eligibility criteria for Fees Free, you need to complete and submit a statutory declaration in order to be recognised as eligible for Fees Free.
This must be submitted within 12 months of the start date of your chosen University of Auckland programme to automatically receive payment for this.
For more information, please see Where should I email my signed and witnessed statutory declaration?
I am ineligible for Fees Free, what do I need to do?
If you are advised by the TEC that you are not eligible for Fees Free study and will need part or all of your fees paid by StudyLink for the current year, we strongly recommend that you apply well in advance of your enrolment because student loan applications generally take up to a month to be approved.
What happens if I see outstanding fees after changing my enrolments?
If you make any changes to your enrolment after the Fees Free study payment has been applied, you do not need to do anything.
If you see that your fees account shows a balance outstanding after you have made changes to your enrolment, the next payment batch will adjust the balance if your remaining entitlement covers the outstanding balance.
This will be applied on the Friday following the change.
How does this affect my student loan?
If you are eligible for fees-free study, and have already applied for a student loan, then you can cancel or reduce the amount of your loan.
- To cancel your loan, phone StudyLink on 0800 88 99 00
- To change the value of your loan, you can do that by logging onto My StudyLink
If you haven’t applied for a student loan, you will only need to apply for the living-costs portion. You can apply on the StudyLink website.
What you decide to do about your loan will depend on your individual circumstances, such as what other costs you need to cover and the fees that would normally apply for your programme.
- If you used part of or all of your fees-free entitlement in a previous year and will need part or all of your fees paid by StudyLink in the current year, we strongly advise that you apply well in advance of your enrolment because student loan applications generally take up to a month to be approved.
- What you decide to do will depend on your individual circumstances. This may include any other costs you need to cover and the fees that would typically apply for your programme.
Check the StudyLink website to make sure you understand what these changes mean for you.
For more detail about these changes, please visit StudyLink's Student support changes 2018 page.
What happens if you don’t complete your study?
If you enrol in courses and then withdraw, you may lose your entitlement to fees-free in subsequent years.
Checking your Fees Free entitlement
If you want to find out how much of fees-free entitlement you’ve used to date please contact the TEC by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will confirm how much entitlement you have left.
If you did less than 120 points/1 EFTS (Equivalent Full Time Student) worth of study in your previous year and your fees in your previous year(s) didn't exceed $12,000, you may have leftover entitlement that you can carry over to another year.
Your Fees Free entitlement funding will stop when you use up your remaining EFTS or remaining dollars, whichever you use up first.
If you have used your Fees Free entitlement
If the TEC advises you that you have now used up all of your Fees Free allocation and you still have a balance outstanding, to discuss how you will pay the remaining outstanding balance, please contact us by email to email@example.com.
We recommend you apply for StudyLink if you have used up your Fees Free allocation. For more information, please visit How to apply for a student loan or allowance.
Increases to student allowances and loan entitlements
From 1 January 2018 student allowances and loan entitlements will increase by $50 per week. No change is being made to eligibility rules for either of these.
For more information, please visit StudyLink: