Free university fees for the first year of study

The New Zealand government has introduced new policies 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. Visit their website to find out if you are eligible

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.

There are answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the Fees Free site too.

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.

Student loans

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. 

If you haven’t applied for a student loan, you will only need to apply for the living-costs portion.

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.

Check the StudyLink website to make sure you understand what these changes mean for you. 

Visit StudyLink – Student support changes 2018.

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.

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 see the StudyLink website:

Need help?

If you need to talk to someone about the new fees process, please contact the Student Contact Centre.