Hardship support

We appreciate that you may experience financial difficulties while at University. Many of those difficulties can be unexpected and out of your control, in such situations the University may be able to provide you with hardship support.

Student Emergency Fund – General Hardship Support

You can apply to this fund if an unexpected event has caused financial difficulties and is affecting your studies. (For hardship related to COVID-19 please see below information)

To be eligible, you need to:

  • be a currently enrolled student
  • have attended your course for two weeks or more
  • have exhausted all other avenues of financial assistance – eg, StudyLink, WINZ, savings, etc.
  • complete the Student Emergency Fund Application Form.

Funding support is available to help with living costs including groceries, private rental payments, utility bills

The fund is unable to support:

  • Payment of tuition fees
  • Payment of additional course expenses
  • Payment of halls accommodation fees
  • Payment of debt accumulation

COVID-19 Hardship Support

We appreciate that the current situation regarding COVID-19 may have caused additional financial pressure for some students. You may be unable to work, have incurred additional accommodation costs due to self-isolation or be unable to access funding in your home country, this may be impacting on your ability to manage your day-to-day financial situation. (Doctoral students seeking short term support during the COVID-19 lock down should apply through the Doctoral COVID-19 Hardship Fund).

To be eligible for this funding you need to:

  • Be a currently enrolled student
  • Be currently in New Zealand
  • Demonstrate that you are in financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak (for example: bank statements, self-isolation certificate from Healthline or a doctor, correspondence with employers)
  • Complete the Student Emergency Fund Application Form
Prior to applying to this fund, please explore what other financial support/short-term arrangements might be available to you.
This may include the following:
Rental payments
  • Discuss your current situation with your landlord and explore the possibility of deferring your rent payment until the end of the lock-down. During the next 3 months landlords are unable to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to end the tenancy. More information is available on the Tenancy Services website.

Wage subsidy

  • All students entitled to work in New Zealand (including international students) and who are employed by a New Zealand employer can be covered by the wage subsidy. The subsidy covers employees who are working part-time, or on a casual or contract basis. (Please note that as the subsidy is paid to employers, the subsidy does not cover international students who were not in employment prior to COVID-19). More information on the policy can be found on the Work and income website.


  • For those receiving government support, if you no longer receive an income this may change the level of Student Allowance that is available to you. You should log into MyStudyLink and update your details to have your entitlement reassessed. StudyLink may also be able to provide additional support at this time of need, please visit the StudyLink website.

Employment Rights


  • Auckland Emergency Management is providing one-off welfare packages for individuals in Auckland struggling to access basic household supplies due to job losses or general hardship. Packages include items such as pasta and rice, tinned vegetables and meats and basic toiletries. 
  • To have your eligibility assessed for this service call 0800 22 22 96, lines will be open between 7am and 7pm, 7 days a week. Packages will be delivered to courier to residential addresses. For more information, check out the Auckland Emergy Management Welfare FAQs.

Broadband connection

  • Skinny Jump provide a low-cost prepaid broadband service for eligible Kiwi homes. 30GB of broadband is available for just $5. To find out if the service is available at your home address, visit the Skinny website.

AUSA Advocacy offers free support, advice and information on employment disputes, finances and tenancy problems. Should you wish to discuss your situation with the advocacy service, please reach out via the AUSA Advocacy website.


MoneyTalks is a free helpline available to provide free, confidential advice. Their financial mentors can:

  • Understand your financial situation
  • Organise your debt 
  • Plan for the future
  • Get you in touch with a local budgeting service

For more information and to access the service, please visit the MoneyTalks website.

Please note: this is a government-funded resource and is not linked to the University of Auckland.

AUSA Hardship Grant

The AUSA (Auckland University Student Association) Welfare Hardship Grants scheme helps students in hardship with the basic necessities of life. Financial need must fall under one of the following four categories to be considered: food, accommodation, travel or medical. You must also meet the grant criteria.

To apply, visit AUSA Hardship Grant.

More information

Help from The University of Auckland

University of Auckland Partnership Appeal Awards: These help academically able students who are struggling financially in the final year of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme. More information on the Partnership Appeal Awards.

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