Financing Your Study


Government Fees-Free study for first-time tertiary students


Are you eligible?

To find out if you are eligible visit this website

In general full-time students, apprentices and trainees will qualify if they are:

  • Allowed to work and live in New Zealand permanently, or are an Australian or New Zealand resident who has lived here for at least three years; and
  • Not enrolled in school when your qualification starts, and either:
  • Have been enrolled at a school in 2017 or 2018, or
  • Have not have undertaken previous study or training of more than 60 credits, except while you were at school, and
  • Enrol in an eligible qualification

What is an eligible course?

Eligible qualifications are courses that:

  • Are at Level 3 or above
  • For industry training only, are worth at least 120 credits

The fees-free policy for apprentices and industry trainees covers eligible programmes for up to two years. You can begin training anytime in the year and you will be eligible for your next 24 months fees-free.

What does ‘Fees-free’ cover?

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

There are however some other fees that are not part of ‘fees-free’ such as optional and occasional fees such as some course materials, and late fees which students will still need to pay.

When to Apply?

You should apply as soon as possible and supply any supporting documents promptly. 

Already enrolled but getting statements? 

Already enrolled?  Thought you were eligible for Fees Free but you are getting monthly statements from WITT showing your tuition fees are outstanding?  Then please go to check your eligibility and then give us a call to let us know of your eligibility on 0800 WITT NZ (0800 84 88 69)

Any questions?

Call us on 0800 948 896 or email and we'll do what we can to help.    

It's important to take the time to plan how you will pay for your study costs and support yourself financially while you study. There are a number of options available to help you.


StudyLink is a service of the Ministry of Social Development. They help students make informed choices about their student finance, how to apply for it and manage it online. StudyLink has a range of ways to help fund your study including Student Allowances and Student Loans.

Student Loans

The Student Loan can help to finance your study. Learn tips for success to help you get your student loan and allowance easier! 

To get a Student Loan, you'll need to be a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident, refugee or a protected person (under the Immigration Act 2009). From 1 January 2011 permanent residents and Australian citizens will be subject to a two year stand down before they can receive a Student Loan. Check out the StudyLink website at for more information.

A Student Loan is made up of three parts - compulsory fees, course-related costs and living costs. You choose which parts of the loan you need to use.

The compulsory fees part of a Student Loan lets you borrow the total amount of fees for your course, including compulsory Student Association fees.

The course-related costs part of a Student Loan helps with costs related to your studies, such as stationery, books, computer equipment and travel.

The living costs part of a Student Loan can help with your weekly expenses. As this is a loan you have to pay back you should always see if you may be entitled to a Student Allowance before you borrow living costs from a Student Loan.

Student Allowances

A Student Allowance is a weekly payment to assist with your costs of living while you are studying full time. Student Allowances do not have to be paid back. In general, to get the Student Allowance you'll need to be:

  • 18 years old or over (some 16-17-year-olds can also get it)
  • studying a full-time course (or have StudyLink's approval to study with a limited full-time status)
  • at secondary school or on a tertiary course approved by the Tertiary Education Commission (we can tell you if your course is approved) 
  • a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident, refugee, protected person (under the Immigration Act 2009), or a person sponsored into New Zealand by a family member who holds refugee status (from 1 January 2011) 

As part of the Student Allowance, you may be able to get an Accommodation Benefit if you live away from your parental home while you study, or have a partner and your combined income is $406.26 or less per week (as at 1 April 2011). While receiving a Student Allowance you can also work and earn up to $203.13 a week (as at 1 April 2011) before tax before your Student Allowance payments are affected.

Other Help

In addition, StudyLink may also be able to provide some additional assistance. This includes

  • help during study breaks if you can't find work,
  • help when going from a Student Allowance to a benefit
  • help with accommodation costs
  • help with ongoing medical and disability costs
  • help with work costs
  • help with childcare costs
  • help in emergencies

Work and Income may be able to help you with study costs if you receive a benefit and you may be able to get Working for Families Tax Credits from Inland Revenue.

For more information on what StudyLink can offer visit

For help, if you are on a benefit go to

For more information on Working for Families tax credits go to


Many New Zealand banks offer tertiary accounts which have many benefits for students including interest-free overdrafts, zero transaction or account management fees, access to loans in case of an emergency, and affordable insurance.

ANZ Bank:

ASB Bank:

Bank of New Zealand:


National Bank:

TSB Bank:




Scholarships - this is free money

Scholarships (also called grants or awards) are there to benefit students by providing financial assistance.

Find the more detail on scholarships available here.  We suggest you find the ones that best fit you and apply for as many as you can.

WITT students have free access to givME, a national online database which lists over 3900 scholarships. Find out more by visiting the website - givME website

Contact the Scholarship Coordinator at