To receive Fees Free, you must meet the eligibility criteria for the type of study or training you wish to enrol in. The course or programme you are enrolled in also needs to be eligible for Fees Free.

Provider-based study usually refers to courses enrolled in at Te Pūkenga, a University, Wānanga, or Private Training Establishment, where you are studying on campus, or online.

Industry-based training usually refers to programmes enrolled in at Te Pūkenga, a private training establishment or through a transitional industry training organisation, where you are training in a workplace, or doing ‘on the job’ learning.

If you’re unsure what type of study or training you plan to enrol in, contact your tertiary education organisation for assistance.

The following eligibility criteria apply to study and training that start in 2022.

To confirm your eligibility status, please use the NSN checker on the homepage. There may be steps you need to take to inform us of your eligibility status.

Provider-based study

Learner criteria

To be eligible for Fees Free while enrolled in provider-based study, you need to meet both the residency and prior study and training criteria below.

Residency criteria

You must be one of the following:

  1. a New Zealand citizen, or
  2. ordinarily resident in New Zealand and;
    1. have been living in New Zealand for at least 3 years while holding a residence class visa, or
    2. a refugee or protected person, or
    3. sponsored into New Zealand by someone in their family who, at the time of sponsorship, was a refugee or protected person; or
    4. a holder of the Christchurch Response (2019) Permanent Resident Visa; or
    5. a holder of a residence class visa who would have been eligible for the Christchurch Response (2019) Permanent Resident Visa.

Prior study and training criteria

  1. You must have been enrolled in a school in or after 2020, other than as an adult learner, or
  2. You must have not undertaken more than half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education (0.5 equivalent full-time student (EFTS) or 60 credits) at level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), including tertiary education at an equivalent level undertaken in any country.

The following do not count as prior study or training:

  1. Tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in school prior to 1 January 2019 (except for tertiary education undertaken as an adult learner).
  2. Tertiary courses undertaken as part of your school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme on or after 1 January 2019.
  3. Credits achieved as part of any industry training programme that consists of fewer than 120 credits that are reported after 1 January 2018.
  4. Tertiary education undertaken as part of the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF).
  5. Tertiary education undertaken through the Youth Guarantee programme after 1 July 2020.
  6. Tertiary education undertaken through the Maori and Pasifika Trades Training programme after 1 July 2020.
  7. Tertiary education undertaken through the Refugee English Fund.

Learn more about prior study and training.

Contact us at 0800 601 301 or [email protected] if you have questions about your eligibility, including prior study or training.

Course criteria

To be eligible for Fees Free, your course must be:

  1. funded by the Tertiary Education Commission from either:
    1. the Student Achievement Component level 3 and above fund, or
    2. grants under S556 of the Education and Training Act 2020 for tertiary provision that is part of a qualification or training scheme on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) at level 3 or above, and
  2. not part of a school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme.

Please contact your tertiary education organisation if you are not sure about your course eligibility.

Next steps

To confirm your eligibility status, please use the NSN checker on the homepage. There may be steps you need to take to inform us of your eligibility status.

Industry-based training

Learner criteria

To be eligible for Fees Free while enrolled in industry-based training, you need to meet the residency and prior study and training criteria below.

Residency criteria

You must be legally entitled to reside and work in New Zealand.

Prior study and training criteria

  1. You must have been enrolled in a school in or after 2020, other than as an adult learner,
    or
  2. You must have not undertaken more than half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education (0.5 equivalent full-time student (EFTS) or 60 credits) at level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), including tertiary education at an equivalent level undertaken in any country.

The following do not count as prior study or training:

  1. Tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in school prior to 1 January 2019 (except for tertiary education undertaken as an adult learner).
  2. Tertiary courses undertaken as part of your school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme on or after 1 January 2019.
  3. Credits achieved as part of any industry training programme that consists of fewer than 120 credits that are reported after 1 January 2018.
  4. Tertiary education undertaken as part of the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF).
  5. Tertiary education undertaken through the Youth Guarantee programme after 1 July 2020.
  6. Tertiary education undertaken through the Maori and Pasifika Trades Training programme after 1 July 2020.
  7. Tertiary education undertaken through the Refugee English Fund.

Learn more about prior study and training.

Contact us at 0800 601 301 or [email protected] if you have questions about your eligibility, including prior study or training.

Programme criteria

To be eligible for Fees Free, an industry training programme must:

  1. be at NZQF level 3 or above, and
  2. be approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, and
  3. comprise of at least 120 credits, and
  4. not be part of a school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme.

Please contact your industry training organisation if you are not sure about your programme eligibility.

Next steps

To confirm your eligibility status, please use the NSN checker on the homepage. There may be steps you need to take to inform us of your eligibility status.

If you started eligible study or training in a previous year, you’ll need to check your eligibility for that year: