Adult learner

An individual who has turned 19 years old and then in the following calendar year enrols or is enrolled in a school. This excludes students who are considered to require special education under the Education and Training Act 2020.

For example, if someone was at school and turned 19 years old on 31 March 2017, they will only be considered an adult learner for the period that they are enrolled at school from 2018 onwards.


Calendar year

A calendar year is the 12 month period from 1 January to 31 December.


The amount of fees-free entitlement learners have left over after their first calendar year of study. This amount can be used in future years.

Compulsory course costs

Compulsory course costs are the fees charged by a provider for a course, on top of tuition fees. These include examination fees, material charges, costs of field trips, costs associated with the compulsory purchase of equipment or books and other charges associated with a course. These fees are covered by Fees Free. You may still need to pay other optional and occasional fees.

Compulsory student services fees

Compulsory student services fees may be used by providers to support the delivery of student services such as health care and student support. These fees are covered by Fees Free.


How much fees-free entitlement learners have used.



The amount of fees-free entitlement a fees-free eligible learner is entitled to use.

Equivalent full-time student (EFTS)

We work out your study workload by using a measurement called EFTS. Usually, 0.125 EFTS is equivalent to 15 credits or points at a provider. One EFTS is usually equal to one year of full-time provider-based study.