What are EFTS and how do they work?
EFTS stands for ‘equivalent full-time student’. We use EFTS to work out how much study you’ve done – and how much of your Fees Free entitlement you’ve used up.
Every tertiary paper or course you do has a certain amount of points or credits. These reflect how much time you’re expected to spend on the course.
These points or credits convert to an EFTS value.
- 15 credits or points convert to 0.125 EFTS
- 60 credits or points convert to 0.5 EFTS (half a year of full-time study)
- 120 credits or points convert to 1 EFTS (or one year of full-time study).
If you’re eligible for Fees Free, your tertiary education organisation will tell us how many EFTS you're enrolled in, and we’ll use this to track how much of your Fees Free entitlement you use.
Unsure of some of these terms? Check out our glossary.
- I don’t yet meet the residency criteria to be eligible for Fees Free – but part way through my course or programme, I will. Can I get Fees Free for study or training I do before I become eligible?
- I’m an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident. Am I eligible for Fees Free?
- I’m not sure of my residency status. Who can I contact to check this?
- I’m a citizen of the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau. Am I eligible for Fees Free?
- What does ‘undertaken study or training’ mean exactly?
- What are EFTS and how do they work?
- I’ve already done a course with zero fees. Does this count as prior study or training?
- I did some tertiary study while I was still at secondary school. Does this count as prior study or training?
- I did National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3 courses at school. Do they count as prior study or training?
- I’ve done study through the Refugee English Fund. Can I get Fees Free?
- I haven’t studied in New Zealand before. Does my overseas study or training count as prior study or training?
- I’ve already undertaken tertiary study or training in New Zealand as an international student. Does this count as prior study or training?
- I’ve studied before, but it was part time. Does this count as prior study or training?
- I’ve already undertaken workplace training or an apprenticeship. Does this count as prior study or training?
- Can I use my NZQA Record of Achievement to find out how much prior study or training I've undertaken?
- How much study or training can I get Fees Free?
- What fees are covered by Fees Free?
- Does Fees Free cover fees related to recognition of prior learning (RPL)?
- Will zero fee courses use my Fees Free entitlement?
- What fees are not covered by Fees Free?
- I’m an apprentice and enrolled through a tertiary education organisation. Am I eligible for Fees Free?
- Can I use Fees Free for both provider-based study and work-based learning at the same time?
- If I did less than $12,000 worth of study in my first year of study, can I carry the rest over to another year?
- How can I check how much Fees Free entitlement I’ve used?
- If I change providers part-way through my study, can I get Fees Free study at my new provider?
- I know I have some Fees Free entitlement left to use. Do I need to tell my provider?
- I started Fees Free study/training in a previous year and I’m continuing in 2024. Do I need to re-check my eligibility?
- What is a statutory declaration?
- What are the terms and conditions when I declare that I’m eligible for Fees Free?
- How long will it take for my statutory declaration to be processed?
- Who is authorised to witness me signing the statutory declaration?
- Where should I email my signed and witnessed statutory declaration?
- What happens if I give false information on my statutory declaration?
- Do I need to tell my tertiary education organisation (TEO) when I’ve submitted my statutory declaration?
- Is there a deadline for submitting my statutory declaration?
- I submitted a statutory declaration last year, but didn’t start studying. Do I need to submit a new one when I start?
- Can I use a statutory declaration that wasn’t generated on the Fees Free website?
- Do I need to apply to StudyLink to access Fees Free?
- What do I do if I’m eligible for Fees Free, but I’ve already applied for a Student Loan?
- What do I do if I’m eligible for Fees Free but have already paid fees to my tertiary education organisation?
- I started accessing Fees Free last year, but still have some entitlement left over to use. Do I need to apply to StudyLink to cover the rest of my fees?
- If I pay my own tertiary fees now, can I use my Fees Free entitlement later?
- Does Fees Free affect New Zealand scholarships?
- I’m eligible for Fees Free but have still been invoiced by my tertiary education organisation (TEO). Why haven’t my fees been paid?
- I withdrew from my study because of COVID-19. Can I get my Fees Free entitlement reinstated?
- My study was impacted by COVID-19. How do I appeal my entitlement use?
- Will I be notified when my entitlement is reinstated?
- I’ve used my Fees Free entitlement already, but this was for study in an industry that has been impacted by COVID-19. Can my Fees Free entitlement be reset, or can I access Fees Free to study something else?