Fees-free FAQ

On 5 December 2017 the Government announced its policy of ‘fees-free’ for students who are starting tertiary education for the first time in 2018.

What does this mean for you?

If you meet the eligibility criteria it means you can get one year of full-time tertiary education with free tuition fees! There is no age limit. Check your eligibility at www.feesfree.govt.nz. You’ll need your National Student Number (NSN). You can also check out this quick reference guide to find out if you’re eligible (confirm with your NSN on the fees free website).

Don’t know your NSN number?

If you are currently at school or were at school this year, you can ask them for your NSN. If you studied after 2003, you will have an NSN. To find it, contact NZQA on 0800 697 296 – they will ask you some verification questions, and then let you know what it is.

What courses and qualifications are eligible?

To be eligible for ‘fees-free’ you need to enrol in courses that lead to a recognised qualification. Find out more about recognised qualifications at www.feesfree.govt.nz

  • The ‘fees-free’ policy is for courses at Level 3 and above; L2 courses and below previously offered at Toi Ohomai have always been ‘fees-free’ and there are no plans to change this as a result of this new policy.
  • If your study starts in the middle of one year and ends in the middle of the following you can access ‘fees-free’ study for 60 credits (0.5 EFTS) in 2018 and another 60 credits (0.5 EFTS) in another year.
  • Industry Training Programmes – New Zealand Apprenticeship programmes must be at least 120 credits but students will be eligible for ‘fees-free’ for 24 months.

What does ‘Fees-free’ cover?

  • Tuition fees and associated mandatory fees, and
  • Compulsory student services fees

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

What happens now?

Enrol in your choice of study as you normally would. If you’re eligible for ‘fees-free’ your fees (up to $12,000) will automatically be paid to Toi Ohomai. If you’ve already enrolled, no problem – your fees will automatically be paid.

If you’ve already taken out a student loan for 2018 to pay for your fees portion only, you can cancel this by calling StudyLink on 0800 88 99 00. Confirm your eligibility first!

If you’ve already applied for a loan to pay fees, living costs and course-related costs, you’ll need to log into your MyStudyLink account to alter the ‘Pay fees’ option, depending on how much you now need to borrow. Check out the FAQs on www.feesfree.govt.nz for more detailed information.

More information: