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Fees Free – Study without fees for your first year

If you are just starting out at university and are a New Zealand citizen or resident, the government's Fees Free scheme may cover your tuition fees for your first year (up to 120 credits).

On this page:

The New Zealand Government's Fees Free scheme is designed to give you a financial helping hand with tuition fees in your first year – or 120 credits – of study.

Fees Free funds up to $12,000 of study costs including your:

  • tuition fees 
  • compulsory course costs
  • compulsory student services fees.

Optional costs such as student association and club memberships, course material, and late fees are not covered.

You don't have to pay your Fees Free funds back.

Frequently asked questions about Fees Free 

Find out about Fees Free including eligibility and how to apply

Eligibility for Fees Free

You're likely to be eligible for Fees Free if you're:

  • a domestic student with New Zealand citizenship or residency, or a New Zealander studying overseas; and
  • a first-time student or someone who has studied less than 60 credits.

You can be any age.

If you have your National Study Number (NSN), it's easy to instantly check if you're eligible

To get your NSN if you don't have it, ask your school or contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Getting Fees Free

You don't need to do anything to get your study covered by Fees Free if you qualify for it. If TEC is unsure if you are eligible, they may ask you to fill out a statutory declaration.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) will send your Fees Free credit to us automatically when you confirm your enrolment.

If you have any issues or questions, contact Fees Free.

Once your study is underway

If you you find out you're eligible for Fees Free after you've started your study for the year and have already paid your fees, your credit will be sent to us. We will refund what you have already paid.

Find out if you're eligible for Fees Free 

Student loans and Fees Free

If you have already taken out a student loan with Studylink and then had confirmation that you're also eligible for Fees Free, you don't need to do anything. StudyLink will be refunded by us and the amount you borrowed for compulsory course fees will be reversed off your Student Loan.

If you wish to make changes to your loan:

Note: when you log in to MyStudyLink and change 'Pay fees' to no, don't cancel your loan application completely. First, decide if you still need other support from the loan for living costs and course-related costs.

Scholarships and Fees Free

If you've been awarded a scholarship, being eligible for Fees Free may impact on the total amount you receive.

Some scholarships give money that you can use as you choose, such as the:

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship
  • High Achievers with Distinction Scholarship (Arts or Academic)
  • High Achievers Scholarship (Arts or Academic)
  • Academy of Sport Scholarship
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation and Academic Excellence Scholarship
  • Accommodation Scholarship

In this case, you are able to receive the full scholarship amount and can use it for study and living costs, at your discretion.

Other scholarships only cover the costs of student fees. So, if you're eligible for Fees Free, find out if you'll still receive your scholarship by contacting us.

Search scholarships and awards 

Returning to study

If you're returning to study and haven't used your full Fees Free entitlement, your remaining credit can be carried forward to your current study fees. Your Fees Free covers a maximum of 120 credits of study or $12,000 – whichever you reach first.

Contact Fees Free

If you have any questions or issues around your Fees Free entitlement or payment, contact Fees Free.

Contact us

Get in touch with us early about money matters so we can help and point you in the right direction. We want you to succeed with your study at Massey and are here to help.

If you're a current student, include your student ID number when you contact us.