Advising learners

Advising learners

Last updated 10 June 2021
Last updated 10 June 2021

This page sets out what you should advise learners about their Fees Free eligibility and how Student Loans work with Fees Free.

Eligibility

Learners need to go to feesfree.govt.nz and enter their National Student Number (NSN) on the homepage to check their eligibility

Once a learner has entered their National Student Number (NSN), the website returns one of the following results:

  • Yes – the learner is eligible for Fees Free.
  • No – the learner isn’t eligible for Fees Free.
  • Maybe (Unknown) – we’re not sure if the learner is eligible for Fees Free.
  • 2018 Starter – the learner is eligible and has been reported as undertaking Fees Free eligible study and/or training in 2018.
  • 2019 Starter – the learner is eligible and has been reported as undertaking Fees Free eligible study and/or training in 2019.
  • 2020 Starter – the learner is eligible and has been reported as undertaking Fees Free eligible study and/or training in 2020.

Learners with an unknown eligibility status - the statutory declaration process

The TEC relies on information from other agencies, such as school enrolment data and TEO enrolments, to determine a learner’s eligibility status. In many instances, the TEC does not have enough information to determine eligibility, so the learner receives a ‘Maybe’ status.  Learners that receive a ‘Maybe’ result who know they meet the eligibility criteria, are able to complete and submit a statutory declaration to be recognised as eligible for Fees Free. From 2021, learners must submit a statutory declaration within 12 months of the start date of their first Fees Free eligible course of study or industry training programme to automatically receive payment for this. The statutory declaration process requires learners to return a witnessed declaration to the TEC for verification in the year they begin studying, attesting to their eligibility for Fees Free.

Once we have processed a statutory declaration, we update the Fees Free Eligibility spreadsheet on Workspace 2. This process may take up to two business days.

How Student Loans and Allowances work with Fees Free

Learners undertaking provider-based study who aren’t eligible for Fees Free, or eligible learners whose fees exceed $12,000, may be able to apply for a Student Loan and/or Student Allowance.

For more information on Student Loans and Allowances see StudyLink website.

Please note, learners undertaking industry training are not eligible for a Student Loan or Student Allowance.

Read more about how fees-free is applied to high cost courses such as approved aviation programmes for pilot training. (PDF, 598 Kb)