Fees Free entitlement

Fees Free entitlement

Last updated 28 September 2023
Last updated 28 September 2023

This page details how learners can use their Fees Free entitlement.

Provider-based study

  • Fees Free is capped at $12,000 (including GST) per learner for a year of provider-based study.
  • There is no equivalent full-time student (EFTS) or credit cap in a learner’s first calendar year of study.
  • A learner eligible for Fees Free can receive up to $12,000 (including GST) of Fees Free payments for any eligible provider-based study they undertake in the calendar year, regardless of how many EFTS they enrol in.

Carrying over entitlement

Some learners will not undertake a full year of study within a calendar year. They may study part time, start part way through the year, or enrol in a shorter programme.

To ensure that all learners get the benefit of a year’s worth of provider-based study Fees Free, learners who undertake less than 1 EFTS and use less than $12,000 (including GST) of Fees Free in their first calendar year can continue to use Fees Free in future years. Their entitlement will stop when they have reached 1 EFTS or $12,000 (including GST) of Fees Free eligible study – whichever they reach first.

Each year we calculate how much Fees Free entitlement eligible learners have used in EFTS and dollars. Entitlement use is calculated up to 31 December, so carryover amounts will be confirmed early in the following year following the submission of December reporting.

The methodology we use to calculate remaining entitlement can be found at Guidance – Fees Free.

Work-based learning 

Eligible learners and their employer’s training and assessment costs are covered for the first 24 months of their training programme up to the value of $12,000 (including GST).

The 24-month entitlement is calculated:

  • from the start date of the first programme in which the eligible learner is enrolled, and
  • by only including the months where the learner is reported as “Active” or “Grace” on the last day of the month in the Industry Training Register.

Their entitlement will stop when they have reached 24 months or $12,000 (including GST of Fees Free eligible training – whichever they reach first.

Learners undertaking both provider-based study and work-based learning

Learners may undertake both provider-based study and work-based learning, or may change between modes during their tertiary journey. Where a learner is enrolled in both modes, they use their entitlement in EFTS, months and dollars.

We will consider the learner to have used their full Fees Free entitlement when they reach:

  • 1 EFTS of provider-based study, and/or
  • 24 months of work-based learning, and/or
  • $12,000 (including GST) across all study and training.

How to check how much entitlement a learner has used

TEOs can access up-to-date information on how much Fees Free entitlement a learner has used in EFTS, months and dollars. This is to help you when giving financial advice to your enrolled learners and to help your learners in their decision-making.

You can find the Fees Free Entitlement Use file in the Shared Documents on Workspace 2. The file is updated monthly based on the enrolments and fees reported to us by TEOs each month.

How to share entitlement information with learners

You may choose to share this information with your learners. Please be mindful of privacy and confidentiality requirements if you do. We recommend you use the text below to give learners their entitlement use information:

TEC records show that you have used $X.XX, X.XXXX EFTS and XX months of your Fees Free entitlement.

If you have used less than $12,000, 1 EFTS and 24 months, you can carry forward your remaining Fees Free entitlement. Your entitlement will stop when you have used your remaining dollars or have reached 1 EFTS or 24 months – whichever you use first.

The enrolment and study information we hold is current as at XX Month 20XX. If there has been any change to your enrolment after this date, the information may not be an up-to-date or accurate record of the Fees Free entitlement you have used.

You can find more information on Fees Free entitlement at FeesFree.govt.nz.

If you believe this information is incorrect and you would like to request a review of your entitlement use, please email customerservice@tec.govt.nz with your National Student Number, name, date of birth, and the reason for your request.

Important notes

  • A learner’s entitlement use may differ from the amount we have paid to you, due to enrolments with other TEOs, or exceptional circumstances specific to the learner.
  • You should continue to report the full EFTS and/or dollars charged to learners in your Fees Free returns, including when the learner does not have enough entitlement to cover the whole amount. We will continue to calculate the allocation due to you for the learner and inform you of our payment via the Multiple Providers and Cap Limit report and/or Work-based Remittance.