Student Allowance at a glance

What Student Allowance is for, if you can get it, how much you could get and when, and how to apply.

What Student Allowance is for

Student Allowance is a weekly payment to help with your living expenses while you study. It’s money that you don’t have to pay back.

As part of your student allowance you may be able to get an accommodation benefit to help with your accommodation costs.


Who can get Student Allowance

To get a student allowance you usually have to be:

  • 18 years old or over – some 16 and 17 year olds can also get it
  • under 65 when your course starts
  • studying full-time or limited full-time
  • enrolled on an undergraduate tertiary course or Bachelor degree with honours, or at secondary school
  • a New Zealand citizen, or meet residency requirements.

If you get a student allowance for tertiary study, you’ll need to pass more than half of a full-time course to get it again.


How much Student Allowance you can get

How much Student Allowance you get depends on:

  • your income
  • if you have a partner, and their income
  • if you have children
  • your parents’ income – if you are under 24 and don’t have children
  • if you live with your parents while you’re studying.

 The most Student Allowance you could get if you are:

  • a single applicant without children is $209.06 a week after tax
  • a single applicant with children is $299.45 a week after tax
  • an applicant with a partner is $348.42 a week after tax.

This amount may reduce based on your circumstances.


When you get your student allowance

We pay your student allowance from the later of two dates.

  • The date your student allowance is approved from.
  • The date you start your course.

The earliest your payments can start is in the second week of your course. This is because we make payments a week in arrears.

If we receive your application after your course has started, or after the date you qualify, if that’s later, your payments may not be backdated.

It doesn’t matter which day of the week you start study, you will get paid from Monday through to Sunday.

You can’t get a benefit from Work and Income for the period you get student allowance.

You still receive your student allowance payments over your study breaks if your break is three weeks or less. For longer breaks, you can’t get your student allowance.

If you can get an accommodation benefit, it is paid automatically with your student allowance.

We pay your student allowance directly to your bank account.


What you need to apply for Student Allowance

If you’re applying for the first time, you’ll need:

  • your birth certificate or passport – to show your name and date of birth
  • your passport or citizenship papers – to show your residency status
  • a printed document from your bank with your account name and number – to show your bank account details
  • your marriage certificate or deed poll papers – if you’ve changed your name.

Go to the Documents supporting your application page to find out about verifying copies of original documents.

Other forms to complete your application

When you apply online, you’ll answer questions about:

Depending on your answers, the online application will give you the other forms you need to complete at the end of your application for you to download and send to us.

You can download these forms here but you need to complete an application form for a student allowance or student loan as well.

When we’ve processed your application, we will let you know if we need any other documents from you. Depending on your circumstances, these could include:

  • evidence of your income
  • evidence of your partner’s income
  • evidence of your parents’ income.

How to apply for Student Allowance

You need to apply for a student allowance each time you enrol for a new period of study.

Apply as soon as you can, even if you’re still deciding what or where you’re going to study, so you get paid on time.

The quickest and easiest way to apply is online.


Last updated: 01 December 2014

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