COVID-19 information for students
04 March 2022.
Information about changes to your study, and support available due to COVID-19.
Help when you're self isolating
If you and other members of your household need extra support while you’re self-isolating because of COVID-19, MSD may be able to help.
We've asked education providers to update us with any changes to study dates. If you have concerns about changes to your course, contact your provider.
Help for COVID-19 vaccination travel costs
Everyone in New Zealand aged 12 years and over can get a vaccine free of charge. If you need help with costs to get to a vaccination centre, talk to us about how we can help.
Your decision to get vaccinated or not won't affect your payments from us, as long as you’re still enrolled in your course and meeting your study requirements.
Meeting course requirements, and ongoing assistance
To keep getting a Student Allowance or Student Loan Living Costs, you need to meet your course requirements, including regularly attending your course and completing course work.
You’ll keep getting your payments, even if your provider is unable to deliver your course on campus due to the current alert level as long as you remain enrolled.
We’ve contacted education providers and asked them to update us with any changes to study dates.
If you have concerns about changes to your course, contact your provider.
If your provider offers you the option of studying part-time or full-time from home, you still need to meet your course requirements.
If you choose to withdraw from study
You need to let your provider, and us, know straight away.
If your provider closes or cancels your course
If you can’t continue or return to study because the course is no longer offered, we’ll work with both you and your provider to make sure you have access to the right financial support.
You may also be eligible for a refund of any unused portion of your course fees. Talk to your provider for more information about their refund policy.
What stopping study means for your future entitlement
If you stop studying or don’t meet your course requirements because of actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (for example some papers are cancelled), your payments from us will stop. If you reapply we’ll assess your application based on the reasons you stopped your previous study, and whether you could have reasonably continued with your course.
If you are currently accessing Fees Free, your entitlement use can also be reviewed if you decide to continue your studies later.
Use MyStudyLink to:
- change the amount you borrow for Student Loan Living Costs
- update your information, including your personal income
- check details of your next payment
- apply for Course-Related Costs.
Getting your documents verified
We understand it can currently be difficult getting documents verified. If you are having trouble getting information to us that we have requested, send through what you have for now. We will contact you if we need anything else from you.
Hardship Fund for Learners
The Hardship Fund for Learners (HAFL) is available during 2021.
It aims to:
- assist learners facing hardship as a result of COVID-19
- provide funding to learners for technology-related costs where COVID-19 restrictions prevent face-to-face study.
Contact your provider if you need support from this fund.
For providers: Encourage students needing support to access the funding through you. If you have questions about your existing allocation, or think you will either need additional funding or an allocation, contact the Tertiary Education Commission.
We know this can be a confusing time, and it can be hard to know what to do or where to go for advice. Here’s some places you can go to for advice:
Student Allowance and Loans:
Studying for your course:
Your education provider can help you understand how your study will work during COVID-19, and give you advice about your particular course. Many providers also have students services, which can help you work through challenges and support you. Check your provider’s website or call them for more details, or ask a member of staff.
The Unite Against COVID-19 website has up to date information about COVID-19 in New Zealand. This includes information about the traffic light settings, and vaccinations.
Stress counselling and support
You’re not alone and you don’t need to cope on your own. You can talk to your family or friends about how you’re coping right now, you can also contact places like: