How to pay for study
You can fund your study in a number of different ways, some of which you won't have to pay back.
You can apply for a Student Loan that you pay back once you're working. The loan has 3 parts that cover:
- compulsory course fees
- course-related costs (eg, books, laptop, travel, etc)
- living costs.
You can decide what parts of the loan you apply for and you don't have to get the full amount. Taking out a loan is a big decision and comes with a lot of responsibility, so only borrow what you need.
- you may not need a Student Loan for fees if you can get fees-free study. However you still need to apply for a Student Loan if you want course-related costs or living costs
- you may not want to borrow the maximum amount you can get for living costs or course-related costs, and only borrow a portion of this.
Paying it back
You start paying it back to Inland Revenue when you start earning over $385 before tax a week, even if you’re still studying. You have to keep making repayments if you go overseas.
You may be able to get a Student Allowance. This is a weekly payment to help with your living expenses that you don't have to pay back.
Whether or not you can get it is based on a number of things, including your:
- parents' income
- course type.
We may also be able to help you with:
- costs if you have a disability
- housing and accommodation costs
- money if you're on a study break
On a benefit
If you're on a benefit from Work and Income, you may be able to stay on this instead of getting a weekly payment from us.
They may also be able to help pay for some of your study costs, eg, compulsory course fees or course-related costs.
Talk to Work and Income to find out what help you can get from them.
Scholarships, grants and awards can help pay for your study.
There are thousands of scholarships available and they're given to students at all levels of study and for many reasons, not just for high grades.
If you want to work while you learn a trade, you can do an apprenticeship. You may not need to pay for course fees but you'll still need to pay for living costs and course-related costs.
Army, Navy or Air Force
If you study through the New Zealand Army, Navy or Air Force, they could:
- provide food and accommodation
- help you with the cost of study
- give you a job when you graduate.
If you can get fees-free study, you might not need a Student Loan to pay for your fees.
If you're at secondary school, you may be able to study a trades academy programme.
Trades academy programmes are for students who are interested in a career in the trades or in technology.
You won't be able to get a Student Allowance or Student Loan.
NCEA Level 2
If you're 16-19 and you left school without getting NCEA Level 2, you may be able to study a fees-free programme.
There's a range of other support as part of Youth Guarantee which can help with your transition from school to further study, work or training.
You may have family willing and able to support you when you study. Discuss with them how much they can help. If you're over 24 and get money from your family, you may get less for your Student Allowance (as it's counted as income).
Could you live with a parent or caregiver? Living at home would help you save a lot on living costs.
There are a number of ways you can pay for study yourself.
If you work while you study, it can help to pay for some of your costs. It means you might not have to borrow as much, or anything at all. However, how much you earn could:
- affect when you have to start paying back your Student Loan
- mean you may get less for your Student Allowance.
If you have a partner who works, their income may also affect how much you get for your Student Allowance.
Fit in work with study
It can be hard trying to fit in work with study, but you do have options.
- work part-time while you study
- work in your study breaks
- work full-time while you study part-time
- take a year off to work and save for your study.
If you already have a job, you may want to talk to your employer about your options.
Finding a job
There a number of places you can go to look for work.
Savings can help to pay some, or all, of your study costs. It means you might not have to borrow as much, or anything at all. However if you get any interest from your savings, you may get less for your Student Allowance (as it's counted as income), or not be able to get some help from us, eg, childcare, Disability Allowance.