Student Services Fee

The Student Services Fee funds student services and activities not covered by tuition fees—find out how much you'll contribute and how to have your say.

The compulsory Student Services Fee (SSF) supports the delivery of some of our student services, student association activities (VUWSA), student representative groups, and other facilities that students use. The government determines what categories of student services the Student Services Fee can fund.

It ensures equitable access to services that support your studies and enhance your student experience. You’ll need to pay this fee, whether you’re studying full time or part time, and whether you’re a domestic or an international student.

On this page, you'll find key information on the fee:

What you'll pay in 2024

For 2024 enrolments, how much you'll pay is based on:

  • the total point value of courses you're enrolled in (up to 150 points / 1.25EFTS), and
  • whether you're studying from within the Wellington region ($9.20 per point) or elsewhere ($4.60 per point).

2024 studying in Wellington rate

If you're studying from within the Wellington region, either on-campus or online, your Student Services Fee rate is calculated at $9.20 per point.

  • If you enrol in a single course that is worth 15 points (0.125EFTS), you'll pay $138.
  • If you enrol in 120 points' (1EFTS) worth of courses—an average workload—you'll pay $1,104.

2024 studying away from Wellington rate

If you're studying from elsewhere within New Zealand or overseas, your Student Services Fee rate is calculated at $4.60 per point.

  • If you enrol in a single course that is worth 15 points (0.125EFTS), you'll pay $69.
  • If you enrol in 120 points' (1EFTS) worth of courses—an average workload—you'll pay $552.

Student Hardship Fee

In 2024, the Student Hardship Fee is $30 (GST included) for all students. This fee is used to assist students suffering exceptional financial hardship.

Withdrawals and refunds

If you withdraw from your course(s) before the deadline for course changes (typically within the first few weeks of the trimester), you will receive a refund for both your tuition and the Student Services Fee.

Your SSF refund will be calculated based on the points withdrawn.

Further details are outlined in the Student Services Fee Procedure (PDF). If you believe that your individual circumstances are not addressed in this document, contact

Student Services Fee funded services

The Student Services Fee that you pay helps cover the cost of providing a wide range of student services and facilities. You can find a full list of services supported with SSF funding in Appendix 1 of the Student Services Fee Procedure (PDF).

You can access the services and facilities supported by the SSF for free or at a heavily subsidised rate. The money raised by the SSF is used for daily running costs, staffing, and use of space for these services. It is also used to provide grants and services delivered through a contract with the students' association VUWSA.

We have estimated the percentage of the SSF that is allocated to seven different areas, as described below.

Advocacy and legal advice

Infographic showing 7.7% of the levy goes to advocacy and legal advice

We spend 7.7 percent of your Student Services Fee on advocacy and legal advice services.

Health services, counselling, and pastoral care

Infographic showing 48.3% of the levy goes to health services, counselling and pastoral care

We spend 48.3 percent of of your Student Services Fee on providing health services, counselling, and pastoral care.

Career and employment guidance

Infographic showing 13.2% of the levy goes to career and employment guidance

We spend 13.2 percent of your Student Services Fee on career and employment guidance services.

Financial support and advice

Infographic showing 3.6% of the levy goes to financial support and advice

We use 3.6 percent of your Student Services Fee to provide financial support and advice.

  • Our Student Finance team helps students with budgeting, StudyLink issues, and provides financial mentoring and advice.
  • The Student Finance team also administers the Hardship Fund—an emergency fund to help students facing financial difficulties.

Clubs, societies, sports, recreation, fitness, wellbeing and cultural activities

Infographic showing 24.1% of the levy goes to clubs and societies

We spend 24.1 percent of your Student Services Fee on clubs and societies, sports, recreation, and fitness, student wellbeing, and cultural activities.

  • The SSF helps support more than 130 political, cultural, sports, faith-based, and academic clubs and societies on campus. Clubs use facilities including the Hub, the Recreation Centre activity spaces, and meeting rooms across three University campuses.
  • University Recreation offers an extensive range of fitness services, group exercise classes, and wellbeing initiatives. Students can use fitness spaces and facilities at Kelburn and Pipitea—these facilities can either be used for free or hired by members. Our Kelburn facility also includes a newly renovated functional training room and private amenities suitable for gender diverse people.
  • Sports at University Recreation vary from casual to competitive. We offer on-campus social sports leagues, casual and 'just play' sessions, participation in tertiary sports tournaments (through University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand), and scholarships that support athletes.

Student media

Infographic showing 1.6% of the levy goes to supporting student media

We use 1.6 percent of your Student Services Fee to support student media.

  • The SSF funds Salient, a weekly magazine produced entirely by students. It is published and circulated by VUWSA.

Childcare services

Infographic showing 1.5% of the levy goes to childcare services

We use 1.5 percent of your Student Services Fee to support childcare services for students.

You can find information on all of the student services and support available at our University on the Student services and support webpage.

How we set the Student Services Fee rate

The Advisory Committee on the Student Services Fee (ACSSF) is an oversight body that provides strategic and financial oversight for the SSF. VUWSA, Ngāi Tauira, and University staff co-chair the Committee.

The SSF is adjusted each year in a process that takes into account inflation, the cost of delivering each service, and the needs of our students. The cost of service delivery and activity includes staffing, technology and operational expenses.

The Committee makes a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor for the following year’s SSF rates following student consultation, then the University Council makes the final decision.

The University publishes the income raised by the SSF and expenditure for each category of student service in its annual report, as outlined in the Ministerial Direction.

Download the Student Services Levy Report (PDF) for more information.

Student input

Student representatives on the Committee—such as VUWSA and Ngāi Tauira executives—ensure the SSF is being allocated in students’ best interests. They do this through the Student Assembly and consultation with other student representative groups including the PGSA and the Pasifika Students’ Council.

The Student Assembly is a forum led by students for students, and includes a diverse range of student communities. The purpose of the Assembly is to make sure students get information and an opportunity to shape the rate of the SSF and how the money raised is spent.

Updated name

In 2024, the Student Services Fee was renamed from the Student Services Levy. Documents and statements from earlier years will refer to the Student Services Levy. The Student Hardship Fee was renamed from the Student Assistance Levy. The function of these fees remains the same. The change to the name was based on student feedback and to align with the language used by the Government around this fee.

Get help

Talk to the Student Finance team

Phone: 0800 04 04 04