Fees Free tertiary study

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is one of the New Zealand tertiary institutions to offer free tuition for eligible tertiary learners in 2024.

Eligibility for Fees Free study

If you are a domestic student and a first-time tertiary learner, you may be able to get up to $12,000 of your fees covered for one year’s study. If you are eligible, we’ll organise payment of your first year of fees with the Tertiary Education Commission.

Confirm your eligibility

It is important to confirm your eligibility on the Tertiary Education Commission’s Fees Free website using your National Student Number (NSN). This website also contains instructions to follow if you do not know your NSN or if more information is required to determine your eligibility.

If you are enrolled at Victoria University of Wellington, frontline staff can provide your National Student Number if you do not know it. Email info@vuw.ac.nz

Studying in 2024

Confirm your eligibility online for 2024 study. If your NSN eligibility check response is ‘Yes’ for 2024, the Tertiary Education Commission will advise us of your entitlement closer to the start of 2024 study.

If your NSN eligibility check response is ‘Maybe’ for 2024, please review the Fees Free eligibility criteria. If you meet these criteria, you will need to complete a statutory declaration and return it to the Tertiary Education Commission to be allocated funding entitlement. There are prompts on how to complete this on the ‘Maybe’ response page of the Fees Free website.

Make sure you have completed all the required steps to apply for admission into your programme and enrol in your courses for 2024.

For students commencing study in 2024, our Student Finance team will email enrolled students who are confirmed eligible for Fees Free in February 2024 to notify them that our enrolment system has recorded their Fees Free entitlement.

Second-year study and Fees Free

Eligible students are entitled to up to $12,000 of Fees Free funding in their first year of study. If you did not consume all your first-year Fees Free entitlement, you may be able to receive some funding towards your second year of study. This is called carryover entitlement.

Carryover entitlement is capped at 120 points, including the points from courses you were funded for in your first year. For example, if your first-year tuition fees were $8000, but you were enrolled in 125 points, you would not be entitled to any carryover entitlement.

Fees Free funding works on the calendar year not the academic year, so Trimester 3 courses starting in January will not be covered under your first-year Fees Free entitlement.

If you think you will have some carryover entitlement available, please email our Student Finance team at student-finance@vuw.ac.nz for more information.

Fees Free study includes

  • tuition
  • associated mandatory fees
  • compulsory student service fees.

Fees Free study does not include

  • text books
  • club memberships
  • course materials
  • late fees.

Student Loan or Allowance for other fees

If you want to apply for a Student Allowance or the two non-fee parts of a Student Loan—living costs and course-related costs, you will still need to apply to StudyLink.

For 2023 study, Studylink encourages prospective students to apply for their loan before 16 December. It is also important to provide supporting documents to Studylink promptly (you can apply online). This will ensure that applications can be assessed in time for the start of the 2023 academic year.

Already received a scholarship

If you have already received a scholarship, the money can be put towards accommodation and living costs instead of your fees. If you have any queries about your scholarship, contact the University’s Scholarship Office. If you wish to enquire about accommodation in Wellington, contact our Accommodation services.

Need help

If you have further questions, please review the Tertiary Education Commission’s FAQs on Fees Free. If you would like to speak to the University team about study or Fees Free, you can contact us at 0800 04 04 04, email us at info@vuw.ac.nz, or book a course planning session.