What you need to do

What you need to do

Last updated 7 August 2018
Last updated 7 August 2018

This page sets out what you should advise learners about their fees-free eligibility, how to invoice learners correctly, and how student loans work with fees-free.


Encourage learners to check their eligibility

Learners need to go to feesfree.govt.nz to check their eligibility. Learners will find out if they are eligible for fees-free study, not eligible for fees-free study or of unknown eligibility.

Learners with an unknown eligibility status who meet the eligibility criteria, need to complete a statutory declaration before we can recognise them as eligible for fees-free study. Please encourage learners to do this as soon as possible so they are not disadvantaged.

How you can check learners eligibility

  • Go to feesfree.govt.nz and enter the National Student Number (NSN) of a learner.
  • Send a list of learner NSNs to feesfreedata@tec.govt.nz for checking (use a .csv file with a header row). We’ll update and return the file to you the next business day. The file will state whether a learner is ‘yes’ (eligible for fees-free), ‘no’ (not eligible for fees-free) or ‘unknown’ (the learner’s status is unknown).

How to check an NSN for Fees Free eligibility (PDF, 615 Kb) (updated March 2018)

Learners with an unknown eligibility status

Learners with an unknown eligibility status, who meet the eligibility criteria, need to complete and submit a statutory declaration. This can be accessed on feesfree.govt.nz.

The statutory declaration process requires the learner to return a witnessed declaration to the TEC for verification, attesting to their eligibility for fees-free study. We will update the NSN file advising whether the NSNs are eligible for fees-free study or not eligible for fees-free study.

This process may take up to two business days.

Instructions for completing the statutory declaration process are at feesfree.govt.nz.

Determine what to invoice learners

To invoice learners correctly you need to validate your data regularly against the fees-free change file and the file of eligible NSNs.

You can find both of these files in the notices section of the Workspace 2 homepage. We update these files daily at 10:00am.

We recommend that you use these files to reconcile data once a week. At an absolute minimum, you should do it twice for each learner – once when they enrol and again a few days before their course begins.

Also see Payments and reporting

How student loans work with fees-free

Learners who are not eligible for fees-free, or whose fees exceed $12,000 (including GST), can continue to access a student loan if they meet the eligibility criteria. For more information please see StudyLink website.

Read more about how fees-free is applied to high cost courses such as approved aviation programmes for pilot training. (PDF, 612 Kb)