Advising learners

Advising learners

Last updated 7 December 2021
Last updated 7 December 2021

This page sets out what you should advise learners about their Fees Free eligibility and how Student Loans work with Fees Free.

Eligibility

Learners need to go to feesfree.govt.nz and enter their National Student Number (NSN) on the homepage to check their eligibility

Once a learner has entered their National Student Number (NSN), the website returns one of the following results:

  • Yes – the learner is eligible for Fees Free.
  • No – the learner isn’t eligible for Fees Free.
  • Maybe (Unknown) – we’re not sure if the learner is eligible for Fees Free.
  • 2018 Starter – the learner is eligible and has been reported as undertaking Fees Free eligible study and/or training in 2018.
  • 2019 Starter – the learner is eligible and has been reported as undertaking Fees Free eligible study and/or training in 2019.
  • 2020 Starter – the learner is eligible and has been reported as undertaking Fees Free eligible study and/or training in 2020.
  • 2021 Starter – the learner is eligible and has been reported as undertaking Fees Free eligible study and/or training in 2021.

Learners with an unknown eligibility status - the statutory declaration process

Where the TEC does not have enough information available to determine a learner’s eligibility ourselves, the learner’s status will be ‘Unknown’ (also known as ‘Maybe’) on the Fees Free website. The statutory declaration process enables such learners to confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria to access the Fees Free scheme.

Please note: A statutory declaration is not an application form, or a way for you or a learner to check if they are eligible. A statutory declaration is a legal document and the information included on this must be true and correct. It is an offence to give any altered, false, incomplete or misleading information, or to make a false statement or declaration.

If a learner does not meet the eligibility criteria, they will not be able to access Fees Free tertiary education or training.

If a learner meets the eligibility criteria, we recommend they return their statutory declaration to us by the end of the calendar year to ensure they receive Fees Free for any eligible study and/or training they do.

As part of updates made for 2022, we have added terms and conditions to this process to provide learners more clarity on the eligibility criteria and ensure they understand their obligations when declaring their eligibility.

As part of completing their Fees Free statutory declaration, learners will now need to confirm that they have read, understand and agree to the terms and conditions of declaring their eligibility for Fees Free.

The terms and conditions will be provided to the learner upon generating their statutory declaration on the Fees Free website and can also be viewed in the website FAQS (link to be provided).

As a reminder, learners should be generating the statutory declaration themselves on the Fees Free website if this applies to them; you should not be doing this on behalf of any learners. If you need to generate a statutory declaration for a learner, you must ensure that the terms and conditions are provided to the learner with this in order for them to complete their statutory declaration appropriately.

If you or your learners have questions regarding the statutory declaration process, or the terms and conditions, please contact us by phoning 0800 601 301 or emailing customerservice@tec.govt.nz.

Once we have processed a statutory declaration, we will notify the learner and update the Fees Free Eligibility spreadsheet on Workspace 2. This process may take up to two business days.

How Student Loans and Allowances work with Fees Free

Learners undertaking provider-based study who aren’t eligible for Fees Free, or eligible learners whose fees exceed $12,000, may be able to apply for a Student Loan and/or Student Allowance.

For more information on Student Loans and Allowances see StudyLink website.

Please note, learners undertaking industry training are not eligible for a Student Loan or Student Allowance.

Read more about how fees-free is applied to high cost courses such as approved aviation programmes for pilot training. (PDF, 598 Kb)