How to Apply for a Student Loan
We get a lot of questions from first-time students about how to apply for a student loan, including course-related costs, living costs and student allowance. Firstly, let’s familiarise you with some of the different terms and types of loans.
Course Fees (tuition fees)
Course fees are what you pay to the academy to complete your programme. The fees differ for each programme, so make sure to take a look at the info on each programme page.
StudyLink is the place to go for information relating to student finance (specifically, student loans and allowances).
A Student Loan helps to pay for your course/tuition fees, course-related costs (i.e. your kit) and living costs, but you’ll have to pay it back*.
You can get one year of tertiary study or two years’ training up to the value of $12,000 fees-free. Fees Free covers your course fees but does not cover course-related costs or living costs.
Course Related Costs
Course-related costs are an additional part of your student loan application and enables you to pay for the equipment needed for your programme. You’ll need to pay this back.
Living cost loan is an additional part of your student loan application and are weekly payments intended to help pay for living costs (such as rent) whilst you are studying. You’ll need to pay this back.
A student allowance is similar to living costs. but you do not have to pay this back. You can only receive the student allowance if you are eligible.
Top tip: You only need one application to apply for all the loans/ financial assistance you need.
Now that you know a bit more about the terms, let’s dive into the process for applying for a student loan and a student allowance:
APPLYING FOR A STUDENT LOAN
If you’re a first-time student (i.e. have finished high-school or are entering tertiary education), you need to check if you are eligible for Fees Free study. Head to https://www.feesfree.govt.nz/ to find this information out. You’ll need your National Student Number (NSN) to do this. You can read more on eligibility criteria here: https://www.feesfree.govt.nz/eligibility-criteria/
If you are eligible for Fees Free, you may not need a Student Loan to pay for your course/tuition fees. However, you will still need to apply for a Student Loan through StudyLink if you need a loan for Course Related Costs (your kit etc.) or Living Costs*.
*If you are eligible for a student allowance, you do not need to apply for living costs. More information on student allowance can be found at the bottom of this page.
If you are not eligible for Fees Free, you will need to apply for a Student Loan to pay your course/tuition fees.
The next step is to create a RealMe account. Watch their handy video explaining RealMe below.
To create your RealMe account to access StudyLink, head to https://www2.logon.realme.govt.nz/cls/logon.logon?cid=2
Once you have completed your RealMe account setup, head to https://www.studylink.govt.nz/online-services/apply/first-time/index.html#null and follow each step in the application progress. Please follow the process instructions in order – you must complete the eligibility test before you can apply online.
Top tip: Make sure you have the following information handy before starting the eligibility test, including your residency status, programme dates and other personal information such as your address, financial information (i.e. benefits from Work and Income), any health conditions and family details. For the application form, you’ll need additional information such as IRD number and bank account details.
You can save your application as you go to ensure you don’t lose your inputted info.
After you have worked through the steps outlined in the application process above (steps 1-6), you will be informed of the outcome of your application via a letter from StudyLink.
Student allowance is a weekly payment that can help with your living expenses while you’re studying. The student allowance is similar to the student loan living costs but you don’t have to pay it back. You must meet StudyLink’s eligibility criteria (it is means-tested) to receive a student allowance. All the information on who can apply, how to apply and the process can be found in the link here: https://www.studylink.govt.nz/products/a-z-products/student-allowance/index.htm l#null
If you have any further questions about your StudyLink applications or the process, please contact our Recruitment and Engagement Manager, Serena Bond, on
– Freephone: 0800 SERVILLES (0800 737845537)
– Call/Text: 021502125
– Email: email@example.com