Free fees for your university study

If you’re planning to start university for the first time, you may be eligible for fees-free support.

Are you eligible for fees-free study?

You may be eligible if you’re:

  • A New Zealand citizen (which includes those from the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau); or
  • An Australian or New Zealand resident who has lived in New Zealand for at least three years while holding a residence class visa; or
  • A New Zealand resettled refugee


  • You were enrolled at school in or after 2017 but aren’t currently enrolled; or you haven’t previously undertaken tertiary study of more than 60 credits (equivalent to half a year full-time) at New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) Level 3 or above, except while you were at school.

To check if you’re eligible, visit the fees-free website and enter your National Student Number (NSN). If you don’t have an NSN, contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority on 0800 697 296.

What’s included in fees-free study?

Fees-free study includes all compulsory fees (tuition, services etc.) up to $12,000 and tertiary study at any level. The policy will cover one year's study, which is usually 1 EFTS/120 credits or points.

Postgraduate programmes

If you haven’t studied at a tertiary level before and are eligible to enrol into a postgraduate programme based on your experience, then you’ll be eligible.

AUT postgraduate programmes that recognise work experience include the MBA or business professional postgraduate programmes.

Returning AUT students

You may be eligible if you haven’t previously undertaken more than 60 credits (half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education, 0.5 EFTS) at Level 3 or above on the NZQF.

For example, if you completed a Certificate in Business at AUT in 2017 or 2018, you may be eligible for fees-free study if you’re continuing your studies in 2019.

What happens next?

Your eligibility check says 'yes'

AUT will advise you on the process to complete your enrolment into papers or may complete this for you. Once your enrolment is confirmed, you don’t need to do anything else. 

All students who are enrolled in classes and are eligible for fees-free study will receive a statement showing that their fees have been paid, within the limits outlined on the fees-free website.

If you think your eligibility has been granted in error, let us know as soon as possible. If your eligibility changes for any reason, you’re responsible for arranging an alternative payment method for any outstanding fees.

Your eligibility check says 'uncertain'

If your eligibility check returns an 'uncertain' status, but you believe you meet the criteria outlined above, you can fill in a Statutory Declaration Form on the fees-free website.

After completing the form online, it will be emailed to you. You need to print the form and sign it in front of a Justice of the Peace (JP).Find a Justice of the Peace

If you have applied to AUT, we’ll continue to recheck your status daily. If listed as uncertain, you’ll receive an invoice for your 2019 fees. Please complete the statutory declaration process as soon as possible to confirm your eligibility. You’ll then receive a zero fees invoice.

Your eligibility check says 'no'

Your eligibility check will return a 'no' if you fail to meet the criteria outlined above. Your enrolment will progress as normal and AUT will advise you on how to complete your enrolment and you’ll be sent your invoice.

More information

Check out the fees-free site for: