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 during or after 2017, but not currently enrolled; or
  • You haven’t previously undertaken tertiary study (overseas or in NZ) 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 2018 or 2019, you may be eligible for fees-free study if you’re continuing your studies in 2020.

What you need to know

  • Costs such as text books and optional course activities are usually not covered by fees-free and you will need to arrange payment of these yourself.
  • If you change your mind about studying at AUT this year, you must let us know immediately. Failure to cancel your enrolment may leave you liable for fees or affect your future fees-free entitlement.
  • If you withdraw, be aware of the deadlines and refund policies as this may affect your future fees-free entitlements.
  • If you’re aware of any reason you shouldn’t be eligible, please advise us know as soon as possible. If you become ineligible, you’ll need to make alternative arrangements for the payment of your fees.

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 have their invoice adjusted automatically, once AUT has received confirmation of their entitlement from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

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 'maybe'

If your eligibility check returns a 'maybe' status, but you believe you meet the criteria outlined above, you can fill in a Statutory Declaration Form on the fees-free website. Visit 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 2020 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:

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