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Fees Free FAQs

July 2024 note: The Government has advised changes to Fees Free from 2025. Please see the FAQ on this below. The Fees Free policy for 2024 remains unchanged.

What is Fees Free?

Fees Free is a Government initiative targeted at first-time learners.

If you are working in the Hospitality, Retail or Aviation industry and are enrolling on to a fees free eligible work-based programme with ServiceIQ and you meet both the learner eligibility criteria, your training and assessment will be covered by Fees Free for the first 24 months.

To check if you are eligible, use the NSN checker tool at You will need to enter your National Student Number (NSN). You will return one of the following results:

  • Yes = You are eligible for fees free
  • No = You are not eligible for fees free
  • Maybe = Fees free doesn’t hold enough information to know if you are eligible for fees free

If the NSN checker tool returns the result ‘Maybe’, refer to the learner and work-based programme eligibility criteria below.

What are the 2024 eligibility criteria for Fees Free?

Check the 2024 learner and programme eligibility criteria for work-based learning here.

The following do not count as prior training or study:

  1. Tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in school prior to 1 January 2019 (except for tertiary education undertaken as an adult learner).
  2. Tertiary courses undertaken as part of your school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme on or after 1 January 2019.
  3. Credits achieved as part of any work-based programme that consists of fewer than 120 credits that are reported after 1 January 2018.
  4. Any courses or credentials funded by the TEC undertaken after 1 January 2023 that had zero tuition fees and zero compulsory course costs.
  5. Tertiary education and training for which fees were covered by the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF).
  6. Tertiary education undertaken through the Youth Guarantee programme after 1 July 2020.
  7. Tertiary education undertaken through the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training programme after 1 July 2020.
  8. Tertiary education undertaken through the Refugee English Fund.

What ServiceIQ Programmes are eligible for Fees Free?

The work-based programmes listed below are Fees Free eligible. To do these programmes, you must be working in the Hospitality, Retail or Aviation industry.

NZ Apprenticeship

NZ Certificate

NZ Diploma

I am Fees Free eligible for provider-based study. Will a work-based programme with ServiceIQ affect my provider-based study fees free assistance?

If you are eligible for Provider-based study, you can enrol on to any work-based programme that is fewer than 120 credits. If you have any concerns that a work-based programme might still affect your eligibility, then it is best that you take up the Provider-based study first and enrol on to a work-based programme later.

When I was at school I was also working part-time or during the holidays. Am I eligible for the Fees Free initiative?

If you were at school in 2017 or after (or will be at school in 2023), then you are eligible for Fees Free study no matter how many credits you have earned outside school. To check if you are eligible for fees free in 2023, use the NSN checker tool at You will need your National Student Number (NSN).

What changes are there for Fees Free in 2025?

The Government has announced that Fees Free for the first year of study and training will finish at the end of 2024 and will be replaced with a final-year Fees Free scheme starting from 1 January 2025.

The Tertiary Education Commission says that learners who used Fees Free in 2024 may be able to continue to use their remaining first-year Fees Free entitlement in 2025 if they:

  • are continuing in the same programme of study in 2025, and
  • have Fees Free entitlement remaining.

They will be able to access their entitlement until the end of 2025, or until they reach their 24-month (for work-based learning, including through ServiceIQ), one EFTS (120 credits), or $12,000 cap, whichever occurs first.

Information is available on the Tertiary Education Commission and Fees Free websites. Details on eligibility and more is still to come, so please check these websites regularly for the lasted information.

Other common FAQs

How much study or training can I get Fees Free?

Can I access Fees Free after the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) ends?

Fees Free query form

If your question has not been answered above, visit the Frees Free FAQs for more information or complete the below Fees Free query form.

We will get back to you as soon as we can. If your query is urgent, you may be able to get assistance from the Fees Free or TEC websites.

Please note:

As this is a Government programme that is administered by the Tertiary Education Commission, we may not be able to help you with every query. Any answer we give will be based on what we understand to be the case. Therefore, we can not accept responsibility for any actions or decisions you might subsequently make. For further advice, please contact TEC: