Financial Support

Student Loans and Allowances

Photo of young woman getting cash out of ATM machine

All of our full-time programmes qualify for student loans and allowances through StudyLink and many of our part-time programmes qualify for student loans too.

To avoid delays and to ensure you receive your full entitlement you should apply as soon as you consider studying.

Apply for your loan and allowance online at www.studylink.govt.nz or phone StudyLink on 0800 88 99 00. You can use our student computers located in the Information Centre at either the Windermere Campus or Bongard Centre to apply online.

If you have issues with your application our Information Centre advisors will happily assist you. If you need to speak with StudyLink staff your first point of contact should be by phone on 0800 88 99 00. If necessary they can arrange for you to meet with StudyLink staff at the WINZ office on the corner of Spring and Durham Streets. You must have an appointment.

Note, you must apply online for your loan or allowance.

Budget 2012 Changes to Student Loans and Allowances

Find out more about the changes to Student Loans and Allowances (PDF).

Student Loans

Student loans are available to help you meet costs incurred during your period of study. A student loan, unlike a student allowance, has to be repaid.

Documentation You Need To Provide

If you’re applying for a Student Loan for the first time, you’ll need to provide StudyLink with:

  • An original or verified copy of your passport or birth certificate.
  • A pre-printed deposit slip from your bank, if you’re applying for living costs or courserelated costs.
  • A pre-printed letter or notice from Inland Revenue (IR) to show your IRD number. It can take a while to get it from IR, so get on to it early!
  • A marriage certificate or deed poll papers to show any name change you’ve had (if different to your birth certificate or passport).

Our Information Advisors can verify these documents for you.

Qualifying for a Student Loan

As a guide, you must meet the following criteria:

Citizen/Resident Status
You must be:

  • a New Zealand citizen
  • or, a New Zealand permanent resident who has held permanent residence status for at least two years and has lived in New Zealand for at least two years and be ordinarily resident in New Zealand
  • or, an Australian citizen who has lived in New Zealand for at least two years and be ordinarily resident in New Zealand

There are some exceptions to NZ citizenship/residency - refer to www.studylink.govt.nz.

Academic Performance

You have to pass at least half of the EFTS of your course-load once you have used 1.6 EFTS (about two years of full-time study) for courses ending in 2009 or later. The EFTS count starts once you have used one or more components of the Student Loan.

Life-time Limit

There is a life-time limit of 7 EFTS (approximately 7 years) from 1 January 2010, for which you have had a student loans. Once any part of the Student Loan is used, the EFTS for that loan will count towards the 7 EFTS limit.

There are some exceptions to the life-time limit. For more information go to www.studylink.govt.nz.

Other Criteria
You must:

  • be enrolled in a programme approved by the Tertiary Education Commission
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt

How Much You Can Borrow

There are three components of the student loan you may be able to borrow, depending on whether the programme you are enrolled in is full time or part time:

  • Full-time programme - you may borrow fees, course related and living costs.
  • Part-time programme of at least 32 weeks duration, or at least .25 EFTS - you may borrow fees only.
  1. Fees (these are paid directly to the tertiary institute)
  2. Course-related costs (up to $1,000 per year)
  3. Living costs of up to approximately $163 per week, less any student allowance you are entitled to.

Other Information About Student Loans

  • There is a $60 StudyLink establishment fee that is added on to your loan debt.
  • There is no interest charged on your student loan while you are in New Zealand.
  • You can make voluntary repayments towards paying off your student loan whenever you like.
  • If you earn more than the repayment threshold of $19,084 (about $367 gross per week) for the tax year, you are required to start making repayments towards your loan (even while you are studying). Inland Revenue assesses the amount you have to pay back for the financial year. It is calculated by multiplying the amount you earn over the repayment threshold by 12%.
  • To find out how long it will take you to repay your loan refer to IRD’s ‘Student Loan repayment calculator’ at www.ird.govt.nz/studentloans.

Changes to Student Loans

From 1 January 2013:

  • People aged 55 years and over will only be eligible for the compulsory fees component of the Student Loan.
  • Students who have an overdue repayment obligation of $500 or more, which has been overdue for a year of more, will not be entitled to a Student Loan.
  • Borrowing will be limited to 2 EFTS per year.

Student Allowances

Student allowances are available to help eligible students with living expenses. If you are eligible for an allowance you are not required to repay the allowance you receive.

Qualifying for a Student Allowance

As a guide, you must meet the following criteria:

Citizen/Resident Status
You must be:

  • a New Zealand citizen
  • or, a New Zealand permanent resident who has held permanent residence status for at least two years and has lived in New Zealand for at least two years and be ordinarily resident in New Zealand
  • or, an Australian citizen who has lived in New Zealand for at least two years and be ordinarily resident in New Zealand

There are some exceptions to NZ citizenship/residency - refer to www.studylink.govt.nz.

Other Criteria
In general, to get the student allowance you need to:

  • be 18 or over (some 16-17 year olds can also get it in exceptional circumstances)
  • be studying full-time
  • pass more than half of a full-time programme to get a student allowance again
  • not exceed your life-time limit of 200 weeks (there are some exceptions)

How Much Can You Get?

Student allowance payments are determined by many factors, including:

  • your income
  • your parents’ income if you are aged under 24
  • whether you live in the parental home
  • whether you have a partner and how much they earn
  • whether you have children

Refer to StudyLink’s website for full details and to assess your eligibility


IMPORTANT: Allowances and the living costs component of the student loan will only be paid from programme commencement or the date StudyLink receives your application, whichever is the later. Therefore, it’s important you apply as soon as you consider tertiary study.


Bay of Plenty Polytechnic

Private Bag 12001, Tauranga 3143
07 571 0190  |  0800 BOP POLY (267 7659)
info@boppoly.ac.nz