Thinking about study: Student Allowance – what you need to know

Student Allowance
If you study full-time you may be able to get a weekly Student Allowance to help with living expenses and the best thing is, you don’t need to pay it back.
Even if you’re only entitled to a small amount, every dollar helps and it’s a dollar you won’t have to borrow.

TO GET A STUDENT ALLOWANCE YOU’LL GENERALLY NEED TO BE:

  • 18 years old or over (some 16-17 year olds can also get it)
  • studying full-time (or limited full-time with StudyLink approval) on an approved tertiary course (your education provider can tell you if your course is approved)
  • a New Zealand citizen, or

    • an Australian citizen or a resident of New Zealand who has lived in New Zealand for at least 3 years while holding a residence class visa, or
    • a refugee or protected person (Immigration Act 2009), or
    • sponsored into New Zealand by a family member who is a recognised refugee or protected person.

HOW MUCH YOU GET EACH WEEK DEPENDS ON A FEW THINGS, LIKE:

  • the amount of income you receive each week
  • how much your parents earn in a year
  • whether you live at home
  • whether you have siblings who are also studying.

PARENTS’ INCOME
If you’re under 24 years and don’t have children of your own, what you get depends on your parents’ income.

IF ONLY ONE OR NEITHER OF YOUR PARENTS SUPPORT YOU:
You may be able to apply for an Independent Circumstances Allowance, or have your parent complete a One Parent application (you’ll still need to complete a Student Allowance application).

Work out how much Student Allowance you may be able to get by using our Student Allowance calculators.

Lightbulb Usually you need to be studying full-time to get a Student Allowance. If you’re unable to study full-time you may qualify for limited full-time status, but there are certain criteria you have to meet.
Find out more information
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