Frequently Asked Questions About Free Fees

How do I Study for Free at Toi Ohomai?

There are several different ways you can take advantage of free study at Toi Ohomai.

1. 'Fees Free'

'Fees Free' is a government initiative that came in to place on 1 January 2018 offering tertiary education to eligible, first-time tertiary students.

'Fees Free' covers domestic tuition fees and domestic compulsory course fees, and compulsory student services levies only. It does not cover course related costs (CRC) or exam fees. 

Both the student and the programme need to be eligible. An eligible programme must be:

1.    Funded by the Tertiary Education Commission
2.    Recognised by NZQA
3.    At level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework; and
4.    For industry training only - at least 120 credits

If you meet the eligibility criteria you can get one year of full-time tertiary education with free tuition fees. There is no age limit. Check your eligibility at You’ll need your National Student Number (NSN). You can also check out this quick reference guide to find out if you’re eligible (confirm with your NSN on the fees free website).

Don’t know your NSN number?

If you are currently at school or were at school this year, you can ask them for your NSN. If you studied after 2003, you will have an NSN. To find it, contact NZQA on 0800 697 296 – they will ask you some verification questions, and then let you know what it is.

If you’ve already applied for a loan to pay fees, living costs and course-related costs, you’ll need to log into your MyStudyLink account to alter the ‘Pay fees’ option, depending on how much you now need to borrow. Check out the FAQs on for more detailed information.

The Government has advised they intend to change the Fees Free policy from 2025. The details of the change are yet to be confirmed, and we'll update this webpage when we have more information. The Fees Free policy for 2024 is unchanged.

Visit for more information.

2. Toi Ohomai Free Courses

Toi Ohomai offers a range of courses that have zero tuition fees. These are separate to the government’s ‘Fees Free’ initiative so you don’t need to check your eligibility in relation to fees.

Please note these programmes could affect your future 'Fees Free' entitlement e.g. if you enrol in a free course at level 3 or above e.g. Introduction to Nail Technology, the credit will be deducted from your 120 credit total. 

3. Youth Guarantee (YG)

We offer a range of Level 2 and 3 programmes that are Youth Guarantee funded. The Youth Guarantee funding is highly competitive, and places fill fast. There are specific eligibility criteria. 

Read more on our Youth Guarantee page.

4. Scholarships, including Maori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT)

Toi Ohomai administers a range of scholarships suited to all stages of study.

Te Ara Poutama provides scholarships to Maori and Pasifika students enrolled at Toi Ohomai who wish to gain qualifications in trades, and continue on to employment and apprenticeships.

Read more about MPTT and other scholarships on our Scholarships page.

How Do I Apply for Free Study?

Apply as you normally would, through the course page, and in many cases we manage the funding directly with TEC so you don't need to do anything more. If we do need more information we'll discuss this with you during the application process.

More information:

View the list of free courses at Toi Ohomai