Want to pick up some practical skills and qualifications for free?

The Fees-free programme is designed to provide 16–19-year-olds with an opportunity to study towards NCEA Level 2, aligned with the Vocational Pathways, or equivalent, at tertiary providers free-of-charge. Students take part in full-time study in programmes that are usually vocationally focused. In 2017, around 9,200 fees-free places for young people were offered by a range of polytechnics, wānanga, and private training establishments. 

Entry criteria:

  • Students must be 16–19 years of age at the start of the Youth Guarantee Programme (or 15 years old and hold an early leaving exemption from school).
  • Students must be New Zealand citizens or have permanent residency in New Zealand.
  • The programme is valid for two years of free, full-time study in a Level 1–3 course.
  • 18- and 19-year-olds enrolled in fees-free youth guarantee qualifications are able to access the course-related costs and living costs part of the student loan and student allowances, if they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Under 18-year-olds will not be able to access any part of student loans.
  • Students may be able to access a student allowance if they meet the relevant eligibility criteria – refer to Studylink (Additional entry criteria may apply.)

Explore options and find a Fees-Free provider here

Further information about the Fees-free programme