Student loans, allowances and other ways to pay

Finding the money for tertiary education isn’t always easy. Here’s some information about how you can fund your tertiary education.

Student allowances

You may be eligible for a student allowance administered by StudyLink. This is a weekly payment to help with your living costs while you study full time. You don’t have to pay this back. Check the StudyLink website to see if you are eligible.

If you're living away from home, you may also qualify for an accommodation benefit. 

Student loans

You may be eligible for a student loan administered by StudyLink. This is a loan from the government to help you pay course fees, course-related costs and living costs while you are studying. You have to pay this money back, so it makes sense to:

  • understand what your responsibilities are. For example, you need to pass half your courses to be eligible for further loans
  • know how the student loan system works and what interest the loans are subject to
  • know when the loan payments are made (and the date when the money will go into your bank account), so that you have enough money in the meantime
  • borrow only what you need as the less you borrow, the sooner you can pay it back
  • work out how long it will take you to pay the loan back and when you’ll need to start.

Apply using RealMe and do it in advance

To apply online for student allowances and loans from StudyLink you need to have a RealMe login and set up a RealMe verified identity.

If you need financial assistance from StudyLink, don’t leave your application until the last minute.

Fees-free study and training

If you’re planning to start study or training for the first time you may be eligible for fees-free tertiary education.

If you’re eligible, you can get the equivalent of one year’s study or two years’ industry training fees-free.

Other ways to pay for your study

Think about other ways of paying for your study, such as:

  • working part time
  • whether you are eligible for a scholarship or grant
  • whether you are eligible for any extra financial help such as medical or disability support, or an accommodation allowance.

Updated 20 Dec 2018