Funding your study at UC

Student loans and allowances

Studylink offers student loans and allowances to eligible students to pay for tuition fees and study-related costs.  Complete the Eligiblity Test on the Studylink website to see what you are eligible for. You can also check Studylink's residency requirements and definition of full-time study

Each year of study requires a new loan (and allowance) application and can take time to process during busy periods so you are advised to apply early - your enrolment at UC will only be finalised once your loan is approved. 

UC is not involved in the administration of loans and student allowances offered through StudyLink. If your student loan is cancelled or declined by Studylink for any reason, your enrolment at UC will not be cancelled and you will be liable for any tuition fees owed. 

If you have only one or two courses to complete your qualification or you have a health condition or disability that limits your ability to study full-time, you may be able to apply for limited full-time status with StudyLink. This allows you to undertake a reduced workload but still receive the same benefits as if you were studying full-time. Limited full-time status is not normally applicable to students studying a reduced workload due to poor academic performance. 

Fees Free study

You may be eligible to study fees-free in your first year of study at UC with the NZ Government's Fees Free scheme. Find out if you're eligible on the Fees Free website. You may need to complete a Statutory Declaration to prove your eligiblity - make sure you get this done early as your enrolment at UC will not be confirmed until this is done.  If you are a scholarship recipient, see how Fees Free study affects you on the Scholarships FAQs page. 


Scholarships, grants and awards are a great way of funding your university study. UC offers over $20 million in scholarships and prizes annually to help fund our students' study. Search the database for scholarships you are eligible for and check the application closing dates on the Scholarships page. 

USA Financial Loans, Federal Loans and VA Benefits

Private Loans

If you are a US citizen (or permanent resident), you may choose to fund your study at UC with an American private financial loan, such as a Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan. UC certifies the amount you can borrow based on an estimated 'Cost of Attendance' (including your tuition fees, estimated living costs, and other study-related costs). Payments are made directly to UC and once your tuition fees have been paid, any remaining funds can be paid into your NZ bank account. An outline of what to expect during the student loan application process is available on the Sallie Mae website.  Email with any questions. 

Federal Loans

UC has been a Federal Student Loan Deferment-Only Institution since 2014. This means you cannot receive a federal loan for study at UC, but you can defer repayments for existing federal loans while you are enrolled at UC (full-time or at least half-time). 

VA Benefits

Veterans Affairs Education Benefits can be used to pay for study at UC as long as your chosen UC qualification is approved by VA. Check the list of approved UC qualifications on the WEAMS online search by putting in the following details:

Institution Name: University of Canterbury
Program Type: Institution of Higher Learning
Yellow Ribbon School: (leave blank)
Select Country: New Zealand  

If your chosen UC qualification is not listed, please contact at least 6 months before your intended start date at UC. This is to allow enough time for an application for program approval to be processed.

Once your qualification is approved and your admission to UC is confirmed, you will be required to provide your Certificate of Eligibility and SSN. When completing your application for the Veterans Affairs Education Benefit, UC's VA Facility Code is 11100999.

UC is not a Yellow Ribbon School. 

More information on the process and what benefits you can get is available on the VA website

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