Student loans and allowances

New Zealand government student loans and allowances are offered by StudyLink to help domestic students meet the cost of study.


The University of Canterbury is not involved in the administration of the loan and allowance schemes offer through StudyLink. It is your responsibility to manage your StudyLink account and advise StudyLink of any changes that might affect your funding arrangements.

Further information is available on the StudyLink website or by calling 0800 88 99 00.

Differences between a student loan and student allowance

Student loans can be used to meet the costs of full-time or part-time study including tuition fees, student levies, course materials and general living expenses. Student loans must be paid back.

Student allowances are weekly payments you can use to cover living costs like food, rent and other necessities if you are a full time student. Allowances are not a loan and do not need to be paid back.

How to apply for student loans and allowances

You can apply for both student loans and allowances can be made online via the StudyLink website. You can lodge your application for a student loan or allowance before applying to enrol at UC. However, you will need some of your UC enrolment details to complete the process.

Eligibility criteria

StudyLink funding options will vary based on your personal situation and the nature of your study.

UC courses approved for StudyLink funding are assigned an Equivalent Full-time Student (EFTS) value. The EFTS value for each course is listed on its course description.

A year of full-time study is usually between 0.8 and 1.2 EFTS.

At a minimum you must be enrolled in 0.25 EFTS for Studylink to cover your compulsory course fees with a student loan.

If you have a health condition or disability that limits your ability to study full-time, you may apply for limited full-time status from StudyLink. This allows you to undertake a reduced course load but still received the same benefit you would if you were studying full-time.

Paying your fees by Student Loan

Your enrolment will be finalised once an inward fee authority has been received from Studylink. After the loan has been processed and approved any additional compulsory tuition fees/refunds should be automatically deducted from/refunded to your student loan account if Studylink criteria are met.

Cancelled or declined Student Loan applications

If your Student Loan is cancelled or declined this does not cancel your enrolment at UC. You will still be liabile for paying your fees.

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