The information provided here relates to 2024 study only as 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 will update our Fees Free information when we have been advised of the changes.

Fees Free is available to full-time and part-time students who are in their first year of study, up to a maximum of 1.0 equivalent full-time student (EFTS) or $12,000, whichever is reached first. There are no age restrictions or limitations for accessing Fees Free study.

Part-time students have the option to carry forward any unused portion of their entitlement to future years.

Fees Free covers your tuition and student services fee, but does not cover residential accommodation fees, associated accommodation costs, or other fees e.g. late enrolment fees.

Until your eligibility has been confirmed (usually mid-January), tuition and student services fees will show in eVision. Once confirmed, the amounts will be credited against your account.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will not be required to repay fees for any failed papers in your first year.

To be eligible for Fees Free study at the University of Otago, you will need to meet the government's residency, prior study, and training criteria.

Check eligibility for Fees Free

If you have only completed studies in semester 2 and have not previously taken more than 60 credits (equivalent to 0.5 EFTS) of tertiary study, you generally meet the requirements for Fees Free.

Year 13 students

If you are a Year 13 school student enrolled in tertiary level study as a part of a school learning programme or STAR programme, funding for these courses is organised through your secondary school. You will not need to use Fees Free or StudyLink for these courses and your full entitlement will be available to you when you enrol in University study.

If you are a Year 13 school student enrolling in tertiary courses separate to your school’s learning programme, you will start using your Fees Free entitlement for these courses.

Further information

Tertiary Education Commission — Fees Free FAQs: tertiary study while still at school

Pathway students

The Pathway programme is considered tertiary study so is covered by Fees Free. Therefore if you have used your Fees Free allocation to pay for your Pathway programme, you will no longer be eligible for Fees Free study at undergraduate level.