Waikato Student Loans and Allowances


The University of Waikato offers Student Loans as a financial aid option for domestic students engaged in tertiary study. A Student Loan can fund various educational expenses including tuition, course fees, courserelated costs, equipment/books, and even travel expenses. It’s important to understand the terms of these loans, such as the need to pay back the loan balance, the presence of loan interest, and the conditions under which repayments are made. Additionally, students should be aware of the possibility of fees-free study under certain conditions.

Important Information About Student Loans

  • Who can get it: Eligibility typically includes New Zealand citizens or those ordinarily resident for at least 3 years, and may extend to those with a residence class visa, refugees, or protected persons.
  • What you can get: Depending on the circumstances, loans can cover full-time or part-time study, including undergraduate courses and Bachelor degrees with honours.

Find out more about Student Allowances

Student Allowances provide another avenue of financial support, mainly focusing on living expenses and accommodation costs. Unlike loans, allowances don’t need to be paid back, making them an appealing option for eligible students.

Key Details on Student Allowances

  • Who can get it: Similar to loan eligibility, allowances are available to various categories of students, including those sponsored into New Zealand, with certain restrictions in place for those who are bankrupt or in prison.
  • Payment: The payment structure for allowances varies, with different rates for full-time and part-time students, and additional considerations for accommodation benefits.

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Application and Approval

  • Application Approved Before Course Starts: Understanding the timing of your application and its approval is crucial for financial planning.
  • Application Approved After Course Starts: Late approvals may result in arrears or back payments.

Types of Payments

  • Back Payment of Student Allowance: In some cases, students may receive a lump sum to cover past periods.

How to Apply

Applications are primarily processed through the StudyLink website. Students are encouraged to apply online, keeping in mind the processing times and the need to submit a complete application to avoid delays. It is ideal to apply at least two months ahead of the deadline.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for both Student Loans and Student Allowances at the University of Waikato is tied to various factors including the type of course, the status of the student as a full-time or part-time learner, and specific residency or citizenship requirements. It’s also important for students to be aware of passing requirements, limits on EFTS (Equivalent Full-Time Student) units, and other academic criteria.


What’s the difference between a Student Loan and Student Allowance?

Student Loan

A Student Loan helps to pay your course fees, and course-related costs (equipment/books required for you to complete your chosen course, travel expenses, etc) and can also help towards living costs. You will have to pay back your student loan once you have finished study, Inland Revenue manages your loan balance and repayments.

Student Allowance

A Student Allowance is a weekly payment to help you with your living expenses while you are studying. You do not have to pay back a Student Allowance. You may also be eligible for an accommodation benefit to help cover your accommodation costs.


Navigating the world of student financial aid at the University of Waikato requires an understanding of the differences and similarities between Student Loans and Student Allowances. Both options provide vital support, but they come with different terms, conditions, and eligibility criteria. For more detailed information, students should refer to the official StudyLink resources and the University’s guidelines, especially in light of ongoing changes such as those related to COVID-19.

For further details, visit the University of Waikato’s official page on Student Loans and Allowances.


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