Entitlement limits

Provides an overview of changes to entitlements and the year they came into effect.

Student Allowance entitlement changes


The five-year lifetime entitlement was changed to 200 weeks.


Eligibility to receive Student Allowance for secondary school study limited to a total of 92 weeks (2 school years).

The provision allowing the Ministry of Social Development to grant an exemption to the lifetime limit of 200 weeks for a particular course was repealed.


The Student Allowance lifetime limit reduced to 120 weeks for those aged 40 or over at the date they start study.

Student Loan entitlement changes


Part-time, part-year students studying 0.3 or more equivalent full-time student units (EFTS) were given access to the tuition fee component of the Student Loan.


Availability of Student Loans for tuition fees extended to students studying between 0.25 and 0.3 equivalent full-time student units (subject to conditions).


Removal of the $6,500 limit on fee borrowing for private training establishment students.


One-off increase in Student Loan living costs component from $150 per week to $155 per week on 1 January 2009. Student Loan living costs component indexed by inflation on 1 April 2009.


Lifetime limit on access to the loan scheme of 7 EFTS units per student was introduced. Possible additional entitlements allow up to an overall maximum of 10 EFTS units to support higher level study. The 7 EFTS count applies to study that commenced on or after 1 January 2010.


Part-time, full-year students are no longer able to borrow from the Student Loan for course-related costs.

From 1 January 2012 student association membership became voluntary. Therefore, student association fees can no longer be included in the compulsory fee component of a Student Loan.


New pilot training students that start study on or after 1 January 2013 will be limited to borrowing up to $35,000 per EFTS (equivalent full time student unit) from the compulsory fees component of the Student Loan. 

A 2 EFTS annual Student Loan borrowing limit is introduced.

From 7 February 2013, borrowers who have overdue payments amounting to $500 or more and have been in default for one year or more are not able to access the Student Loan Scheme.