COVID-19 information for students
15 April 2020.
Information about changes to your study and what support is available due to COVID-19.
Updated: 12 March 2021
COVID-19 Alert Levels
All of New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 1. During this time your regular payments will continue, and we can help you over the phone and through MyStudyLink in most cases.
COVID-19 Income Relief Payment
You could apply for the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment before 14 November 2020. It was to help you if you lost your job (including self-employment) from 1 March 2020 to 30 October 2020 due to COVID-19.
This provided up to 12 weeks payment to help with living costs after sudden job loss and give people time to find other work.
If you started your application, or contacted us about it, before 14 November, you may still be able to complete your application.
You may also be able to restart it if it stopped and you didn't get your full 12 weeks of payment.
Technology Access Fund for Learners
On Saturday 2 May, the Government announced there will be funds available to help tertiary students continue digital learning during COVID-19 disruptions. This includes access to:
- digital devices
- internet connections
- operating systems and/or programmes
- technical support.
Your education provider can access the Technology Access Fund for Learners. Please contact them if you need support.
Tertiary student support package
The Government has announced a number of measures to help you to continue and complete your studies.
- Students approved for a Student Loan for full-time study in 2020, can choose to borrow up to $2,000 in course-related costs (normally $1,000). You can apply for this using MyStudyLink.
- You'll continue to get your regular Student Allowance and Student Loan living costs payments if you're still enrolled and studying.
- While you're still enrolled but can't study, you'll continue to receive your payments as normal during the four-week lockdown period, and for up to four weeks afterwards.
- If you get a partial tuition fee refund because your course is discontinued, the EFTS for the course will not be counted towards your life-time EFTS limit.
- If your parents' income changes during your study, it may mean that you can now get a Student Allowance, or a higher rate of Student Allowance.
Remember to use MyStudyLink if you want to:
- change the amount you borrow for Student Loan living costs
- update your information including your personal income
- check the details of your next payment
- apply for course-related costs
If you have emergency costs we may be able to help you.
Meeting course requirements
To keep getting a Student Allowance or Student Loan living costs, you need to be meeting the requirements of your course.
Meeting course requirements is about attending your course regularly and completing your course work.
While New Zealand is at Alert Level 4 and your provider is unable to deliver your course on campus you will continue to be paid, as long as you remain enrolled.
If your provider offers the option for you to study part-time or full-time study from home, you need to meet these requirements of your course.
If you choose to withdraw from study
You need to let your provider, and us, know straight away.
If your provider closes or cancels your course
If you can’t continue or return to study because the course is no longer being offered we will work with both you and your provider to make sure you have access to the right financial support.
You may also be eligible for a refund of any unused portion of your course fees.
Talk to your provider for more information about their refund policy.
What stopping study means for your future entitlement
If any of the actions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand impact on your ability to complete or pass your course we will take this into account if you apply for a Student Allowance or Loan again in the future.
If you are currently accessing Fees Free, your entitlement use can also be reviewed if you decide to continue your studies at a later date.
Please email us if you have any questions about your Student Allowance or Student Loan.
Talk to your education provider about your course, and any questions or concerns you have about being able to continue to study.
You can stay up to date with the latest Government information, including Ministry of Health advice on covid19.govt.nz
Visit the Ministry of Education website for more information for students.
Stress counselling and support
Emergencies are usually unexpected, sudden and overwhelming. It's natural to feel emotionally and physically drained.
You’re not alone in this and you don’t need to cope on your own. Friends and family members not affected by the event can help you cope.
You can get more help and information from: