Fees Free

If you are a first-time tertiary learner, you may be able to get Fees Free for study or training starting in 2024. If you are eligible, we’ll organise payment of your fees with the Tertiary Education Commission.

The Government has announced that Fees Free for the first year of study or training will finish at the end of 2024. A final-year Fees Free scheme will replace it, starting from 1 January 2025.

Check if you are eligible in 2024, or find out about the final-year Fees Free scheme by visiting FeesFree.govt.nz.
As you may be aware, the Prime Minister has launched the government’s ‘fees-free’ policy. TEC is the government agency that is implementing the fees-free policy.

You can find general information about this policy on the website www.feesfree.govt.nz.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

A student's eligibility for the Governments 'Fees Free' Tertiary can change during their enrolment. If new information comes to light and a student's eligibility changes from eligible to not eligible you will be liable and invoiced fees owed.

A Quick Guide for Students

Have you checked your eligibility for fees-free tertiary education yet?

If this is the first time you are doing tertiary study, you could be eligible for fees-free study.

If you think you could be eligible for fees-free use your NSN (National Student Number) to check by clicking on the button below. We will do our own checks so we know if we need to charge you for your study.

If you already know you’re eligible, great! Take a look at the checklist over the page to make sure you are ready for study.

Click the button below to check your eligibility.

Fees Free Eligibility

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find out my National Student Number (NSN)?

If you studied after 2003, you will have an NSN. To find it, contact NZQA on 0800 697 296 - they will ask you some verification questions, and then let you know what it is.

When do I need to complete the eligibility process?

It is very important you do this as soon as you can, so we know not to charge you for your study. Otherwise you may receive a bill for your study. You might still have to apply for a Student Loan.

Will all my course fees be paid?

Fees-free will cover:
• Tuition
• Associated mandatory fees
• Compulsory student service fees

Fees-free will not cover:
• Students’ association fees
• Club memberships
• Course materials
• Late fees

Fees will be paid up to a total amount of $12,000 or less. If your fees are more than this, you will need to pay the difference.

What happens if I withdraw from my courses?

It is important to know that if you enrol in courses and don’t complete your study, you may lose your entitlement to fees-free in subsequent years.

I’d like to say a Thank you to Deb and the whole crew at Varda. The experience I had here was amazing and I wouldn’t change it for anything. The amazing support from staff and teachers was cherished dearly by myself and I can speak on the behalf of the other students when saying this too.

Thank you to my wonderful tutor for all the one on one learning and teaching you sent my way. Without it I wouldn’t be the great barber I am today. From helping me with cutting techniques to finding me work experience you were always there for me and always put me and the other students first.”

Troy Bernhard

Coming to Varda was the best choice I made when I left High School. I’ve learnt professionalism in the Barber trade and I’ve taken it and used it as a life skill. Varda has taught me all the basics of barber skills and the tutors were supportive.

Maia Haumu

Before coming to Varda I was a stay at home mum, so this year was definitely a change for me.

When covid came around it all changed again. We did it and without the support from every single person at Varda I don't know how we would of survived the year. From other students supporting each other and cheering us all on and helping with models, to the tutors and all staff who were there helping us all achieve our goals and supporting us through our tough days too.

Also a big thank you to our tutor for your support, loyalty and guidance.

Megan Brinkworth
Salon Support

To Varda, the staff and of course our amazing tutor, thank you for your endless support and overall patience throughout this course especially through the times where we couldn't see the end. 

This year has been amazing working along side all of you. The amount of support and banter with each other has been incredible. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to have shared this adventure with.

Helena McKenzie
Emerging Stylist

Just perfect! Tutors encouraged me and showed me a lot of new skills and found what I was good at. Varda also relaxed me before completing any assessments that were hard to achieve, helpful tutors and classmates. I started dreaming a new future here at Varda, and Varda also helped me to set my goal for next year too. Thanks, it was the best school I ever went. Miss you all.

Phoebe Choi
‘Salon Support’

“I loved studying at Varda, I loved all the tutors. They were friendly and they believe in me”.

Brittany Richardson
‘Makeup and Skin Care’

“My experience studying at Varda was absolutely amazing. It always felt like a safe learning environment and always had such a dedicated team of tutors and staff to help us with questions or problems. Walking into class always felt homely and welcoming. Our tutor was always willing to help any student and always had a boost of motivation and support to push you to succeed your goals.”

Chloe Curnow
‘Salon support’

I loved the atmosphere, everyone is always happy and all staff are so polite. I also believe that Varda has a great support system for both students and clients.

Jade Coe

Varda has helped me so much with my people skills and has made me so much more confident in myself and the things I can do. I’ve learnt a lot being here and have loved every moment of it.

Jamie Paki
‘Salon Support’