Payment of fees to NZQA

NZQA sends out information to schools for candidates about fee payment. There is a standard annual fee which students must pay to have their results recorded on their Record of Achievement and for the awarding of qualifications. Candidates who do not pay fees will have their results released but the credits gained will not be used to award qualifications until the fees are paid.

The fee is collected by the school and forwarded to NZQA by the due date published in the Key Dates calendar. Schools determine the timing of fees collection from candidates to ensure that they are able to send a data submission file and payment to NZQA before the due date.

The fees paid by the school to NZQA should match the payments recorded against students in the data file. The Billing File details what has been allocated, and any further fees owing. Fees not paid to NZQA by the published due dates may incur a late fee.

How do schools make payment?

Schools must complete and send the School Form – Payment of NZQA Fees (PDF, 148KB) with their payment. To make a direct credit to NZQA the school needs to obtain their debtor number from their School Relationship Manager. To assist  in processing your payment, an electronic copy of your fee allocations should be emailed to  or directly to your NZQA Secondary Data Liaison.

Billing File

Once your payment has been processed by the NZQA Data team, the Billing File in the Provider login will be updated (early term 4). Check the Billing File to ensure that payments have been correctly allocated to candidates, including leavers and Financial Assistance Applications. You may need to check with the previous school if any transferred candidates do not have their payments correctly allocated and they paid the previous school.

If there are errors, contact the Data Management team immediately.

Financial Assistance

Domestic school candidates may be eligible for Financial Assistance. Financial Assistance applications must be made to schools using the Application for Financial Assistance Form (PDF, 125KB) and fees must be submitted to the school by the school’s advertised due date for fee payments. The school needs time to process applications in its web entry or Student Management System (SMS) to meet the NZQA due date.

Full details on submitting financial assistance data to NZQA may be found in the Financial Assistance Handbook. (PDF, 405KB)

Schools collect the data using the application for financial assistance form and retain this information for auditing.

The information is sent to NZQA by generating a unique application number for each application.  SMS will do this automatically but if you are not using an SMS, you need to generate your own number. A systematic approach is to use the academic year and then count up as each application is processed.  For example:

6666-10-xxxx where 6666 is your school code, 10 refers to the year (in this case 2010) and xxxx is a numerical counter such as 0001, 0002.

It is important to process applications even if the school does not receive payment.  Candidates who have had a Financial Assistance application processed will be charged at the assistance rate but will also have to pay the late payment fee if fees are not paid to NZQA by the published due date.

The Financial Assistance Applications summary in the Key indicators needs to be checked against the school records for accuracy as lack of information such as application type or number of applications will result in the application being declined. If Financial Assistance applications show as Declined, you will have to correct the information in the next data file submission. Applications are only declined when information is incorrect in the school data, such as duplicate Financial Assistance application numbers, or siblings not correctly linked, or benefit application with no benefit number entered. If a candidate does not have any entries in standards, their application will be declined as no fees are calculated. Contact the NZQA Secondary Data team if you cannot identify the reason for a Declined.

Financial Assistance for more than one family member sitting NCEA

Make sure you correctly link family members so that the reduced fee shows on each. The total amount is evenly split between family members.  You will need to divide the maximum fee payable per family and enter this amount against each candidate.

Make sure all family members have a common address in the data file (even if one lives elsewhere some of the time).

Family members in more than one school applying for Financial Assistance

Family members attending different schools who are sitting NCEA are entitled to the Financial Assistance maximum per family.  NZQA needs to be able to link these candidates so that Financial Assistance can be approved for all family members.  For this to occur, all schools that family members are attending need to use the same Financial Assistance application number.

  • One school must take responsibility for the single Financial Assistance application form that lists the details of all family members and is signed by the parent.
  • The first school will make an application for the candidate(s) at that school and create the Financial Assistance application number (see above). Make sure all family members have a common address in each schools' data file (even if one lives elsewhere some of the time).
  • For benefit and income-based applications the fee is evenly divided by the number of family members. For family-based applications the individual fees are based upon a pro-rata calculation of the family total. The fee amount owed may need to be manually entered into the SMS.
  • Then the form, with the Financial Assistance number added, must be sent on to the school(s) of the other family member(s) in a timely manner. The details of Principal’s Nominees for other schools can be found in the Provider Login. Send it by email (as a pdf) or fax, and contact the PN.
  • The school(s) receiving the form will make the Financial Assistance application for the candidate(s) at the school, being careful to check that the number created by the first school is used in the data file. This may need a manual over-ride of an automated numbering system in the SMS. The fee amount must be entered as well (see above).
  • When you submit the fees data file, put a note in the comments section to alert NZQA to any of these multi-school Financial Assistance applications.

Payment of fees for candidates who leave or transfer schools

For candidates who pay their money to your school, then later transfer or leave school:

  • If the candidate is a school leaver, withdraw them from any standards for which there are no results. Do not withdraw them from any standards for which there are results as these will not be reported.
  • If the candidate is transferring to another school, withdraw them from all standards in your data file. Notify the PN of the school the student moves to that the fee payment will be made with your fee payments. The candidate must have the fee payment correctly recorded in your data file (see above). Make a note in the Comments to the file submission that this payment is being made for a candidate at another school.

For candidates who pay their money to another school, then later transfer to your school:

  • Do not record fee payments in your data file or payment amounts.
  • Check with the previous school that they did receive the money and will pay it to NZQA along with their other payments.
  • Make a note in the Comments of the fees data file submission about the fee payment being made for the candidate and give details of the other school. A manual transfer of the payment between schools will be made by NZQA.

Candidate payment direct to NZQA – after school payment

After the school payment has been sent, NZQA will accept fees directly from candidates.

The quickest and easiest way for candidates to pay NZQA directly is for them to log in to the NZQA website and pay their fees online using their Learner Login. If this is not possible, candidates can complete the School Candidate Form – Payment of NZQA Fees (PDF, 161KB) and make a manual payment. Relevant details are provided on the form.

Late fees and reminders

Any NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship payments made after 1 December will incur a late fee of $50.00. NZQA will send a letter to all affected candidates by late October reminding them they have unpaid fees.

Unpaid fees

If a candidate chooses not to pay the NZQA fee:

  • they are eligible to:
    • sit exams and have marked scripts returned
    • know their internal and external results

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