Financial assistance

Who can apply for financial assistance? 

Financial assistance is available to assist with the payment of entry fees for National Secondary Schools qualifications (i.e. NCEA). To be eligible to apply you must be the fee-payer3 and meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • be currently receiving a Work and Income or Study Link benefit, or have a current Community Services Card (benefit-based applications) 
  • are not currently receiving a benefit, or do not have a current Community Services Card, but do have a joint family1 income that would entitle you to receive a Community Services Card (income-based applications) 
  • have two or more children who are candidates, irrespective of family income, and the total fees you would have to pay would otherwise be more than the $200 multiple candidate maximum (multiple candidate applications). 

You cannot claim financial assistance for international fee-paying students. 

How do I apply for financial assistance? 

Application forms are available online (PDF, 125KB) or from schools. Your school will tell you the date to return the form to them for processing. Complete one application form for all members of your family1 for whom you are seeking financial assistance.

If your application covers candidates attending different schools, send the form to the school of the first candidate you have listed. That school will process your application then send it on to the other schools for you.

Which sections do I complete on the form? 

You must complete Sections A and B, giving your full details and those of the members of your family1 for whom you are seeking financial assistance. It is important to write the National Student Number/s (NSN) for candidates in the space provided, and to sign the declaration at the bottom of the form. 

Complete only one of sections C, D or E depending on your circumstance.

Section C – Complete this section if you are receiving a Work and Income or Study Link benefit, or if you have a current Community Services Card (CSC). Enter your Work and Income Client number, your benefit number or your CSC number in the space provided. 

Section D – Complete this section if you are not receiving a benefit or you do not currently have a CSC but you have a gross family income that would entitle you to receive a CSC. Indicate in the space provided that you are eligible to receive financial assistance. You must sign the declaration at the bottom of the form and be prepared to provide evidence of your income to support your application. 

Section E – Complete this section if you do not qualify in the above categories but have two or more children2 studying for National Secondary School qualifications and would otherwise be paying more than $200 in fees. 

What if I don’t know the National Student Number (NSN)? 

All secondary candidates entered for national qualifications will be notified of their NSN in June. You must write the NSN in the space provided on the application form. If candidates have been assessed against NZQF standards in the past their NSN will be on their Result Notice, School Results Summary, Record of Achievement and Certificates issued by NZQA. If you can not find your child's NSN please contact the school. 

What are the income thresholds for entitlement to a Community Services Card? 

Family Size1Income Limits (Before tax) 
From 1 April 2017
2 person family (1 parent with 1 child) $49,993
3 person family $60,402
4 person family $68,682
5 person family $76,790
6 person family $85,852
For families of 7 or more, the income limits increase by $7,986 for each additional person 

For more information see Work and Income's community services card income cut-out points.

When are applications due from fee-payers? 

Your completed application must be sent to the first school listed on your form. Contact this school to find out when they require the completed form for processing. Schools must send all applications to NZQA by 1 September. If you miss your school’s deadline for processing applications, you risk having to pay full fees and the $50 late fee. 

When will I know if my application has been approved? 

Your school is responsible for approving your application. You can assume it has been approved unless your school contacts you advising you otherwise. 

How much will I need to pay? 

      I am eligible for beneficiary or income-based assistance I am not eligible for beneficiary or income-based assistance
  I am paying for one child who is a candidate   $20.00* Full fees2 ($76.70 for all NCEA standards, $30 for each NZ Scholarship subject entry)
  I am paying for two or more children who are candidates   A maximum of $30.00* per family.1 A maximum of $200.00 per fee-payer3.

*includes the cost of NCEA and any New Zealand Scholarship entries

Need more information? 

If you need more information on how to apply for financial assistance please contact your school. 


 1 "Family" is defined as parents, including sole parents or legal guardians, and their children living together.


 2 Each domestic candidate will pay $76.70 for all NCEA standards and $30 for each entry into a NZ Scholarship subject. This means that most fee-payers with two candidates assessed against NZQF standards this year will not be eligible for multiple candidate financial assistance as the total will be less than the $200 maximum. 


 3 “Fee-Payer” is normally the parent or guardian of the candidate, and must be the person paying the NZQA fees.

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