All About Fees Free and Zero Fees

'Fees Free' is a Government initiative available to any NZ student who is in their first year of tertiary study. It's only available for your first year. Zero Fees is an SIT initiative, only available from SIT. Zero Fees applies to almost all programmes (on campus and SIT2LRN Distance Learning) and for any year of study. SIT is the only tertiary provider in New Zealand to offer a no tuition cost education to all NZ students for every study year at all levels.

Below are some common questions about Fees Free and Zero Fees. For the details of the Zero Fees scheme, click here and details of the Fees Free initiative click here.

Can I have both Fees Free and Zero Fees during my course?
Yes - although you are only eligible for one at a time. Usually students will study using Fees Free in their first year, followed by Zero Fees in following years. Additionally if you're studying at SIT in Invercargill, and in your Fees Free year, you're also able to apply for an $100 per week Accommodation Bursary!

Am I eligible for the Government's fees-free policy?
If you think you may be eligible and want to double check, head to and enter your national student number (NSN). If you do not have an NSN number or you don’t know, you can contact NZQA on 0800 697 269.

Am I eligible for the SIT Zero Fees Scheme?
Any NZ citizens or New Zealand residents/permanent residents living in New Zealand during their study, or Australian citizens residing in New Zealand during their study are eligible.

About the SIT Zero Fees Scheme

SIT’s Zero Fees Scheme allows:

  • New Zealand citizens
  • New Zealand residents/permanent residents living in New Zealand during their study
  • Australian citizens residing in New Zealand during their study

the opportunity to study approved programmes without paying tuition fees.

The Zero Fees Scheme applies only to the base tuition fee attached to each eligible programme of study. Direct Material Costs apply. Direct material costs are course specific costs, for example: uniform, texts, tools, activities and NZQA charges. Direct material fees (and programme fees in the case of a student’s Zero Fees status being withdrawn) are payable before commencement of a course, and may be paid by the student or via StudyLink (eg. Student Loan).

For international fees, including Zero Fees English, click here.

Eligible programmes

Most programmes SIT offer are eligible for the Zero Fees Scheme. Programmes must be:

  • Tertiary Education Commission funded
  • of 12 or more weeks in duration
  • studied either full time or part time
  • leading to a national or local qualification.

Zero Fees terms and conditions

In order to retain Zero Fees Scheme eligibility, students  must:

  • Demonstrate satisfactory academic progress as defined in the course requirements
  • Maintain satisfactory attendance - at least 80%
  • Adhere to the programme's specific rules and requirements
  • Adhere to SIT’s Student Code of Conduct

Although not foreseen, SIT is unable to guarantee ongoing Zero Fees provision should for any reason present funding arrangements and/or Government policies be reviewed.

SIT’s refund policy for domestic students is available here.

SIT policy on charging GST to Non-residents undertaking SIT2LRN programmes of study

SIT2LRN offer internet platform based training programmes which may attract students based offshore. In order for us to Zero Rate the Fee, we have to ensure that the student is offshore for the whole duration of the paper or programme. SIT is not able to set up a robust system to monitor such an activity and do not consider this our core business. Therefore GST will be charged on all fees unless the student wishes to be specifically designated as an International Student in which case the Zero Fees Scheme will not apply. Should a student wish to enrol as an International Student through SIT2LRN the International Fee will be NZ$100 per credit (GST Zero Rated).

Zero Fees Scheme - Cost Comparison

Our Zero Fees Scheme means we pay your tuition fees, so all you have to pay for are the direct material costs for your course.  Many of our graduates are able to start their careers debt-free! This is not an exaggeration – see how much you could save in the chart below!

Degree courses at SIT
(three years full time)

With SIT's Zero Fee Scheme: Full price elsewhere:
Bachelor of Applied Management (via SIT2LRN) $2,700 $19,775
Bachelor of Audio Production $11,103 $32,068
Bachelor of Commerce $1,515 $19,852
Bachelor of Contemporary Music* $4,890 $20,688
Bachelor of Engineering Technology $4,695 $24,804
Bachelor of Environmental Management $5,775 $21,141
Bachelor of Fashion (Design and Technology) $8,700 $21,258
Bachelor of Hotel Management $2,595 $17,380
Bachelor of Information Technology $3,369 $21,408
Bachelor of Nursing $3,800 $21,623
Bachelor of Professional Communication
(via SIT2LRN)
$2,700 $18,656
Bachelor of Screen Arts $5,279 $20,444
Bachelor of Sport and Exercise $2,838 $16,349
Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage $3,548 $19,316

Note: Prices above are estimated over 3 years of study, based on 2019 costs. 
* There are extra costs involved with this programme, please contact us for details.