Studying beyond school can be a length and expensive process. Obviously the costs are related to a whole host of things – the course you take, the place you study and therefore live, additional course related costs. The chances are you’ll need a student loan to help fund your study to some extent.

One thing to remember is that you have to pay a Student Loan back. If you’re planning to study at tertiary level, it’s important to take the time to set yourself some goals and plan how you’re going to achieve them. If you are young and intend to take out a student loan in order to study you must think seriously about the implications of that lending.

So what does it cost to study in New Zealand?

This is not a question that can be answered by us here but we can give you some idea of how to work out roughly what it might cost you to study.

There are lots of variables when you are trying to figure this out. Some of the fundamental things you need to take into consideration are

  1. How much the course will cost,
  2. What it will cost you to live while you are studying and
  3. What your student loan will cost you.

Course costs

When trying to assess the costs of study it’s important to remember that course costs are not just limited to actually what the course costs as set down by the service provider.

The cost of the actual course is referred to course fees. On top of these fees there are often a great many course related costs you’ll need to take into account also. These are things like text books, stationery, photocopying, other materials needed, travelling to and from where your course is just as an example of a few.

If you apply for a student loan it may provide for the course fees you have to pay and for course-related costs individually. For more info on this read student loans.

You may also find that the cost of taking the cost is not met by the student loan you are able to take out. In this case you’ll be left with a shortfall you’ll have to cover somehow. This could mean taking a job in the time you have available to you. Be careful with this also. The monetary cost of getting to and from a job and also the time cost of the job may mean your studies suffer. Take all of this into consideration.

The sorted.org website has collated a list of varying courses that are available up and down the country and given an idea of what the course fees are for each course in the 2007 year. Check this out to get an idea of what course fees might cost you.

Tuition Fees for Domestic Students at Tertiary Institutions for 2007

University Degrees

  Architecture (Auckland University) 5 years   $4,051-$5324
  Arts (Canterbury University) 3 years $3,934
  Business Studies (undergraduate – Massey University) 3 years $3,787
  Commerce (Auckland University) 3 years $4,416
  Dentistry (Otago University) 5 years $10,780
  Design (Massey University 4 years $4,300
  Fine Arts (Auckland University) 4 years $4,732
  Engineering (Auckland University) 4 years $5,324
  Law (Canterbury University) 4 years $4,164
  Medicine (Otago University) 6 years $10,780
  Music (Auckland University) 4 years $4,360
  Nursing (post-graduate – Victoria University) 1 year $5,388
  Optometry (Auckland University) 4 years $7,279
  Physiotherapy (Otago University) 4 years $4,849-$6,061
  Pharmacy (Auckland University) 4 years $4,388-$4,810
  Teaching (Primary & Secondary – Auckland University) 3 years $3,974
  Veterinary Science (Massey University) 5 years $7,821

Other Training Organisations

   Bachelor in Hospitality Management (Weltech) 3 years         $4,302
   National Certificate in Exercise Science (Weltech) 1 year $4,399
   Certificate in Business Administration (Weltech) 19 weeks $2,142
   National Certificate in Hairdressing (Weltech) 1 year $5,200
  National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (Weltech) 2 years $4,485
   Diploma in Early Childhood Education(NZ College of Early Childhood Education) 3 years $4,090
  Diploma of Therapeutic Massage(Wellpark College of Natural Therapies) 18 Months $4,250
   Diploma in Fashion Design(Design & Arts College of NZ) 2 Years $5,385
  Diploma in Contemporary Photography(Design & Arts College of NZ) 2 years $5,380

There is also a directory of all tertiary study providers available on the careers website. Click here to view it.

Living Costs

Living costs incorporate what it will cost you to house, clothe, feed and transport yourself around while you are studying. Some of these costs will vary based on when you choose to study, for example it is common knowledge that living in Auckland is a more costly affair than studying in Palmerston North.

A student living away from home is likely to have living costs adding up to around $290.00 per week. Broken down this could look a little like this each week…

  Rent    $130.00
  Power $17.00
  Phone $20.00
  Groceries $50.00
  Transport $25.00
  Social Life $30.00
  Toiletries $6.00
  Lunch and “bits and bobs” $15.00

It’s not cheap and this break down is based on living in a flat with two or three other people, in Wellington.

It’s important to be realistic about the costs you may face living away. Always err on the high side so anything less is a bonus. Also be wise about your purchases.

There will also always be variables in your budget and what it costs you to live each week. If you have a vehicle you need to work WOF’s and registration into your budget and also petrol money for a trip home every now and then.

For more information on accommodation options while studying away from your home read our Accomodation Options article.

Student Loan Repayments

This is the really scary one. What you loan while you are studying may seem ljke nothing at all and, while you’re in the thick of it, may seem like a flash in the ocean. As always, the decisions you make now will be with you forever and never truer have words been spoken than when talking about student loans.

The key thing to remember is that the less you borrow the sooner you’ll pay it of. Here’s some examples

If Joe borrows $40,000 to complete his study and ends up with a job from which he earns $38,000 a year; paying his minimum repayments on a weekly basis will mean it takes him 19 years to pay his loan off.

But, if Joe has partly funded his study himself by working part-time as well as studying he may have only needed to boron $20,000. This would mean by still only paying minimum payments each week he could pay his loan off in only 10 years.

The Inland Revenue is the agency that calls in repayments for student loans and so therefore calculates interest and so on. They have available on their website a student loan repayment calculator that is well worth having a look at. Find it here.

The most important piece of advice we can give you is to know what you’re in for before you launch into study. It’s always better to know what costs you are up against before you take them on.

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Tracy Harris is a registered NZ naturopath and herbalist, and natural health writer, who has both a natural health shop and a natural mother & child store in Auckland.

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