NZ tertiary accommodation
Living in halls of residence can be a great way to settle into university life, make new friends and have extra support in that first year of study. Usually all meals are included but some halls are self catering.
Online applications for halls of residence open on the 1 August each year and need to be submitted before the 30 September.
Before applying, you need to take the following steps:
- Research the range of accommodation available – found on each university’s website – and decide your top choices in order of preference. If possible, attend the open day to tour accommodation first-hand.
- Look at the costs involved and think about how you will finance this.
- Understand the process of applying for the accommodation (each university varies) and deadlines you need to meet.
You will need the following information for your application:
- Contact details of your parent/caregiver – name, address, phone number/s and email address.
- Your National Student Number (NSN).
- Your most recent NCEA academic results (Year 12 NCEA).
- Your proposed course of study e.g. Bachelor of Arts etc.
Think about how you may answer the application questions. This template represents the type of questions you can expect: Practice template for halls of residence and Scholarships
After the 1 August, you can go to the accommodation site of the university you intend to study at to apply for accommodation. You will then be emailed a username and password to enable you to save and come back to your application if you need to. With the exception of Victoria University, you are expected to apply for your course or degree programme first.
Gaining References (NZCCRF)
Once you are ready and have applied online, then you will need to complete a New Zealand Common Confidential Reference Form (NZCCRF). This is a common form to support your application for tertiary accommodation for any of New Zealand’s universities and also for Otago Polytechnic. This will trigger a request for a reference from your school Careers Advisor.
It is advisable to complete the NZCCRF before the end of August as your school will need to complete your reference before 15 September. You will get an email to confirm the reference has been sent by the school.
Applications can be made after the 30 September but you will not be made an offer in the first round which are made around the 10 October. Please note you may be required to pay an application fee by some universities before your application is processed.
Halls of Residence offers are made between October and February. If you have not been allocated a place in a hall in the first round in October, you will be placed on a waiting list. It is advisable to accept your offer even though it may not have been your first choice. Most students do receive an offer by the time the university starts in February but it could take some time until a vacancy becomes available.
If you are still on the waiting list in mid-February, temporary accommodation is often available. Spaces can even come up within the first few weeks after the semester starts.
Pay your deposit
If you do not return your contract and pay the deposit by the due date, your contract will expire and your place will be offered to another student. This is usually due before the end of October.
Financing your accommodation
You can borrow funds through Study Link to pay for your living costs. This is either through a Student Allowance or a Student Loan. These funds become available on weekly basis once you begin your tertiary studies in early February.
- A Student Allowance is means-tested and based on your parents’ income. You do not have to pay it back. You can get an accommodation benefit with this allowance.
- A Student Loan is money you borrow but have to pay back. Some of this can be used to cover your living costs.
These funds will not necessarily cover all your accommodation costs, especially if you are living in halls or a residential college, so you will need to supplement this. Some students get part-time jobs to make up the difference including saving up while still at school.
Look through the payment options and discuss with parents, caregivers and whanau how best to manage this. Options include lump sum payments, quarterly payments, weekly payments etc.