Financial Support Available

Here is a list of financial support that is available to students. Have a look through this list to see if you may be eligible to receive any of these.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, and these options are not applicable in your situation, please see the OUSA Hardship Fund tab for information on this grant, or make an appointment at Student Support to discuss your financial situation.

1. StudyLink Urgent / Unexpected Costs

If you have to pay for something urgently, get an unexpected bill, or have a personal emergency, Studylink may be able to help. Contact Studylink to determine eligibility. Phone 0800 889 900.

Please note this not available for international students.

2. WINZ Special Needs Grant

This is the same as the Studylink Special Needs Grant but is for non-Studylink clients. Contact Work and Income NZ to determine eligibility. Phone 0800 559 009 or visit

Please note this not available for international students.

3. WINZ Recoverable Assistance Payment Grant

The Recoverable Assistance Payment is a one-off payment to help you pay an essential or emergency cost if you can’t pay it another way. Phone 0800 559 009 or visit to check eligibility.

Please note this not available for international students.

4. Consumer Electricity Fund

The Dunedin City Council finances a fund to help Dunedin residents in hardship pay their electricity bill. This fund is to help people living in the DCC rateable area (i.e. anyone who lives in Dunedin is eligible) with a grant towards an electricity account. There are certain conditions that apply before a grant can be approved. Contact us and we can refer you on to complete the process.

5. University of Otago Emergency Fund

This is for one-off, unforeseen/emergency situations. The University requires students to have an interview with an OUSA Student Support advocate to determine eligibility for this fund. Contact to find out if you can apply for this.

6. Bank Overdraft Facility

Most banks offer a student overdraft facility at a reasonable interest rate. Speak with your bank about this facility.

7. Family Assistance

Can your family provide some temporary financial assistance?

8. OUSA Student Support Foodbank

Students in need can access the foodbank (free) a couple of times per semester. Drop into 5 Ethel Benjamin Place, between 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. No appointment needed.