A survey has found that nearly half of all full time tertiary students are facing financial distress.
The New Zealand Union of Students' Associations surveyed 5000 students from polytechnics and universities.
Of those 44 percent said they did not have enough to meet their basic needs.
Union of Students' Associations president Daniel Haines said many students responded that their studies were failing because they were worrying about finances.
He said no one should be expected to study in conditions where their basic needs are unaffordable.