There is concern students are being forced to spend less on food and take on multiple jobs to cover record high rents in some of New Zealand's biggest cities.
A newly formed lobby group wants the government to raise the amount of living costs students can claim to help make ends meet.
Students can borrow up to $178 a week to cover day to day expenses as part of their student loan.
The figure is adjusted annually to match the consumer price index.
However Jack Close of the Aotearoa Student Alliance says it has not gone up enough to match sky-high rents.
"The reality is that's not enough. The consumer price index has only gone up four per cent over the past four years. House prices or rental prices has gone up 30 per cent," he said.
In Wellington to rent a room near the universities costs about $200 a week.
The Otago University Student Association has noticed an increase in the number of students seeking food parcels and struggling with the cost of living.
They are urging the government to look at how the livings costs are annually adjusted.