An Auckland student who became a homeowner after living rent-free at his parents' house is not a fair representation of all students, says the national students' association.
At just 22-years-old, Brandon Lipman bought his first property in Hamilton in April.
The University of Auckland commerce and science student saved for a $45,000 deposit for the $300,000 investment property by working from 9pm to 5am at Countdown for a year, and by living at his parent's house rent-free for two years.
• Student becomes property investor
The New Zealand Students' Association said Mr Lipman's story did not represent the financial hardships faced by many students.
"Most students are wondering how they'll afford next week's rent or ever pay back their mounting loan. Mr Lipman's story is the exception, not the reality," said association president Rory McCourt.
He said he did not begrudge Mr Lipman's success, but said a "toxic mix of high rents, big debt and insane house prices" were huge obstacles for the majority of those in tertiary education.
Most students were forced to borrow money for living costs and tuition, and left with about $50,000 in debt, he said.
Mr McCourt said students worked an average of 17 hours per week just to meet basic costs, and employment options were limited by some course requirements.
Mr Lipman said he understood that his circumstances were not available to everyone.
"I completely understand that's a situation that not everyone can live in."
He said he still had a student loan for his tuition fees, and had to pay to travel for the hour and a half commute to university from his parent's house.
He was also perplexed by a lot of negative comments from people aimed at him after the Herald article.
"A lot of people are saying that my parents helped out but there was no financial assistance from my family other than the roof over my head."
Mr Lipman, who is studying to become a chartered accountant and commercial lawyer, said he can use his education to manage the property portfolio he hopes to grow.
He is also now living in a shared flatting situation, and works full-time for BNZ while he completes the last year of his studies.
"The crux of it is that hard work can pay off, and a lot of people say, 'I have tried to do this, but still can't buy in Auckland', but it's just part of it.
"Everyone puts up with different things."