Depending on your residency status you may be eligible for support from the Australian Government through Commonwealth supported places and the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).
Commonwealth supported places
If you have a fee category of Domestic Commonwealth Supported [year] on your Letter of Offer you are eligible to receive a Commonwealth supported place.
In a Commonwealth supported place your fees are subsidised by the Australian Government. Your fees will be split into two portions:
- The Commonwealth contribution, which is the portion paid by the Australian Government.
- The student contribution, which is the portion you pay. You may choose to pay upfront or defer your student contribution with a HECS-HELP Loan.
Effective 1 January 2021, any upfront payment of $500 or more will receive a 10% discount for eligible students (Australian Citizens, holders of Permanent Humanitarian Visa and HELP Loan eligible New Zealand Citizens).
Job-ready Graduates Package
The Australian Government’s Job-ready Graduates Package came into effect 1 January 2021. The Package is intended to deliver more job-ready graduates in the disciplines and regions where they are needed most and help drive the nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the package, changes to tuition fees were implemented in 2021. From 2022, students will also be required to meet completion rate requirements to maintain their Commonwealth assistance eligibility.
This means passing at least 50% of the units you attempt and remaining actively engaged in your course. If you do not meet the requirements, you may lose your Commonwealth Supported Place and access to any HELP loans. You will still be able to continue your studies with full-fee upfront payments.
These requirements ensure students are genuine and maintain a sufficient completion rate for their course.
Who will be impacted by these changes in 2022?
In 2022 your completion rate will be monitored if:
- you enrol in a Commonwealth Supported Place or are deferring your fees to a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan and you:
- Commenced your studies in 2022, or
- Commenced your studies prior and voluntarily transfer to a different course for 2022.
Where can I find information about my course requirements?
More information on the Job-ready Graduates Package can be found on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website and StudyAssist.
Confirm your place
You will only be entitled to the Commonwealth contribution if you have confirmed your Commonwealth supported place and your student contribution has been either paid upfront or deferred to a loan.
You can confirm your place by completing an ECAF in MyInfo > Course details when you first enrol in your course.
If you transfer to a new course with a Commonwealth supported place you will need to complete another ECAF.
The Australian Government’s Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) allows you to defer payment of fees. If you are deferring fee payments to a HELP loan you must complete an ECAF in MyInfo > Course details and provide your valid tax file number before the census date, otherwise you will need to pay your fees upfront.
If you are an Australian citizen, permanent humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand special category visa holder enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place you may be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan.
HECS-HELP allows you to defer the payment of your student contribution, which is the portion of the fees that you are required to pay.
For more information see StudyAssist HECS-HELP.
If you are a domestic student enrolled in a full fee-paying course you may be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan, which allows you to defer payment of part or all of your tuition fees.
You may be eligible for FEE-HELP if you have not exceeded the HELP loan limit and:
- you are an Australian citizen, permanent humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand special category visa holder studying a full fee-paying course
- you are a permanent resident studying a bridging course for overseas-trained professionals and will be resident in Australia for the duration of the study.
If you are an Australian citizen, permanent humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand special category visa holder you may be eligible for an SA-HELP loan.
SA-HELP allows you to defer payment of your student services and amenities fee and add the amount to your accumulated HELP debt. You can apply for SA-HELP even if you do not have any other HELP loans.
To defer your SSAF payments with SA-HELP you need to complete an SA-HELP assistance form in MyInfo > Course details and submit it on or before the payment due date.
You only need to apply for SA-HELP once for each course you study.
For more information see Study Assist SA-HELP.
If you are enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place and will be taking part in a study abroad or exchange program or outgoing cross-institutional enrolment overseas you may be eligible for OS-HELP.
OS-HELP is a loan designed to help students studying part of their course overseas pay for airfares, accommodation or other travel costs associated with your overseas study.
To be eligible for an OS-HELP loan, you must:
- have been selected by your provider to receive an OS‑HELP loan
- be an Australian citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the residency requirements
- have not received an OS‑HELP loan on more than one other occasion
- be enrolled with a provider as a Commonwealth supported student and have completed one EFTSL of study (usually one year of full-time study), in Australia that counts towards the course you are enrolled in
- be studying full-time overseas and this study will count towards the course requirements for the Australian course you are enrolled in
- have at least 0.125 EFTSL of your course left to complete once you have finished your overseas study – usually one unit of study
- have a valid tax file number (TFN) at the time of applying
- have submitted an OS-HELP debt confirmation form to your provider; and
- have read the OS-HELP Statement of terms and conditions.
For more information see Study Assist OS-HELP and overseas study.