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Important notice - Higher Education reforms announcement
The Australian Government has announced a range of reforms to improve the higher education sector. These reforms will deliver a more sustainable sector, more choices for students and increase transparency and accountability in higher education.
For more information about how these changes might affect you, click here.
For more detail about the reform measures, visit the Department of Education and Training Higher Education Reforms webpage (opens in a new tab).
From 1 January 2016, New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holders may be eligible to access HELP loans provided they came to Australia as a dependent child and meet the relevant residency criteria. This page will be updated shortly. In the interim, for more information, please read the information at: FAQs NZ (opens in a new window)
FEE‑HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible fee paying students pay all or part of their tuition fees. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or text books. The total amount of FEE‑HELP a person can use is known as the ‘FEE‑HELP limit’.
Once a person begins using FEE‑HELP, the amount of FEE‑HELP they have left to use is known as their ‘FEE‑HELP balance’.
Am I eligible for FEE‑HELP?
You are eligible for FEE‑HELP if you:
- are studying at an approved FEE‑HELP provider (approved provider) or through Open Universities Australia (OUA);
- meet the citizenship and residency requirements:
- you are an Australian citizen or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency criteria and who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to your course; OR
- you are a permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit; OR
- you are a permanent visa holder who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of the study;
- are enrolled in an eligible unit of study by the census date for that unit; and
- have not exceeded the FEE‑HELP limit (see below).
How much can I borrow?
Eligible students can borrow up to the FEE‑HELP limit to pay their tuition fees.
For 2016, the FEE‑HELP limit is $99,389 for most students. For students undertaking medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses (as defined in the Higher Education Support Act 2003) the FEE‑HELP limit is $124,238.
For 2017, the FEE‑HELP limit is $100,879 for most students. For students undertaking medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses (as defined in the Higher Education Support Act 2003) the FEE‑HELP limit is $126,101.
Note that the higher FEE‑HELP limit only applies to courses that lead to initial registration to practise in those fields. The lower limit will apply to any further study you undertake once you have gained the requisite level for initial registration.
The FEE‑HELP limit is a lifetime limit and is not reset or ‘topped up’ by any repayments that you make. The FEE‑HELP limit is the total amount available to eligible students under the FEE‑HELP, VET Student Loans and VET FEE‑HELP loan schemes. This means that any amount you borrow under FEE‑HELP, VET Student Loans or VET FEE‑HELP will reduce your FEE‑HELP balance until you have reached the FEE‑HELP limit.Return to top
Is there a loan fee?
There is a loan fee of 25% for FEE‑HELP loans for undergraduate courses of study only. The loan fee does not count towards your FEE‑HELP limit.
The loan fee does not apply for:
- postgraduate study, including higher degrees by research;
- enabling courses;
- units of study undertaken through Open Universities Australia; or
- bridging study for overseas-trained professionals.
Am I studying at an approved FEE‑HELP provider?
Not all providers are approved to offer FEE‑HELP loans. You can only access FEE‑HELP at a university or other private higher education institution that has been approved under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to offer FEE‑HELP to eligible students. Some approved providers also offer access to units of study through OUA.
For a list of providers who are approved to offer FEE‑HELP, see Providers that offer Commonwealth assistance.Return to top
Can I use FEE‑HELP for all my units of study?
You can only use FEE‑HELP for eligible units of study. An eligible unit of study is a subject or unit which:
- is part of a domestic fee paying course of study leading to a higher education award (e.g. Bachelor Degree, Graduate Diploma, Doctor of Philosophy etc) with an approved provider or undertaken through OUA;
- is part of bridging studies for overseas-trained professionals.
You may also be eligible for FEE‑HELP if you are undertaking an enabling course. Your approved provider will inform you if your course is classified as enabling.Return to top
Will previous study or other debts affect my eligibility?
No (unless you have already reached your FEE‑HELP limit). Any previous study you have undertaken, and any other financial debts you may have incurred will not affect your eligibility to access a FEE‑HELP loan. As long as you meet the above eligibility criteria and have enough of your FEE‑HELP balance (see below) left to cover your tuition fees, you will be able to access FEE‑HELP.
Remember, the FEE‑HELP limit is a lifetime limit. Any loans used under FEE‑HELP, VET Student Loans or VET FEE‑HELP will reduce your FEE‑HELP balance until you have reached the FEE‑HELP limit.Return to top
How do I apply?
See Applying for FEE‑HELP for information on how to apply for a FEE‑HELP loan.Return to top
How do I repay my FEE‑HELP loan?
See the Loan repayment page for information on repaying your loan.Return to top