Financial assistance


Finance shouldn’t be a barrier to attending university. The Australian Government offers several loan schemes for domestic students to help you better manage the cost of study.

Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)

The Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) consists of five schemes to support students with the cost of their education. For university students, the most relevant are:

  • HECS-HELP (for undergraduate programs and a select number of postgraduate coursework programs),
  • FEE-HELP (for most postgraduate coursework programs),
  • SA-HELP (for the student services and amenities fee), and
  • OS-HELP (for current UQ students who want to undertake part of their studies overseas). 

Higher Education reforms

On 1 May 2017, the Australian Government proposed a range of reforms, including changes to government subsidies, Commonwealth support and HELP loans. For information about how these reforms may affect you, see the Australian Government’s Study Assist website.


HECS‑HELP is a loan scheme for students enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP).

Almost all domestic undergraduate students are enrolled in a CSP. A small number of postgraduate coursework programs have CSPs available. 

To be eligible for HECS-HELP you must be:

  • enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place, and be
  • an Australian citizen, or 
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder, or 
  • a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets relevant residency requirements.

Holders of other permanent visas are not eligible for HECS-HELP.

Apply for a HECS-HELP loan after you are accepted to study at the University:

For more information, visit HECS-HELP FAQs or contact Student Fees.


FEE‑HELP is a loan scheme for eligible fee-paying students.

You can apply for FEE-HELP if you:

  • have not exceeded the FEE‑HELP limit, and you
  • are an Australian citizen, or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder, or
  • a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets relevant residency requirements. 

FEE-HELP is not available to students who have been accepted into a Commonwealth Supported Place. If you are a Commonwealth Supported student, you need to apply for HECS-HELP.

FEE-HELP loans are capped. The amount you can borrow is set by the Australian Government

The FEE‑HELP cap is a lifetime limit. The cap is not reset or renewed when you make a repayment. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or text books.

Apply for a FEE-HELP loan after you are accepted to study at the University:

For more information, visit FEE-HELP FAQs or contact Student Fees


SA-HELP is a loan scheme that helps eligible students pay their Student Services and Amenities Fee.

If you use SA-HELP, the amount will be added onto your existing HELP debt (i.e. your HECS-HELP debt, or your FEE-HELP debt).

You can also use SA-HELP if you do not want to take out any other HELP loan. A tax file number is required to obtain SA-HELP.

Apply for an SA-HELP loan after you are accepted to study at the University:

  • Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders must submit a Request for SA-HELP Assistance form via mySI-net by the relevant due date. You only need to apply once for your program.
  • New Zealand Special Category visa holders must contact Student Fees.

For more information, visit SA-HELP or contact Student Fees.

Repaying your debt

Your HELP debt is repaid via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) once your income reaches the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment – even if you are still studying.

The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year. For more information, visit the Study Assist website

Centrelink student services

The Australian Government provides three income-support payments for Australian tertiary students: Youth Allowance, Austudy, and ABSTUDY.

Youth Allowance is the Commonwealth Government Student Assistance Scheme that provides financial aid to full-time tertiary students under the age of 25. If you are over 25, you can apply for Austudy.

ABSTUDY provides financial assistance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Other schemes include:

  • Student Start-up Loan
  • Relocation Scholarship
  • interest-free advance loan where part of allowance is paid as lump-sum advance
  • Pensioner Education Supplement (PES)
  • Low Income Health Care Card
  • Fares Allowance
  • Child Care Benefit or Rebate, or JET Child Care Fee Assistance (if you have children in your care).

For more information contact Centrelink.

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