Australian Government proposed changes to university fees
The Australian Government has proposed a range of changes that will affect the fees that universities can charge and the way students will repay debt accumulated under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). The information published on this website is subject to change.
For the most up-to-date information, visit the Australian Government's Study Assist website.
- Types of courses
- Commonwealth-supported place (CSP) courses
- Domestic fee-paying (DFEE) courses
- Other fees and charges
Types of courses
Your course costs will depend on the type of course you enrol in. There are two main types of courses for domestic students:
- CSP: Commonwealth-supported place (CSP)
- DFEE: domestic fee-paying (DFEE).
CSP courses typically cost you less than equivalent DFEE courses because the cost of CSP courses is subsidised by the Australian Government.
Not all institutions offer CSP courses and not all institutions offer DFEE courses.
A small number of courses are:
- ADF: sponsored by the Australian Defence Force (ie student contribution paid by the Australian Defence Force)
- C3F: three years Commonwealth-supported, fourth year fee-paying place
- CBF: a combination of CSP and DFEE (ie Bachelor program is CSP, Masters program is DFEE)
- ENA: Commonwealth-supported and exempt from student contributions
- OTH: domestic fee-paying with no government loan scheme for students
- VET: domestic fee-paying with VET Student Loans for eligible students.
Course types are identified in the relevant course descriptions in UAC's course search.
Commonwealth-supported place (CSP) courses
When you study in a CSP course, you only have to pay part of the cost of your course (a student contribution) and the Australian Government pays the remainder of the cost.
The amount you pay for your student contribution depends on the institution and the type of course. Each institution sets its own student contribution level for each unit of study within a range set by the Australian Government. The range varies depending on the area of study. These amounts are indexed each year and are based on one year of full-time study.
The Australian Government groups the ranges into 'bands'.
|Student contribution band||Student contribution range in 2017|
|Band 1: humanities, behavioural science, social studies, education, clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, nursing||$0–$6,349|
|Band 2: computing, built environment, other health,
allied health, engineering, surveying, agriculture,
mathematics, statistics, science
|Band 3: law, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science,
accounting, administration, economics, commerce
Paying your student contribution
Australian citizens and holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa can pay their student contribution in three different ways:
- pay the entire student contribution up-front
- receive a HECS-HELP loan for all of the student contribution
- pay some of the student contribution up-front and receive a HECS-HELP loan for the balance.
All CSP students must submit a ‘Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP’ form, regardless of their payment option (including up-front payers). The institution will give you the form.
Repayments for HECS-HELP loans are based on income and are made through the taxation system, so you must have a tax file number. Students don't have to start repaying their HECS-HELP loan until their income reaches a certain level.
New Zealand citizens and holders of an Australian permanent resident visa (other than an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) don't have access to HECS-HELP loans and must pay all of the student contribution up-front.
Check institution websites for information about student contributions.
For more information about HECS-HELP loans, visit the Australian Government's Study Assist website.
Remember: HECS-HELP is only available to Australian citizens and holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.
Tax file numbers
Students who plan to pay their student contributions through the HECS-HELP scheme must have a tax file number (TFN).
Apply online through the Australian Taxation Office website.
Domestic fee-paying (DFEE) courses
DFEE courses typically cost you more than equivalent CSP courses because you pay the full cost of your course (a tuition fee). There is no subsidy from the Australian Government.
The amount you pay for your tuition fee depends on the institution and the type of course. Each institution sets its own tuition fee for each DFEE course. You can find DFEE courses through the course search.
Paying your tuition fee
Australian citizens and holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa can pay their tuition fee in three different ways:
- pay the entire tuition fee up-front
- receive a FEE-HELP loan or VET Student Loan (which replaced the VET FEE-HELP scheme from 1 January 2017) for the whole tuition fee
- pay some of the tuition fee up-front and receive a FEE-HELP loan or VET Student Loan for the balance.
FEE-HELP is a loan scheme that helps eligible fee-paying students pay all or part of their tuition fees.
VET Student Loans help eligible students studying higher level vocational education and training (VET) qualifications (Diploma level and above) pay their tuition fees.
New Zealand citizens and holders of an Australian permanent resident visa (other than an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) don't have access to HELP loans and must pay the tuition fee up-front.
In 2017, FEE-HELP loans and VET Student Loans allow students to borrow a total of $100,879 (or $126,101 for medicine, dentistry or veterinary science). Repayments for these loans are based on income and are made through the taxation system. Students don't have to start repaying their loan until their income reaches a certain level.
FEE-HELP loans are subject to a 25 per cent loan fee and VET Student Loans are subject to a 20 per cent loan fee.
For more information, visit the Australian Government's Study Assist website.
Other fees and charges
Read the institution entries for more information on fees and charges.