University course costs

The information published on this website is subject to change by the Australian Government. For the most up-to-date information, visit the Australian Government's Study Assist website.

Course costs for domestic students

The amount you pay for your course will depend on the type of course you are enrolled in. There are two main types of courses for domestic students:

  • Commonwealth-supported place (CSP)
  • Domestic fee-paying (DFEE) – most postgraduate courses are DFEE courses.

Other undergraduate course types include:

  • 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.

Students enrolled in a CSP course pay part of the cost of the course (a student contribution) and the Australian Government pays the remainder of the cost. As such, CSP courses typically cost less than equivalent DFEE courses. Some postgraduate courses have a limited number of CSP courses available.

The Australian Government classifies your courses into funding clusters. The amount you pay is usually the maximum allowed by the government. The maximum student contributions for 2022 are set out below.

These amounts are indexed each year and are based on one year of full-time study.

Funding clusterArea of study Max. student contribution in 2022
Funding Cluster 1law, accounting, administration, economics, commerce, communications, society and culture $14,630
Funding Cluster 2education, clinical psychology, English, mathematics, statistics $3,985

allied health, other health, built environment, computing, visual and performing arts, professional pathway psychology, professional pathway social work $8,021
Funding Cluster 3nursing, Indigenous and foreign languages$3,985
engineering, surveying, environmental studies, science$8,021
Funding Cluster 4agriculture$3,985
pathology$8,021
medicine, dentistry, veterinary science$11,401

To pay their student contribution, Australian citizens and holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa can either:

  • pay the entire student contribution up-front,
  • receive a HECS-HELP loan for all of the student contribution, or
  • pay some of the student contribution up-front and receive a HECS-HELP loan for the balance.

Holders of an Australian permanent resident visa must pay all of the student contribution upfront.

All CSP students must submit a ‘Request for Commonwealth support and HECS‑HELP’ form, regardless of their payment option (including upfront payers). The institution will give you the form.

You don’t have to start repaying your HECS-HELP loan until your income reaches a certain level. Repayments are based on income and are made through the taxation system so you must have a tax file number.

New Zealand citizens who are Special Category Visa (SCV) holders and meet the requisite criteria can also access the loans. Other New Zealand citizens don’t have access to HECS-HELP loans and must pay all of the student contribution upfront.

For more information, visit the Australian Government's Study Assist website.

Students enrolled in a DFEE course pay the full cost of their course. As DFEE courses are not subsidised by the Australian Government they will typically cost more than equivalent CSP courses. Tuition fees are set by the respective institution.

Australian citizens and holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa can pay their tuition fee in one of three ways:

  • pay the entire tuition fee up-front
  • receive a FEE-HELP loan or VET Student Loan for the whole tuition fee
  • pay some of the tuition fee upfront and receive a FEE-HELP loan or VET Student Loan for the balance.

Holders of an Australian permanent resident visa must pay the tuition fee upfront.

FEE-HELP loans and VET Student Loans

FEE-HELP loans help 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.

Loan fees

FEE-HELP loans and VET Student Loans are subject to a 20% loan fee.

The loan fee does not apply to students at Torrens University, the University of Notre Dame Australia, Bond University or the University of Divinity. Postgraduate students are also exempt.

You don't have to start repaying these loans until your income reaches a certain level. You must have a tax file number (TFN) since repayments are made through the taxation system. Apply for a TFN online through the Australian Taxation Office.

New Zealand citizens and holders of an Australian permanent resident visa must pay their DFEE tuition fees upfront. For more information, visit the Australian Government's Study Assist website.

The HELP loan limit is a cap on what you can borrow from the Australian Government to cover the costs of your tuition fees. The HELP loan limit includes all HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans.

In 2022, the HELP loan limit is $109,206.

The loan limit is $156,847 if you’re studying:

  • medicine
  • dentistry
  • veterinary science
  • an eligible aviation course.

You don’t have to start repaying your loan until your income reaches a certain level.

You will not be eligible for any Australian Government assistance if you have a fail rate of more than 50 per cent in your tertiary studies. This is referred to as a 'low completion rate'.

How a low completion rate impacts your HELP loan

Course costs for international students

Tuition fees and related policies are set by the respective institution and are subject to change. Tuition fees are based on an average course load, which may vary depending on your exact enrolment. The indicative annual tuition fees are provided in the course descriptions, which you can access via the course search.

Tuition fees generally cover teaching costs and may also include:

  • reception at the airport nearest to campus
  • assistance in finding accommodation
  • orientation program
  • access to all available student services and facilities
  • special uniforms for nursing courses.

Tuition fees do not include:

  • accommodation expenses
  • costs of textbooks, course materials, study aids and equipment
  • living expenses such as food, transport and clothing
  • costs of field trips
  • health cover and medical costs.

Student Services and Amenities Fee

Most (but not all) institutions charge a Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) for student services and amenities of a non-academic nature, regardless of whether students intend to use the services and amenities provided.

The SSAF is indexed annually and may be spent on amenities and services such as sporting and recreational activities, employment and career advice, child care, financial advice and food services. For more information on the SSAF, visit the Australian Government's Department of Education and Training website.