When you attend university or an approved higher education provider, you can get a FEE-HELP loan to pay all or part of your tuition fees.
A FEE-HELP loan does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or text books.
Your provider will assess your eligibility for a HELP loan against the criteria below. If you have any questions, please contact your provider.
To get a FEE-HELP loan, you must:
- be an Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia.
- be a New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements.
- be enrolled in a fee-paying place at a provider that offers FEE-HELP loans.
- be enrolled in an eligible course at your provider by the census date (your provider can tell you if your course is eligible).
- submit the Request for FEE-HELP form to your provider by the census date.
- not have already borrowed up to your FEE-HELP limit.
- If you are studying at a non-university, you will also need to meet the 'pass rate' requirements.
You can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay your tuition fees.
For 2019, the FEE-HELP limit is $104,440. If you plan to study medicine, dentistry or veterinary science leading to initial registration, the FEE-HELP limit is $150,000.
This does not mean you get that amount each year. The FEE-HELP limit is currently a lifetime limit.
From 1 January 2020, there will be a new combined HELP loan limit in place, which includes HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and Vet Student Loans.
Once you begin using FEE-HELP, the amount of FEE-HELP you have left is known as your 'FEE-HELP balance'.
You can check your FEE-HELP balance on myUniAssist.
To check your balance you need to know your Commonwealth higher education student support number (CHESSN). A CHESSN is a unique identifying number. It is important that you only have one CHESSN.
If you began your current enrolment with a non-university higher education provider on or after 1 January 2018 and apply for FEE-HELP, the 50% pass rate will apply.
This means that once you have undertaken 4 or more units in a sub-bachelor level course, or 8 or more units in bachelor and above level courses, you must have passed at least 50% of your total attempted units in order to remain eligible for FEE-HELP. For example, if you are enrolled in a diploma course and in Trimester 1 you undertake 4 units and fail 3, you will not be eligible to access FEE-HELP in Trimester 2. You would have needed to pass at least 2 units.
Then if in Trimester 2, having paid for your units upfront you undertook another 4 units (8 units in total), you would need to pass 3 of those in order to re-establish your FEE-HELP eligibility in Trimester 3 (i.e. 8 units attempted and 4 passed).
What you need to ensure is that you pass at least 50% of your total attempted units across your course of study. Otherwise you will have to pay the tuition fees upfront until you improve your pass rate.
Note: OUA has its own pass rate requirements in place, where a student must undertake 8 or more units for the pass rate to apply.
If you get a FEE-HELP loan to pay for your undergraduate course, you will have to pay a 25% loan fee*
The loan fee does NOT apply to you if:
- you study at Bond University, the University of Notre Dame Australia, Torrens University or the University of Divinity and your unit of study has a census date after 1 January 2019,
- your course is postgraduate study (including higher degrees by research) or is an enabling course,
- you are enrolled in units of study through Open Universities Australia, or
- you are getting a FEE-HELP loan to pay for approved bridging studies.
*The loan fee does not count towards your FEE-HELP limit.
To get a FEE-HELP loan, you will need a tax file number (TFN) and a Request for FEE-HELP assistance form, which your provider will give you.
Your form must be filled in and submitted to your provider before the census date (or administrative date).