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Fees and payment

Government HELP schemes

Higher education loan programme (HELP)

If you are:

  • an Australian citizen AND you will undertake at least one subject contributing to your course within Australia; OR
  • a holder of an permanent humanitarian visa*
  • From 1 January 2016, if you are a New Zealand citizen who is also a Special Category Visa (SCV) holder, and you meet the requisite residency criteria, you may be eligible to access HELP loans

a higher education loan programme (HELP) can help you with particular costs associated with higher education.

Most HELP loans allow you to defer your debt to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and your debt is indexed to the consumer price index (CPI).

Repayments for all HELP loans are contingent on income. Once your income reaches the repayment thresholds you must make compulsory repayments towards your HELP debt

In the 2016-17 income year you will be required make repayments towards your HELP debts if your income reaches $54,869.

For more information about making voluntary payments directly to the ATO, and any discounts that may apply, please visit the ATO website.

There are four HELP programmes:

  • HECS-HELP - a loan scheme to help eligible commonwealth supported students pay their student tuition fee contributions.
  • FEE-HELP - a loan scheme to help eligible domestic full fee paying students pay tuition fees.
  • OS-HELP - a loan available to eligible students who undertake some of their course overseas.
  • SA-HELP - a loan scheme that allows eligible students to defer payment of the Student Services and Amenities Fee.

HECS-HELP

If you are Commonwealth supported student who is:

  • an Australian citizen and you will undertake in Australia at least one subject contributing to your course, or
  • a holder of an permanent humanitarian visa* or
  • a New Zealand citizen who is also a Special Category Visa (SCV) holder, and you meet the requisite residency criteria, you may be eligible

then you are eligible for the HECS-HELP scheme.

You are not eligible for HECS-HELP and you are required to pay the full student contributions as an upfront payment if you are:

  • the holder of a permanent resident visa, or
  • a New Zealand citizen who does not meet the eligibility requirements.
     

If you are eligible for HECS-HELP you have a number of options when it comes to paying your student tuition fee contributions. You can:

  • make a full upfront payment of your student tuition fee contributions for all the units of study you are enrolled in
  • pay part of your student contribution upfront, and obtain a HECS-HELP loan or the remainder;
  • obtain a HECS-HELP loan for the full amount of your student tuition fee contribution.

The HECS-HELP discount will be removed from 1 January 2017. Until that date the current arrangements still apply for units of study that have a census date on or before 31 December 2016.

Further, more detailed information can be found in the booklet HECS-HELP Information 2017 (PDF 3,752kB, 36 pages), copies of which are also available from the UTS Student Centres. Please read this booklet prior o completing and submitting your Commonwealth assistance form (CAF).

The HECS-HELP Benefit is available to eligible graduates of courses in the fields of:

  • mathematics, statistics or science
  • education, nursing or midwifery
  • early childhood education.

The benefit is not a cash payment. It is a benefit that reduces your compulsory HELP repayment or for some early childhood educators, your accumulated HELP debt. For more information, contact the Australian Tax Office (opens an external site).

FEE-HELP

You may be eligible for the FEE-HELP loan scheme if you are a domestic full tuition fee-paying student who is:

  • an Australian citizen, and will undertake, in Australia, at least one subject contributing to your course within Australia, or
  • a holder of an permanent humanitarian visa*, or
  • a holder of a permanent visa who is undertaking a bridging course for overseas-trained professionals, who will be resident in Australia for the duration of the unit or
  • a New Zealand citizen who is also a Special Category Visa (SCV) holder, and you meet the requisite residency criteria, you may be eligible

The FEE-HELP loan scheme can assist eligible students to pay their tuition fees, by offering a HELP loan. FEE-HELP does not cover any other fees that might be payable as a result of your enrolment.

If you are eligible, FEE-HELP can cover all or part of your tuition fees, to a maximum amount - the FEE-HELP loan limit, over your lifetime.

In 2017, the lifetime FEE-HELP loan limit is $100,879. The loan limit is indexed each year.

If you request FEE-HELP you are responsible for ensuring that you have sufficient FEE-HELP balance to cover any tuition fees you wish to defer. You can check your FEE-HELP balance using Study Assist (opens an external site).A loan fee of 25% applies to FEE-HELP loans for undergraduate courses of study.

The FEE-HELP loan limit does not include the loan fee.

Further information can be found in the booklet FEE-HELP Information 2017 (PDF 533kB, 28 pages), copies of which are also available from the UTS Student Centres. Read this booklet prior to completing and submitting your request for Commonwealth assistance form (CAF).

 

SA-HELP

If you have been charged the Student Services and Amenities Fee and you are an:

  • an Australian citizen, and you will undertake, in Australia, at least one subject contributing to your course within Australia, or
  • a holder of an permanent humanitarian visa* or
  • a New Zealand citizen who is also a Special Category Visa (SCV) holder, and you meet the requisite residency criteria, you may be eligible then you may be eligible for the SA-HELP scheme.

The SA-HELP scheme allows you to defer payment of the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).

More detailed information can be found in the booklet SA-HELP Information 2017 (PDF 488kB, 16 pages), copies of which are also available from the UTS Student Centres. Read this booklet prior to completing and submitting your request for Commonwealth assistance form (CAF).

* You are considered to be a permanent humanitarian visa holder if you hold a permanent visa of a humanitarian sub-class as determined by Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

 

Changes for New Zealand citizens - 1st Jan 2016

The Australian Government recently passed legislation that will allow eligible New Zealand citizens to access HELP assistance.

From 1 January 2016, if you are a New Zealand citizen who is also a Special Category Visa (SCV) holder, and you meet the requisite residency criteria, you may be eligible to access HELP loans

This includes access to:

  • HECS-HELP; SA-HELP and OS-HELP for Commonwealth Supported students
  • FEE-HELP and SA-HELP for Domestic Fee-Paying students
  • SA-HELP for Domestic Higher Degree by Research students

Am I eligible?

If you are a New Zealand citizen holding a Special Category Visa (SCV)*, and you meet all the following criteria, you may be eligible for HELP assistance:

  • you first entered Australia as a dependent minor aged under 18 years of age
  • at that time you did not have a spouse or de facto partner
  • you have been physically present in Australia for at least 8 out of the past 10 years (meaning they first arrived 10 years ago as a dependent minor) and 18 months out of the past 2 years
  • you meet the other eligibility criteria for HELP assistance under the Higher Education Support Act (2003).

* If you also hold an Australian Permanent Resident visa, your SCV will cease, and you will not be eligible for HELP.

What proof do I need to provide?

As a guide, proof of residency may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Australian academic transcripts (including VET transcripts) dated when the applicant was a minor
  • School reports or certificates
  • Enrolment papers from when the applicant was a minor
  • Australian proof of age card from when the applicant was a minor
  • Australian student ID card or concession card
  • Stamped passport
  • Payslips or payment summaries from when the applicant was a minor
  • Completed Certificate of application for a Tax File Number form, Tax File Number advice or notification of assessment of income tax dated from when the applicant was a minor.

If necessary, applicants can also obtain copies of their international movement records from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship by lodging a Request for International Movement Records form (available at www.border.gov.au).

How do I apply?

Step 1:

Complete and lodge your request for Commonwealth assistance form (CAF) online though My Student Admin prior to the Census date of the current teaching period.

Note:

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) students: your form will have a status of ‘Approved’ – this indicates approval of your Commonwealth Supported Place ONLY. Eligibility to access HECS-HELP to defer your fees, or to receive the upfront payment discount, will only be assessed and confirmed as part of Step 2 below.

FEE-HELP and SA-HELP: your form will have a status of ‘Submitted by Student’. This indicates that you have not yet been assessed as eligible to receive HELP and you must complete Step 2 below.

Step 2:

Submit certified copies of your proof of residency and eligibility documents at a UTS Student Centre.

Once you are assessed as eligible to access HELP this will be confirmed in writing to your UTS student email address and the status of your CAF as showing in My Student Admin will then be updated.

Further information is available at Study Assist – FAQs NZ.