Fee payment assistance

There are four different Higher Education Loan Programs (HELP) available and most domestic students will be eligible for one or more. Two of these help you pay your tuition fees, one assists you in paying your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) and the other could make overseas study a reality for you.

HECS-HELP

If you’re in a Commonwealth supported place, this loan covers the student contribution part of your student fees.

Who is eligible?

You must:
  • be an Australian citizen, an eligible New Zealand citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa
  • meet residency requirements
  • be studying at least part of your course in Australia
  • meet the tax file number (TFN) requirements by giving Deakin your TFN or a certificate of application for a TFN from the Australian Taxation Office
  • be enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP).

Visit the Study Assist website for more information

What the loan covers

  • The loan covers the student contribution part of your tuition fees.
  • The loan doesn’t cover your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), but if you're eligible, you can use SA-HELP to cover this fee.

Read more about the SSAF

How it works

If you're eligible for HECS-HELP, here's how it works:

  • Pay all of your student contribution upfront to Deakin, or;
  • Defer your payment of student contributions through a HECS-HELP loan (and the taxation system), for the full amount of your student contribution, or;
  • Pay some of your student contribution upfront and receive a HECS-HELP loan to defer the balance.

You can change your decision at any time before the census date.

  • If you're using HECS-HELP, the Commonwealth pays the loan amount directly to Deakin on your behalf, and a HECS-HELP debt is recorded for you with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • You'll be issued with an online Commonwealth Assistance Notice (eCAN) each study period detailing any amount deferred to the ATO.
  • HECS-HELP applies for the duration of your course. If you intermit (temporarily suspend) your studies, your HECS-HELP status will remain in place but if you transfer to another course you’ll need to complete a new HECS-HELP form.

How to apply

  • When you enrol through StudentConnect with us, simply complete the Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF). 
  • If completed correctly, your form will automatically be approved when you submit.
  • On the form you’ll need to elect to defer or pay your fees upfront.
Paying upfront

If you elect to pay your fees upfront, the full amount of your student contribution will show as owing on your invoice. You can make payments of any amount as long as it is before the invoice due date. You can also enter your TFN so that if you can't pay your fees or forget to, they'll defer to HECS-HELP. 

Deferring your fees to HECS-HELP

If you elect to defer your fees, your student contributions will be reported through the Department of Education and Training to the ATO. So you can start paying your loan back when your income reaches the threshold set by the Government.

FEE-HELP

A FEE-HELP loan covers your tuition fees if you’re a fee-paying student (rather than in a Commonwealth supported place).

Who is eligible?

You must:
  • be an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen, holder of a permanent humanitarian visa or a permanent resident who is undertaking a bridging course for overseas-trained professionals
  • meet residency requirements
  • meet the tax file number (TFN) requirements by giving Deakin your TFN or a certificate of application for a TFN from the Australian Taxation Office
  • be a fee-paying student
  • be studying an eligible course.

Eligible courses are:

  • accredited undergraduate and postgraduate award programs
  • bridging courses for overseas-trained professionals to enable them to meet entry requirements for their profession in Australia
  • courses to enable students to meet the requirements for entry into an award program.

What the loan covers

The loan covers your tuition fees.

It doesn’t cover your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). Eligible students can use SA-HELP to cover this fee. 

Find out more about SSAF

How it works

If you're eligible for FEE-HELP, here's how it works:

  • The Commonwealth pays the loan amount directly to Deakin on your behalf and a FEE-HELP debt is recorded for you with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
  • You'll be issued with an online Commonwealth Assistance Notice (eCAN) each enrolled study period, detailing any amount deferred to the ATO.
  • If you choose to make payments directly to Deakin before the invoice due date, unlike HECS-HELP, there is no discount available. Alternatively, once the FEE-HELP debt has been reported to the ATO you can make voluntary repayments to them of any amount.
  • FEE-HELP applies for the duration of your course so if you intermit (temporarily suspend) your studies your FEE-HELP form will remain in place. 
  • If you transfer to another course you will need to complete a new FEE-HELP form.

FEE-HELP maximum amounts

The FEE-HELP limit is the maximum that you can borrow under FEE-HELP over your lifetime. 

This limit excludes the loan fee of 25%, which is applied to FEE-HELP loans for undergraduate courses of study and changes each year.

2016

  • All courses except medicine, dentistry and veterinary science: $99,389
  • Medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses: $124,238

2017

  • All courses except medicine, dentistry and veterinary science: $100,879
  • Medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses: $126,101

How to apply

  • Simply complete the online Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) on StudentConnect when you enrol.
  • If completed correctly your form will automatically be approved when you submit.
  • You'll only need to apply for FEE-HELP once within a course and it will carry over for each study period for as long as the course lasts. If you change courses or start a new one, complete another eCAF.

SA-HELP

You can request a loan from the Commonwealth to cover your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), whether you're also taking out a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan or not. The SA-HELP form is not the same as the FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP form.

If using other HELP loans, the SA-HELP loan amount will be added to your accumulated HELP debt.

Who is eligible?

You must:
  • be an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen, or hold a permanent humanitarian visa and meet residency requirements
  • be enrolled in an eligible course of study with Deakin
  • meet the tax file number (TFN) requirements by giving Deakin your TFN or a certificate of application for a TFN from the Australian Taxation Office.

What the loan covers

The loan covers the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).

How it works

  • The Commonwealth pays the loan amount directly to Deakin on your behalf and a SA-HELP debt is recorded for you with the ATO. 
  • You will be issued with a Commonwealth Assistance notice (eCAN) each enrolled study period. This will detail any amount deferred to the ATO.

How to apply

  • To apply for SA-HELP, complete the SA-HELP form online. This is a different form to the HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP forms.
  • Request a loan for the full amount of the SA-HELP fee.
  • If completed correctly, your form will automatically be approved when you submit.

OS-HELP

The purpose of OS-HELP is to help you with travel expenses such as airfares and accommodation. Only current students can apply for OS-HELP.

Find out more about OS-HELP at the Study Assist website

Who is eligible?

You must:
  • be an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa
  • be enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate course of study at Deakin in a Commonwealth supported place (eligible for HECS-HELP)
  • have already successfully completed at least eight credit points (1 EFTSL) in the same course of study as the one in which the overseas study is being undertaken
  • have at least one credit point (0.125 EFTSL) of study remaining to complete on your course after your overseas study is finished
  • be enrolled full time in an approved study program and will be undertaking that study outside Australia
  • have your overseas study count as credit towards your enrolled Deakin course
  • not have received OS-HELP assistance for overseas study on more than one other occasion (not including supplementary amounts for Asian language study)
  • not have received OS-HELP for overseas study that commenced within six months of each other
  • not have been granted OS-HELP assistance by another university for an overlapping six-month period
  • be selected to take part in an overseas program by Deakin 
  • not have completed the overseas study before making an application for an OS-HELP loan.

How we choose recipients

Annual funding from the Commonwealth Government is limited. If more applications are received than Deakin has funds to provide, loans will be awarded on the following basis to students:

  • who are undertaking study in the current academic year
  • who can demonstrate financial hardship and/or educational disadvantage
  • with the highest weighted average marks in their current course.

How it works

  • You can borrow one loan (up to the maximum amount) per six-month study period. Even if your overseas study isn't for the full six-month period, you won’t be able to receive another OS-HELP loan for any other overseas study you may do during that six-month period.
  • The six-month study period starts on the first day of your overseas study.
  • OS-HELP doesn’t operate on a trimester or semester basis and you can only receive a maximum of two OS-HELP loans over your lifetime.

OS-HELP maximum amounts

2017

  • The maximum amount you can borrow in 2017 is $6567 for overseas study not in Asia.
  • If you’re studying in one of 26 eligible countries in Asia the maximum is $7880, plus a supplementary amount of $1050 if you’ll be studying an Asian language in preparation for your study in Asia.

How to apply

You can only apply once you’ve begun your course at Deakin.

Repaying your HELP loan

You'll need to start repaying your debt as soon as your income is above the HELP repayment threshold (which is adjusted every year), even if you're still studying. 

How much you'll repay each year will be a percentage proportionate to what your income is. The ATO will include the repayment in your income tax notice of assessment. You can make voluntary repayments at any time, for any amount, to the ATO.

Find out about repaying your loan on the Study Assist website

Late withdrawal from courses

When you withdraw from or intermit (suspend) a unit, or your course, you may have to pay fees or receive an academic penalty (e.g. a grade of withdrawn fail), depending on the date you withdraw.

We understand that life sometimes gets in the way of study. If you do need to withdraw from one of your units, or even your whole course of study, you might be eligible for a refund or remission of your course fees.

Useful websites on financial assistance

Study Assist

This website provides up-to-date information about Australian Government assistance for financing tertiary study.

Visit the Study Assist website or call 1800 020 108

Centrelink assistance for students

Assistance with living expenses is available for students through Centrelink benefits, healthcare cards and help paying a bond when renting.

Find out about student payments from the Department of Human Services

If you are a postgraduate student, find out if your course is approved for Centrelink purposes

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

As well as managing your loan repayments after you graduate, the ATO provides information about different study and training support loans.

See the ATO's information about student loans