Government HELP schemes (HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, SA-HELP and OS-HELP)

As a domestic student, there could be a Government scheme to help you meet the cost of studying.

HECS-HELP

If you are enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), HECS-HELP provides you with a loan to cover your tuition fees (student contribution) and/or a discount if you choose to pay all, or at least $500, of your tuition fees (student contribution) amount up front. HECS-HELP can only help you cover your tuition fees (student contribution) and does not cover your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).

If you take out a HECS-HELP loan, 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.

Be aware there may be other fees or charges you'll need to pay which are not covered by HELP.  You should check your invoice on StudentConnect to see if you have any outstanding amounts. 

HECS-HELP applies for the duration of your course even if you intermit your studies your HECS-HELP form will remain in place. One HECS-HELP form per course. If you transfer to another course you will need to complete a new HECS-HELP form.

If you need further help, contact Student Central.

Eligibility criteria

  • Students must be Australian citizens or holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, in a CSP
  • Holders of a permanent visa in a CSP are unable to access this loan scheme and are required to pay the full student contribution amount up front.
  • From January 1 2016 eligible New Zealand citizens may defer their fees to HECS-HELP. Find out more.

Note From 1 January 2013, a person will not be eligible for Commonwealth support or a HELP loan if a higher education provider reasonably expects the person will not undertake any of their course of study in Australia.

Requesting HECS-HELP (How to apply)

If you would like to access HECS-HELP please complete an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) via StudentConnect.  You will initially complete this form as part of your enrolment process. 

When completing the eCAF, if you are eligible for HECS-HELP, you will need to elect to defer or pay your fees upfront. 

  • If you elect to pay your fees upfront, the full amount of your tuition fees (student contribution) will show as owing on your invoice.  You can make payment of any amount as long as you make payment before the invoice due date.
  • if you elect to defer your fees, your tuition fees (student contributions) will be reported through the Department of Education and Training to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Any payment you make will not be applied to your fees as you have elected to defer your fees through HECS-HELP..  If you would like to make a payment please elect to pay your fees upfront.  You can change your election any time before the census date.

To check your HECS-HELP form has been completed correctly log into StudentConnect and generate an invoice.  If your tuition fees (student contribution) amount does not display as needing to be paid and you have provided your Tax File Number, your form has been completed correctly.  Otherwise you can contact Student Central to make sure your eCAF (electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form] has been completed correctly.

There is no cap on the amount of HECS-HELP you can access.

You will also be issued with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (eCAN) each enrolled study period.  This will detail any amount deferred to the ATO.

If you need further help, contact Student Central.

Changes in citizenship status

If you have changed your citizenship status you must:

  • have attended your Citizenship ceremony before the Census date for your relevant teaching period
  • provide a certified copy of your citizenship certificate to the University in order to be eligible for HELP loans for that study period.

Access to HECS-HELP cannot be made retrospectively for previous study periods.

Student contribution payment methods

  • Pay all of your student contribution up front and receive a HECS-HELP discount of 10% i.e. you only pay 90% of your contribution amount.
  • Receive a HECS-HELP loan for the full student contribution (previously referred to as deferring your HECS).
  • Pay some of your student contribution up front (and receive a 10% discount on payments over $500) and receive a HECS-HELP loan for the balance.

More information

For HELP repayment or eligibility information visit the StudyAssist website. If you need help completing your form contact Student Central.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) keeps track of your accumulated HELP debt through the tax system. They are able to provide you with a record of your HELP loan (or loans), indexation amounts, voluntary and compulsory repayments, and any benefits, bonuses and discounts. For more information visit the ATO's website.

FEE-HELP

FEE-HELP is a loan programme that assists eligible fee paying students to pay their tuition fees at higher education providers. FEE-HELP can only help you cover your tuition fees  and does not cover your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).

If you take out a FEE-HELP loan, 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.

Be aware there may be other fees or charges you'll need to pay which are not covered by HELP.  You should check your invoice on StudentConnect to see if you have any outstanding amounts. 

FEE-HELP applies for the duration of your course if you intermit 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.

If you need further help, contact Student Central.

Eligibility criteria

Citizenship 

  • Students must be Australian citizens or holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, in a fee-paying place
  • Holders of other permanent visas are not eligible for FEE-HELP unless they are undertaking a bridging course for overseas trained professionals
  • From January 1 2016 eligible New Zealand citizens may defer their fees to FEE-HELP. Find out more.

From 1 January 2013, a person will not be eligible for a HELP loan if a higher education provider reasonably expects the person will not undertake any of their course of study in Australia.

Courses eligible for FEE-HELP

  • Accredited undergraduate award programs
  • Accredited postgraduate award programs
  • Bridging courses for overseas trained professionals to enable them to meet the requirements for entry into their profession in Australia
  • Courses to enable students to meet the requirements for entry into an award program
  • Units of study made available by higher education providers, access to which was provided by Open Learning Australia

Is FEE-HELP means tested?  

No, FEE-HELP is not means tested.  if you meet the citizenship criteria and studying an eligible course you can access FEE-HELP.

FEE-HELP limits

Year

Limit

2016 $99 389
$124 238 for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science
2017$100 879
$126 101 for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science

The FEE-HELP limit is the maximum that a student can borrow under FEE-HELP over their lifetime. This limit excludes any loan fee.

A loan fee of 25% applies to FEE-HELP loans for undergraduate courses of study only.

Tuition fee payments 

Prior to the invoice due date you can still make payments directly to Deakin, however unlike HECS-HELP there is no discount available on these payments.  Alternatively once the FEE-HELP debt has been reported to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) you can make voluntary repayments to them of any amount.  Further information on how to make a voluntary payment is available from ATO voluntary repayments.

Requesting FEE HELP (How to apply)

If you would like to access FEE-HELP please complete an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) via StudentConnect.

If completed correctly your form will be automatically approved upon submission.

To check your FEE-HELP form has been completed correctly log into StudentConnect and generate an invoice.  If you have provided your Tax File Number, your form has been completed correctly.  The tuition fees will still display as owing just in case you would like to make a payment.

You will also be issued with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (eCAN) each enrolled study period.  This will detail any amount deferred to the ATO.

You will 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 then you will need to complete another eCAF. HELP loans will automatically cease upon either completion or withdrawal from a course with no further action required.

If you need further help, contact Student Central.

More information

For HELP repayment information visit the StudyAssist or If you need help completing your form contact Student Central.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) keeps track of your accumulated HELP debt through the tax system. They are able to provide you with a record of your HELP loan (or loans), indexation amounts, voluntary and compulsory repayments, and any benefits, bonuses and discounts. For more information visit the ATO's website.

SA-HELP

Eligible students who do not wish to pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) upfront to the University can request assistance from the Commonwealth, and defer the fee through an element of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) known as SA-HELP.

The amount of the loan will be added to the student's accumulated HELP debt.

Student contribution payment methods

Eligible students may choose to:

  • pay some of the fee upfront and obtain a SA-HELP loan for the remainder
  • obtain a loan for the full amount of the fee.

Eligibility criteria

Students must:

  • be Australian citizens or holders of a permanent humanitarian visa who are residing in Australia
  • From January 1 2016 eligible New Zealand citizens may defer their fees to SA-HELP. Find out more.
  • be enrolled in an eligible course of study with a higher education provider
  • meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements
  • complete the online SA-HELP form by the census date each Trimester/Semester.

Requesting SA-HELP (How to apply)

To apply for SA-HELP go to StudentConnect and select the SA-HELP menu option.  This is a different form to HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP.

To check your SA-HELP form has been completed correctly log into StudentConnect and generate an invoice.  If the SSAF amount does not display as needing to be paid and you have provided your Tax File Number, your form has been completed correctly.  Otherwise you can contact Student Central to make sure.

You will also be issued with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (eCAN) each enrolled study period.  This will detail any amount deferred to the ATO.

If you need further help, contact Student Central.

More information

For HELP repayment or eligibility information visit the StudyAssist website. If you need help completing your form contact Student Central.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) keeps track of your accumulated HELP debt through the tax system. They are able to provide you with a record of your HELP loan (or loans), indexation amounts, voluntary and compulsory repayments, and any benefits, bonuses and discounts. For more information visit the ATO's website.

OS-HELP

OS-HELP is a loan scheme to assist eligible Commonwealth supported students, who are based in Australia, to undertake some of their study overseas. The purpose of OS-HELP is to assist students with their study travel expenses, such as airfares and accommodation.

Deakin University administers OS-HELP in accordance with the Department of Education guidelines.  The program operates on an application/offer/acceptance basis.  If your application is approved, a letter will be sent to your nominated address. You must complete and return the enclosed paperwork to enable the payment to be made.

Eligible students may borrow one loan (up to the maximum amount) per six-month study period. The six month study period starts on the first day of a student's overseas study.  Even if the student's overseas study is not for the full 6 months period, the student will not be able to receive an OS-HELP loan for any additional overseas study which commences during the 6 month period.  OS-HELP does not operate on a Trimester or Semester basis.

Students may only receive a maximum of two OS-HELP loans over their lifetime.

An OS-HELP debt will be incurred when the OS-HELP loan amount is paid into the student's nominated bank account by Deakin.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply for OS-HELP assistance, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen or the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa
  • be enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate course of study at Deakin University in a Commonwealth supported place (eligible for HECS-HELP)
  • have already successfully completed at least 8 credit points (1 EFTSL) in the same course of study as the one in which the overseas study is being undertaken
  • have at least 1 credit point (0.125 EFTSL) of study remaining to complete on your course after your overseas study is finished
  • be enrolled full-time in your overseas study program 
  • be enrolled in an approved overseas study program outside Australia
  • have your overseas study count as credit towards your enrolled Deakin course
  • have not received OS-HELP assistance for overseas study on more than one other occasion (not including supplementary amounts for Asian language study)
  • have not received OS-HELP for overseas study which commenced within six month's of each other
  • have not 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 and appropriately enrolled on Student Connect in the unit(s) required for that program
  • have not completed the overseas study before making an application for an OS-HELP loan.

If your enrolment does not meet all of the above criteria you are not eligible for an OS-HELP loan.  The eligibility detailed above is not discretionary, all conditions must be met.

View Frequently asked questions about OS-HELP


OS-HELP limit (maximum amount you can borrow):

2016: $6470

or $7764 if you are studying in Asia (in one of 26 eligible countries), plus a supplementary amount of $1035 if you will be undertaking Asian language study in preparation for study in Asia.

2017: $6567

or $7880 if you are studying in Asia (in one of 26 eligible countries), plus a supplementary amount of $1050 if you will be undertaking Asian language study in preparation for study in Asia.

How to apply for OS-HELP

Applications for the 2016 OS-HELP program close on 9 December 2016. Applications for 2017 will be available shortly. 

OS-HELP requires an application/offer process. Approval is not an automatic process and some applications may not meet the selection criteria. You should consider this before you make a financial commitment to your overseas study.

To apply for the 2016 OS-HELP loan program please complete the applicable application form below: 

Important information for H311 Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery students

Your OS-HELP application needs to be signed by your Clinical Supervisor before you submit it for review.

Selection criteria

Annual funding from the Australian Government is limited. If more applications are received than we have funding to provide, loans will be awarded on the following basis:

  • students who are undertaking study in the current academic year
  • students who can demonstrate financial hardship and/or educational disadvantage
  • allocated on the basis of academic merit using the students' weighted average marks in their current course.

Paying back HELP loans

You'll need to start repaying your debt as soon as your repayment income is above a certain threshold (which is adjusted every year) even if you're still studying. You can find further information through StudyAssist.

HELP changes

  • Student Start-up Loan to replace the Student Start-up Scholarship from 1 January 2016. More about scholarships.
  • The HECS-HELP discount of 10 per cent for eligible students who pay their student contributions upfront will cease at the end of 2016.
  • The voluntary HELP repayment bonus of five per cent available through the ATO will cease at the end of 2016.

Keep up to date and informed by visiting the StudyAssist.

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