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The Job-ready Graduates Package – higher education reforms will see funding arrangements change across priority disciplines. This means the amount and how you pay your course fees may be different next year depending on your study plans. We've compiled some of the most popular questions regarding the new reforms to help you better understand how it may impact you.
What is a Commonwealth supported place (CSP)?
A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is a university place for which the Government pays a proportion of your tuition fees. Students enrolled in these places contribute to part of the cost of their course. This is referred to as a 'student contribution'. Sometimes you may hear it referred to as HECS or CSP. CSP students may also be eligible for HECS-HELP to help pay for their studies.
What is HECS-HELP?
HECS-HELP is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible Commonwealth supported place (CSP) students pay their tuition fees. If you're eligible for a HECS-HELP loan, the Government will pay your tuition fees on your behalf until you're able to repay your loan from your employment income.
I started studying before 1 January 2021 – will my fees change?
If you were enrolled before 1 January 2021 and are continuing in your course and studying units in disciplines with increased student contribution amounts, you will not pay those new rates. You're considered a continuing student on the grandfathering rates. If you are enrolled in units that will be subject to a lower student contribution amount under the new design, you will pay the new lower student contribution, regardless of when you commenced your course.
How does the HECS‑HELP discount work if I pay only part of my student contribution up front?
You can receive the HECS‑HELP discount for upfront student contribution payments of $500 or more if you are eligible for HECS‑HELP assistance. You will receive a discount of 10 percent on the upfront payment. You may choose to pay some of your student contributions upfront and defer the rest with a HECS‑HELP loan.
For example, if you make an upfront payment of $900, the government will pay one‑ninth of $900, being $100. So you get the benefit of reducing your fees by $1000. You can then pay for the remainder of your student contribution amount with a HECS‑HELP loan.
I have just finished school. The course I want to study has now become more expensive. What should I do?
If you are an eligible domestic university student, you can still defer your upfront costs through a HECS-HELP loan. If you want to study at university, you should continue to consider all relevant aspects of this big decision. Like in high school, students tend to do best when they study the things that they are interested in.
If I apply for a course transfer for Trimester 1 2021, will I pay the new CSP rates?
Yes, if you transfer into a new course and your first enrolment in that course is in 2021, the new Commonwealth supported place (CSP) rates will apply. If you transfer into the new course in Trimester 3 2020 and you remain enrolled after the census date (15 December 2020), you will remain on the current CSP rate for that course.
What if I receive an offer for Trimester 3 2020 and decide to defer? How will my fees be impacted from Trimester 1 2021 onwards?
If you defer your Trimester 3 offer, you will be subject to the new Commonwealth supported place (CSP) rates when you take up your offer at a later date. To stay on the pre-2021 CSP rates, you must have an enrolment after a census date before 1 January 2021.
What if I commence my studies in Trimester 3 2020 and decide to intermit?
If you start studying in Trimester 3 2020 but intermit your course before the census date of 15 December 2020, the new Commonwealth supported place (CSP) rates will apply when you return to study. To stay on the pre-2021 CSP rates, you must have an enrolment after a census date before 1 January 2021. This means, you would have to study in Trimester 3 2020. If you intermitted your course after the Trimester 3 2020 census date and incurred the fee for those units, you would remain on the pre-2021 rates.
I'm already studying a degree in the areas where fees are due to increase. Will I need to pay the new rate?
If you are enrolled in a degree where fees are due to increase, the changes will not affect you.
If you are a continuing student (enrolled at a census date before 1 January 2021) studying units in disciplines with increased student contribution amounts, you will not pay the new rates. You remain on the rates in 2021 for continuing students, which is considered a 'grandfathering' arrangement.
What if I commence and withdraw from my course?
If you withdrew early and then return to study, your fees will be set at the 2021 Commonwealth supported place (CSP) rates as it is not considered as properly commencing. To stay on the 2020 CSP rates as a commencing student in Trimester 3 2020, you must be enrolled in your units after the Trimester 3 2020 census date.
I am already studying a degree in an area where fees are due to decrease, do I pay the new lower student contribution?
If you are enrolled in units that will be subject to a lower student contribution amount from 2021, you will pay the new lower student contribution, regardless of when you commenced the course.
Get in touch
If you want to know more about how these reforms will impact a particular course or want help applying for that course, our friendly advisers are available to speak to you one-on-one.
1800 693 888