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When you attend university, you can get a HECS-HELP loan offered by the Australian Government to pay for your studies. You can only get a HECS-HELP loan if you are enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and meet the eligibility criteria.

A HECS-HELP loan does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or textbooks or your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).

A HECS-HELP loan is used to pay your Student contribution amount.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible you must be enrolled in a CSP and meet the following eligibility criteria:

You must be one of the following:

  • an Australian citizen studying at least one unit of your course in Australia*
  • a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder, or eligible former New Zealand SCV holder, who meets the long-term residency requirements and studying your entire course while living in Australia
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder, or an eligible former permanent humanitarian visa holder, who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your studies or
  • a pacific engagement visa (PEV) holder who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your studies.

You must also:

*You will not be eligible for Commonwealth support or a HELP loan if we reasonably believe that you will not undertake any of your course in Australia.

Permanent visa holders enrolled in a CSP are unable to access this loan scheme and are required to pay the full student contribution amount up front.

Find more information on CSP for non-Australian citizens on the StudyAssist website

If you choose to pay your fees using HECS-HELP, the Australian Government pays your student contribution amount directly to Deakin. This amount is then reported to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and becomes your HELP debt. You repay your HELP debt directly to the ATO (not to Deakin). More information is available on the myHELPbalance portal.

HECS-HELP applies for the duration of your course even if you intermit your studies. Your HECS-HELP request will remain active unless you choose to cancel it by completing a new eCAF in StudentConnect or you transfer courses. If you transfer to a new course, you need to complete a new eCAF - one eCAF per course.

You will also be issued with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (eCAN) for each enrolled study period. This will detail any amount deferred to the ATO. We encourage you to view and download a copy of your eCAN for your records.

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

How to apply for HECS-HELP or pay your student contribution

You will complete an electronic Commonwealth Assistance form (eCAF) as part of your initial enrolment or soon after you enrol. If you are eligible for HECS-HELP you need to choose how you want to pay your tuition fees (student contribution). You can make changes to the eCAF in StudentConnect by selecting the Commonwealth Assistance menu option. Step by step information about completing the eCAF is available on the How to enrol webpage. There is also a video to assist you.

In Section D of the eCAF, you choose how to pay your student contributions.

Option 1: Defer all of your student contribution to HECS-HELP

If you choose to defer all of your fees, they will be reported as a HECS-HELP debt to the ATO shortly after the census date each study period. 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 you will need to update your eCAF in StudentConnect by selecting the Commonwealth Assistance menu option. You can change your payment option any time before the census date.

Option 2: Pay all or part of your student contribution up front and receive a HECS-HELP loan to defer the balance.

To pay all or part of your fees upfront, choose the Full upfront payment of my student contribution amount option.

The full amount of your tuition fees (student contribution) will show as owing on your invoice. You can make payments of any amount as long as you make payment before the invoice due date.

If your eCAF is completed with your TFN, any unpaid amount at the census date will be reported as a HECS-HELP debt to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If you do not provide your TFN, you will be required to pay all of your fees up-front by the invoice due date.

If you don't apply for a HECS-HELP loan or pay your student contribution upfront by the census date, your CSP enrolment will be cancelled and cannot be reinstated back into your current study period.

Your HECS-HELP request will remain active for the duration of your course. You need to be aware of your enrolment details and carefully review any enrolment change or intermission request you make as a HECS-HELP debt may be incurred.

Changes in citizenship status

If you have changed your citizenship status you must:

  • attend your citizenship ceremony before the census date of the applicable teaching period, and
  • provide a certified copy of your citizenship certificate to the University to be eligible for HELP loans for that study period.

You cannot use HECS-HELP for previous study periods. If you have not attended a citizenship ceremony or provided the relevant information to the University prior to the census date, your eligibility to receive HECS-HELP will only be checked for subsequent study periods.

More information

More information on HELP repayment or eligibility is available on the StudyAssist website. If you need help completing your form, please contact Student Central.

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