Low completion and Government assistance

If you commence studying in your course from 1 January 2022 and receive Government assistance through a Commonwealth supported place, HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, the conditions which apply to this assistance have changed.

From 1 January 2022, the Australia Government introduced an additional eligibility requirement for Commonwealth assistance (studying in a CSP or using HELP loans for your study).

To access Commonwealth assistance, you must maintain a 50 per cent or higher completion rate. This completion rate is not your WAM and is not the same as your marks or progression within your course. A completion rate refers to the number of attempted units you successfully complete.

If you commenced in your award course from 1 January 2022 and do not pass more than 50 per cent of your attempted units, you will not be eligible to remain in your Commonwealth supported place or use HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP. The Australian Government refers to this as a Low Completion Rate (LCR). The University will undertake regular checks and let you know when your enrolment is at risk and what you need to do if you have an LCR.

What is Commonwealth assistance?

Commonwealth assistance refers to the fund subsidy students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place receive and to the loan schemes (HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP) eligible students can access, to assist in paying their tuition. It does not refer to Centrelink benefits.

What is a Low Completion Rate?

A Low Completion Rate (LCR) is when you do not pass more than 50 per cent or more of the units you have attempted within the same award degree. If you have a LCR it will limit your access to Commonwealth Assistance after you have attempted eight or more units in a bachelor level course or higher course, or four or more units in a higher education course lower than a bachelor course (at Deakin this would be an Associate degree). Find our more on the Government Study Assist website.

What is a unit attempt?

A unit attempt that is counted in the LCR include:

  • a unit you are enrolled in after the census date.
  • a unit of recognition of prior learning being credited towards your course which had a census date after 1 January 2022.

A unit can have any credit point or EFTSL value and must count towards your course requirements. For example, most units have a one credit point value, but you may be enrolled in units with other credit point values. Each of your attempted units would count as one unit towards the unit attempt count.

You can see how many unit attempts you have and their census date on the View your units and View your recognition of prior learning in StudentConnect.

What counts towards the Low Completion Rate?

All units which you do not pass but were enrolled in at the census date count towards the LCR. This includes:

  • units you receive a Withdrawn Late (WL) or Withdrawn Fail (WN) grade
  • units you receive a Fail grade (N) units you receive a Fail, not assessed grade (XN)

Any unit you are still enrolled in or do not have a finalised grade won’t count towards the LCR test until a finalised grade is received.

When will the University let me know?

As your enrolment may fall into the criteria for the low completion rate at any time, we will undertake regular checks on your enrolment throughout the study period.

If your completion rate falls below 50%, the University will contact you, via your Deakin email address, advising your CSP and/or HELP loan have been cancelled and giving you details on the next steps. These actions will come into effective from the next census date. If you are actively studying in a current study period and the census date has passed, you will be able to continue in your units with your existing Commonwealth assistance arrangements for the remainder of that study period.

What can I do if I have a Low Completion Rate?

If you have a low completion rate, you can:

  • continue in your course by paying upfront.
    • If you are enrolled in a CSP you should be aware you will be paying domestic full fee rates and cannot use HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP to pay your tuition fees. You can use the Fee estimator to view fee rates for a domestic full-fee paying place by selecting ‘Full fee paying undergraduate’ in the ‘Fee type’ field.
    • If you are already enrolled in a domestic full fee paying place you will not be able to use FEE-HELP to pay your tuition fees.
    • If you choose this option and pay upfront, once you increase your completion rate to 50% or higher, you will again be eligible for Commonwealth assistance for future study periods.
  • transfer to a new course at Deakin or a different provider. If you change to a new course, your previous completion rate will not carry over and you will able to access Commonwealth assistance for your new course.
    • The University will determine if you are academic suited to your intended course, and you should be aware meeting the required course transfer WAM will not guarantee a transfer will be approved.
  • If a ‘special circumstance’ impacted your ability to pass one or more units leading you to withdraw or fail, you can apply to Deakin to not count these units in the LCR test. This doesn’t mean we will remove your fail grade, only that we won’t count it towards the LCR test. The Special Circumstance test for the LCR is similar to Remission of debt in special circumstances but does not relate to a refund of monies only the LCR. You will need to apply to the University using the Low Complete Rate application form and provide detailed independent supporting documentation.

I am an international student or don’t use FEE-HELP does this impact me?

Yes, it can impact you. If you commenced your award course on or after 1 January 2022 the LCR changes may still impact you.

For example, you may be an international student in the process of gaining Australia residency. If this is you, once you gain residency you will be transferred to a domestic full fee paying place, the University will then determine if a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is available and if your completion rate would permit you holding a CSP.

Alternatively, if you are a domestic student enrolled in a domestic full fee paying place and usually pay your fees upfront, we won’t be able to access FEE-HELP for future periods if you have a LCR.

More information

The University has a range of study support services which we encourage you to access.

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