Commonwealth supported places

A Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) is a subsidised higher education enrolment. This means that the Australian government will pay for part of your tuition fees (called the subsidy amount), and you pay the rest (called the student contribution). A CSP also gives you access to HECS-HELP.

You can pay your share upfront or later on using HECS HELP. The subsidy amount is not a loan, so you are not required to pay it back.

Benefits of a CSP

You're on the path to a degree

As a CSP student you are enrolled in a full university degree. This means that your place in the course is secured from the start, and you’re on track to graduate at the end of your course.

The alternative is to enrol as an open entry student. Open entry students complete single subjects without committing to any particular university degree. This offers flexibility for students who haven't decided what they'd like to do yet, aren't eligible for CSP or are studying with OUA temporarily.

Receive university services and support

When you're enrolled in a university course, you're entitled to additional student services and amenities provided by the university. These can include:

Note: A fee may apply for these services. See Administration Fees for more information.

No registration fee

CSP students are automatically registered to graduate from their course*, which means there's no additional registration process or fee.

If you study as an open entry student, when it comes to applying to graduate you will need to register and pay a fee. The amount you need to pay varies according to the university you're studying with.

* Griffith University students are an exception - they must register their intention to study.

Save FEE-HELP for your next course

FEE-HELP is another student loan option for Australian students. Using CSP and HECS-HELP for your undergraduate degree is a smart idea, as it gives you the option to use FEE-HELP if you do a postgraduate degree later on.

This is because CSP places typically aren’t available for postgraduate courses. In fact, at OUA all CSP places offered are for undergraduate courses only. If you use FEE HELP for your undergraduate course, you may need to pay for your postgraduate studies upfront later.

Am I eligible for a CSP?

To be eligible for a CSP, you must be:

Please note that CSPs are typically only offered at an undergraduate level - most postgraduate courses aren't subsidised by the Australian government.

To learn more about CSP eligibility requirements, as well as the process for applying for HECS-HELP, read the official information booklet on the Study Assist website.

You apply for a CSP at the same time that you apply for your course. We have cut-off dates throughout the year so check Key dates to see when applications for CSP places close in the next study period.

Step 1. Check your eligibility

Find the university course you're interested in and select How to apply.

First, we need to check your eligibility for a CSP. Please answer the questions about your residency and academic eligibility. If you're eligible for a CSP, we'll show you the Apply online button - please tap this button to continue.

Step 2. Sign in to OUA

If you're new to OUA, please register with us. If you already have an account, sign in to My Study Centre. Now you can apply for the course by filling in the course application form.

Step 3. Letter of Offer

If your application is successful, you will receive a Letter of Offer from the university. You need to sign in to your My Study Centre account to accept the offer.

Step 4. Your university's Letter of Admittance

The university offering your course will email you a Letter of Admittance - congratulations!

This letter will include your new Student ID issued by the university (note - this is different to an OUA ID). Keep this safe! You need your Student ID to finish your application.

Step 5. Choose your units and payment method

Now you're ready to enrol in your first set of units with OUA:

  1. Go to your course page and select the Enrol Online Now option.
  2. Read the recommended study pattern and course rules to work out where to start.
  3. Choose your units from the list, and add them to your study cart. Follow the prompts to get to the payment page.
  4. At the payment page, choose HECS-HELP as your payment method.
  5. You must then complete the Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP forms before the Close of Enrolment deadline for your chosen Study Period. You will need your Tax File Number (TFN) to complete the forms.

Step 6. Congratulations! You're enrolled

When your university receives your Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form you'll be fully enrolled and on the path to a degree.

Your university will send you a welcome email by the first week of your Study Period. It includes login details for your university's student portal. Make sure you log in to check for any SSAF payment requirements.

Step 7. Payment

Your university will send you an invoice for payment, usually from within your student portal. This invoice includes instructions on how to pay for your university's student services and amenities fee (SSAF) if applicable.

If you've chosen to pay for your share of fees upfront, please complete this payment directly with the university before the Census Date of your Study Period.

If you need help with your CSP application or you're not successful

OUA Student Advisors are here to help you find the right fit for your study goals.

Call us on 1300 734 279 to talk about other study options available to you.