Student loans

We’ll make sure you get the right funding in place so you can start studying today.

Because you’re studying the exact same course as on-campus students, you’ve also got access to the exact same funding support from the Australian Government—the Higher Education Loan Program, also known as HELP.

HELP provides eligible students with a loan to pay all or part of their tuition fees. When you study through OUA, there’s two HELP loans that might apply to you: HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP.

  • HECS-HELP: if you’re considering a full undergraduate degree we recommend that you apply for your place straight away—this way you can get full tuition funding support with a HECS-HELP loan.
  • FEE-HELP: If you’re considering studying a subject or two, or are looking at studying a postgraduate degree, you also have access to government funding through a FEE-HELP loan.

What do student loans pay for?
These student loans are here to help you pay for your tuition fees.
Keep in mind that they don’t cover additional costs like textbooks, stationery, admin fees for making changes like withdrawing from subjects, or study preparation courses.

Are student loans unlimited?
These loans are not unlimited. But, the good news is, if you reach the limit, you can top-up by making repayments.
Once you’ve reduced your debt, you’ll be able to re-borrow when you’re ready to continue your studies.

For answers to more questions like these, visit our FAQs and Glossary.

HECS-HELP

Student loans for undergraduate degrees.

If you're eligible, the Australian Government pays for some of your studies, and gives you a loan to pay for the rest.

You’ll repay your HECS-HELP loan through the tax system when you’re working full-time and earning over a certain amount. Visit Study Assist to find out more about repaying your loan. To help you understand what your repayments might be after your income is over the threshold, use the ATO’s Study and training support loans repayment calculator.

HECS-HELP eligibility

To be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan, you must:

  • be enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place
  • be an Australian citizen who will study part of their course in Australia OR
    be an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holder or a permanent humanitarian visa holder (or eligible former) and will live in Australia for the entire course
  • be enrolled correctly and submit your HECS-HELP form by the census date
  • have a tax file number (TFN) or have applied for one

Do you have questions about your eligibility for a HELP loan? Visit StudyAssist and talk to Chatbot Edy—she’s available 24/7 to answer all your HELP related queries.

HECS-HELP applications

If you want to apply for HECS-HELP, the process begins online when you’re applying for your degree. You’ll need to make sure you choose to apply for your degree as a Commonwealth supported place student, instead of just studying a single subject. Make sure you’ve met your degree's application requirements before the close of application date.

Commonwealth supported places are available for many undergraduate degrees through OUA. However, make sure you check entry requirements on the degree detail page as they can vary for different degrees. 

More information

FEE-HELP

Student loans for postgraduate degrees, as well as single subjects.

If you're eligible, the Australian Government will offer you a loan to cover the cost of your postgraduate course, or single subjects if you're not studying a full degree. FEE-HELP is the funding option to consider if you're studying an undergraduate subject or two, or applying for postgraduate study.

You’ll repay your FEE-HELP loan through the tax system when you’re working full-time and earning over a certain amount. Visit Study Assist to find out more about repaying your loan. To help you understand what your repayments might be after your income is over the threshold, use the ATO’s Study and training support loans repayment calculator.

FEE-HELP eligibility

To be eligible for FEE-HELP, you must:

  • be an Australian who studies some of their course while living in Australia
    OR be an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder and will live in Australia for the entire course
    OR be a permanent humanitarian visa holder (or eligible former) and will live in Australia for the entire course
    OR be a permanent resident who is undertaking approved bridging studies and will live in Australia for the study
  • undertake an approved course, at a FEE-HELP approved provider
  • enrol and submit the FEE-HELP form (known as an eCAF) by the census date
  • have a tax file number (TFN) or have applied for one

You’ll also need to stick to a 50% pass rate to remain eligible for FEE-HELP once you’ve undertaken eight or more subjects.

Do you have questions about your eligibility for a HELP loan? Visit StudyAssist and talk to Chatbot Edy—she’s available 24/7 to answer all your HELP related queries.

FEE-HELP applications

If you want to apply for FEE-HELP, the process begins when you enrol in your subjects.

If you're an Australian citizen with a tax file number, you can apply for FEE-HELP online. If you don’t have a TFN or you’re not an Australian citizen, you’ll need to fill out a hard-copy FEE-HELP form and provide supporting documentation—for example, a copy of your visa.

If you can’t complete an online FEE-HELP application, ask a student advisor to send a form in the mail.

Commonwealth Assistance Notices (CAN)

If you use FEE-HELP to cover all or part of your subject fees, you’ll receive a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN). Your CAN statement is issued electronically within 28 days of the census date, and contains info about your enrolment and use of FEE-HELP. Visit our Finances and Centrelink FAQ to find out more about these notices.

More information

Get help every step of the way

Our student advisors can assist you with enrolment, help you plan your studies, and answer questions about how studying through Open Universities Australia can get you from where you are today, to where you want to be tomorrow.

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