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.
These student loans are here to help you pay for your degree and subjects tuition fees. Keep in mind that they don’t cover additional costs like:
- special study materials like paintbrushes
- admin fees for making changes like withdrawing from subjects
- study preparation like short courses on study skills
While HELP loans are not unlimited, 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.
HECS-HELP covers the costs of your undergraduate degree. Pending your eligibility, 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.
To be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan you’ll need to be accepted into your degree as a Commonwealth supported place student. Plus, there are some citizenship and residency requirements. You’ll need to be:
- An Australian citizen based in Australia for all or part of your studies; or
- The holder of a permanent humanitarian visa and residing in Australia for the duration of your studies; or
- An eligible New Zealand citizen living in Australia for the duration of your studies.
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.
Another way to access funding support is through FEE-HELP. Pending your eligibility, FEE-HELP is a loan for the cost of your subjects. FEE-HELP is the funding option available to you if you are 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
- An Australian citizen based in Australia.
- A permanent humanitarian visa holder living in Australia for the duration of your studies.
- A New Zealand citizen with a special category visa, who is residing in Australia and has meet the residency criteria.
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.
If you want to apply for FEE-HELP, the process begins online when you enrol in your subjects.
If you are an Australian citizen with a tax file number (TFN) or you have applied for a TFN with the tax office you can apply 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.
Current students can sign in to your Student Hub and look for My subjects, or if you are a postgraduate student look for your degree, on your dashboard. You can click on Add more subjects and follow the steps. Where your subject shows Payment pending, click MORE, and PAY BY FEE-HELP, then follow the steps.
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.
Look through Finances and Centrelink FAQ to find out more.