Important notice - 2018—19 Budget announcement
The 2018—19 Federal Budget contains a number of measures that affect Higher Education students. One of these measures affects the previously proposed combined HELP loan limit, which (subject to the passage of legislation) will introduce a limit on the amount of HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans a student may borrow. If the legislation passes, the combined HELP loan limit will be made a renewable limit, meaning that students will be able to re-borrow if they make repayments towards their HELP debts from the 2019—20 income year onwards. For more information on the combined HELP loan limit, click here.
For more detail about the Budget measures in general, please visit the Department of Education and Training's 2018—19 Budget webpage.
Government loans and subsidised places
The Government administers the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) which consists of four HELP loans schemes and the VET Student Loans program to assist students with the cost of their fees. The right loan for you will depend on your circumstances, eligibility and where you want to study.
If you are studying at university or at an approved private higher education provider you will be offered either a Commonwealth supported place or a fee paying place. If you are studying at an approved VET provider you will be enrolled as either a state subsidised student or fee paying student.
A Commonwealth supported place is subsidised by the Government so that students are only required to pay a ‘student contribution’ amount rather than tuition fees.
HECS-HELP is a loan scheme to help eligible Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution amounts through a loan or upfront discounts. Before 2005, this was known as ‘HECS’.
FEE-HELP is a loan to help eligible fee paying students to pay their tuition fees.
SA-HELP is a loan that assists eligible students to pay for all or part of their student services and amenities fee.
OS-HELP is a loan to help eligible Commonwealth supported students pay their overseas study expenses.
VET Student Loans is a loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in certain higher-level vocational education and training courses at approved course providers to pay their tuition fees. VET Student Loans replaced the VET FEE-HELP loan scheme from 1 January 2017.
VET FEE-HELP was a loan to help eligible students enrolled in higher-level vocational education and training courses at approved VET providers to pay their tuition fees.The VET FEE-HELP scheme ceased on 31 December 2016. All existing students will be provided the opportunity to continue accessing VET FEE-HELP and will be contacted by the Department of Education and Training to opt-in to VET FEE-HELP using an online form. For more information about opting-in, students should refer to: www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans/vet-fee-help-opt-in.
Keeping track of your HELP debt while you study.