What is a USI?
A Unique Student Identifier (known as a USI) is made up of a combination of ten numbers and letters that is unique to each student. Students commencing a course of study from 1 January 2021 must apply for and obtain a USI, to be eligible for a CSP and certain forms of Commonwealth financial assistance like HECS-HELP.
From 2021, once a student has provided a USI it will become their primary identifier and replace the CHESSN. Your USI will be used to connect your student loan information to your personal details. You can log onto the USI(Opens in a new tab/window) website and check or update your details at any time.
From 1 January 2023, all higher education students must have, and inform their provider of, their USI:
- to be eligible for a CSP and Commonwealth financial assistance (HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, OS-HELP, SA-HELP and STARTUP-HELP).
- to graduate and receive their award, unless an exemption applies.
Applying for or finding your USI:
If you don’t already have one, you can get a USI(Opens in a new tab/window) now. If you’ve studied before, you should already have an existing USI. Find your USI(Opens in a new tab/window) easily on the USI website. Your USI is your lifelong education number. Create it once and it’s with you for life!
What is a CHESSN?
A Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) is a personal identification number that are allocated to students during their first application/enrolment process from 1 January 2015.
Your education provider(s) used your CHESSN to report any loan amounts you have used for your studies to the Department.
From 2021, the Australian Government is decommissioning the CHESSN and extending the USI(Opens in a new tab/window) throughout the higher education sector; therefore creating a single student identifier for your entire tertiary education journey.
Where can I find my CHESSN?
You can find your CHESSN on your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) given to you by your education provider at the start of each study period. Your education provider will have sent your CAN to your personal or student email address, or made it available to you via your student portal.
If you can't find your CAN, you can contact the student administrations area of your education provider.
Can you still use your CHESSN to keep track of your HELP balance?
You can still use your CHESSN to access the myHELPbalance(Opens in a new tab/window) portal to keep track of your loan usage (how much more HELP or VSL assistance you can receive before you reach the HELP limit).
If you are a continuing student, you should get your USI as soon as possible. From 2023, all students, Australian or international, must have a USI to be able to graduate and receive their qualification or statement of attainment.