FEE-HELP is an Australian Government loan scheme that helps eligible fee paying students pay their tuition fee. There are three ways students may pay tuition fees:
- pay the full tuition fee up front
- receive a FEE-HELP loan for the full tuition fee
- pay some of the tuition fee up front and receive a FEE-HELP loan for the remainder of the tuition fee.
You can borrow up to the amount of the tuition fee charged for your unit of study. However, over your lifetime you can borrow only up to the FEE-HELP limit.
The 2016 FEE-HELP limit is A$124,238 for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science students and for all other students the FEE-HELP limit is A$99,389.
The 2017 FEE-HELP limit is A$126,101 for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science students and for all other students the FEE-HELP limit is A$100,879
These amount are indexed each year.
A 25% loan fee applies to undergraduate courses deferred to a FEE-HELP loan.
FEE-HELP loans are included in accumulated HELP debts and repayments start when your repayment income is above the minimum compulsory threshold. The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2016-17 income year is A$54,869.
Details on repaying your accumulated HELP debt is available in FEE-HELP information booklets available from Student Central and electronic versions are available at Study Assist.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for FEE-HELP a student must provide their Tax File Number (TFN) and;
- be an Australian citizen or
- be a permanent humanitarian visa holder residing in Australia or
- be a New Zealand citizen who holds a Special Category Visa (SCV) and meets all the eligibility criteria under this category
Students not eligible for FEE-HELP are required to pay the tuition fee by the fee due date. Refer to:
What happens to my FEE-HELP liability if I drop out of university?
To avoid unnecessary financial expenses, make sure that you withdraw before the relevant census date. If you withdraw from a subject after the census date, you will still be liable to pay for this subject. This means that if you have already paid upfront, you may not be able to get a refund, and if you have deferred your fees, you will continue to have a debt with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
If you withdraw after the census date, due to serious illness or other special circumstances, you may be able to have your debt removed or refunded if you paid upfront. Download the form Application for Removal of Financial Liability and/or Academic Penalty in Special Circumstances from Student forms and document requests. Review the guidelines prior to submitting applications.
How to apply
You request FEE-HELP when completing your electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) and enter your Tax File Number (TFN) in USC Central. This FEE-HELP Commonwealth Assistance Form will be included in your list of compulsory To-Do items in USC Central.
Note:Eligible NZ citizens will need to visit Student Central to discuss, as an additional Commonwealth Assistance form will need to be submitted.
For PDF documents you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded from the Adobe Download page.