HECS-Help is a scheme that helps eligible students pay their student contributions for courses in which they are enrolled as a Commonwealth supported student. There are three ways students can pay their student contribution:
- pay their student contribution up front *
- receive a HECS-HELP loan for the full student contribution
- pay some of the student contribution up front and receive a HECS-HELP loan for the balance of the student contribution
Eligible students need to provide their Tax File Number by the fee due date after they are admitted to a USC program. Once your tax file number is provided you may still choose to pay all or part of your student contribution up front* by the fee due date included on your invoice.
* In 2013 eligible students who make an upfront payment of $500 or more will receive a 10% discount.
Who is eligible?
Australian citizens and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa are eligible for HECS-HELP assistance. Other permanent visa holders and New Zealand citizens are not eligible for a HECS-HELP loan or discount and must pay their student contribution in full by the fee due date.
How to keep track of your HECS-HELP loan
A Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) will be available in USCCentral no later than 28 days of each census date. Check your student email account for advice on when your CAN is available. Your CAN will include information on:
- the USC courses for which you have received Commonwealth assistance
- the student contribution amounts you have been charged for courses you were enrolled in at the Census date
- any up-front payments you have made
- any HECS-HELP assistance you have used for that study period, if you are using HECS-HELP to pay your student contributions
- Student Services & Amenities charges, payments or SA-HELP assistance, if you have used SA-HELP for that study period.
You have 14 days from the date your CAN is issued to submit a written request for correction to Student Administration if you think there are incorrect details included on your CAN.
Your CAN includes your unique Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN). Should you wish to keep track of your HELP loan in myUniAssist (opens in new window). You will need your unique CHESSN and other personal identifying details. For further information on myUni Assist refer to the Study Assist website.
Students with a HECS-HELP loan begin repaying HELP debts through the taxation system once your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year and futher information on repaying your HELP loan is available on the Study Assist website.
What happens to my HECS-HELP liability if I drop out of university?
To avoid unnecessary financial expenses, make sure that you withdraw in USCCentral before the relevant census date. If you withdraw from a course/subject fter the census date, you will still be liable to pay for that course/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. Please download the form 'Application for Removal of Financial Liability and/or Academic Penalty in Special Circumstances' from Student forms and document requests. Please review the guidelines before submitting an application.