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Commonwealth supported places and HECS-HELP

Defer the costs of study through HECS-HELP

If you’re a domestic undergraduate student studying an award course, the Australian Government will subsidise your tuition fees.

All domestic undergraduate students studying award courses and some postgraduate coursework students are automatically offered a Commonwealth-supported place when they apply to the university. This means the Australian Government subsidises your course fees.

The remainder of your fees is called a student contribution.

How it works

When you successfully apply for HECS-HELP, the government will pay the full amount, and you will pay your student contribution through the Australian Taxation Office once you meet a certain salary threshold.

When completing your application for government assistance, you need to supply your Tax File Number before the relevant census date, otherwise your enrolment could be cancelled. Apply for a TFN online now.

Interest is not payable on your HECS-HELP debt, but the amount will be indexed each year to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index, to retain its current market value. This is done annually on 1 June to the portion of debt that has been unpaid for 11 months or more.

You can access your financial statement or make a payment online via Sydney Student (go to ‘My finances’, ‘Your finances’, then ‘View financial statements’).

Pay upfront and receive a discount

Even though HECS-HELP allows you to defer all of your student contribution to the Australian Taxation Office, you don't have to do so.

If you choose to pay your student contribution upfront (partially or in full), and you're an Australian citizen or permanent humanitarian citizen, you’ll be entitled to a 10 percent discount, provided by the government, on payments of $500 or more.


You can apply for HECS-HELP during any period of your degree. Any previous or outstanding debts do not impact your eligibility.

However, eligibility criteria and legislation around HECS-HELP can change, so it’s best to check the information provided by Study Assist


Some domestic students (Australian citizens or permanent humanitarian visa holders) can also defer payment of the Student Services and Amenities fee through SA-HELP.

You can apply during your first year as an enrolled student by filling out a separate government application form. You don’t need to have a HECS or FEE-HELP loan to apply for SA-HELP. Your loan covers all the Student Services and Amenities fees for every semester of your degree.

As with other forms of government assistance, your loan will be payable to the Taxation Office once you meet the minimum salary threshold.

Government forms

All Commonwealth assistance forms are provided to you during the online enrolment process, and need to be filled out before the relevant census date.

or you can access them through 'My finances' in Sydney Student.