What is FEE-HELP?

FEE-HELP is a loan scheme that was established on 1 January 2005 to aid eligible fee-paying students in paying part or all of their tuition fees. The deferred payment arrangements for postgraduate fee-paying students that existed under PELS still apply, but will now exist under this new loan scheme.

Please Note: FEE-HELP assistance does NOT cover voluntary subscriptions, including University of Sydney Union or SUPRA fees.

The Government pays the amount of the loan directly to the student's higher education provider. Students repay their loan through the tax system once their income is above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment ($36,184 for the 2005-6 income year).

Who is eligible for FEE-HELP?

You are eligible for FEE-HELP if you are:

  • An Australian citizen
  • A holder of a permanent humanitarian visa
  • A holder of a permanent visa who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals AND you must be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit

What if I am a pre-2005 PELS student who commenced study before 2005?

If you are a continuing student, generally you will be considered a pre-2005 PELS student if you commenced your course and incurred a PELS debt before 1 January 2005.

As a pre-2005 PELS student who holds a permanent visa (other than a permanent humanitarian visa), you would have been eligible for FEE-HELP assistance up until 31 December 2008.

However, with effect from 1 January 2009, there are no special arrangements for students who obtained a PELS loan prior to 2005.

Therefore, pre-2005 PELS students(who hold a permanent visa will not be able to obtain FEE-HELP assistance for any units of study that finish after 31 December 2008.

How do I apply for FEE-HELP assistance?

If you require FEE-HELP assistance, you must complete a FEE-HELP Assistance form on or before the census date for Semester 1 (31 March) and Semester 2 (30 August).

Eligible students enrolling for the first time OR transferring/upgrading to another degree will need to complete a hard copy of the FEE-HELP Assistance form, which will be sent to you upon request from your faculty or department.

Where can I find further information on FEE-HELP?

For more comprehensive information on FEE-HELP, please visit the FEE-HELP section of the Study Assist website.

For information on the different help schemes available for paying your fees, please visit the HELP Paying My Fees (HELP loans) section of the Study Assist website. You can also access an online version of the latest FEE-HELP Information booklet from the Students applying for a FEE-HELP loan section of the Study Assist website.

If you have any queries regarding the above information or you would like a copy of the FEE-HELP information booklet mailed to you, please contact the HECS and Domestic Fees Office by phone +61 2 8627 8239 or email