Understanding FEE-HELP

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What is FEE-HELP?

FEE-HELP is a higher education loan program provided by the Australian Government. The program helps fee-paying postgraduate students to cover the upfront costs of all or part of their tuition fees.

If you’ve received an offer to study a postgraduate program at UNSW, and you’re eligible for FEE-HELP, you can apply when you’re accepting your offer. You’ll receive a form to complete, which must be submitted before the term census date to ensure your fees are deferred onto your loan.

Compulsory repayments of the FEE-HELP debt will be deducted from your income by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) once you start earning above the repayment threshold. Recipients can make voluntary repayments at any time.


Am I eligible for FEE-HELP?

To be eligible to receive FEE-HELP, you must be:

  • an Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia, or

  • a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements, and

  • be enrolled in a domestic fee-paying place at UNSW, and

  • be enrolled in an eligible course of study (program) at UNSW by the census date, and

  • submit the request for FEE-HELP form to UNSW by the census date, and

From 1 January 2020, the Department of Education introduced a combined HELP loan limit. This limit includes FEE-HELP and other HELP schemes such as HECS-HELP. Find out more about what the combined HELP loan limit means for you.

For detailed information about your obligations and eligibility as a FEE-HELP recipient, you’re required to read the FEE-HELP Information Booklet.


What’s the difference between FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP?

Both FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP are loan schemes provided by the Australian Government to help students attend university and other higher education providers.

A HECS-HELP loan is only available to students who receive a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), these are more often available for undergraduate courses. A FEE-HELP loan is available to fee-paying students whose studies aren’t subsidised by the government through a CSP.

These schemes only cover tuition fees and don’t cover other costs associated with studying, such as accommodation, laptops or textbooks.