What is FEE-HELP?
FEE-HELP is a Commonwealth Government loan available to eligible students enrolled in ACAP’s Higher Education courses to help pay part or all of their tuition fees. Currently, a 25% loan fee applies to undergraduate courses that lead to the award of a higher education diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree or a bachelor degree (pass, honours, or graduate entry). However, under the new Job-ready Graduates Package, from 1 July 2021, the loan fee will reduce to 20% for units of study with a census date on or after 1 January 2022 (for more info please visit here).
Detailed information, the 2022 HELP factsheets and the HELP Booklets about accessing FEE-HELP are available at the Study Assist website.
Subject to the passage of legislation, the Government is extending the exemption until 31 December 2022 as part of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Higher Education Relief Package. You can read more about this here.
Who is entitled to FEE-HELP?
To be entitled, students must be:
- an Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia
- a New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements
- a permanent visa holder who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals and will be a resident in Australia for the duration of the study
- enrolled in an eligible unit of study by the census date for that unit
- maintain a 50% Pass rate of their modules
- have an available HELP balance
What is a lifetime loan limit?
The lifetime loan limit is the total amount you can incur in your lifetime under any Commonwealth student loan scheme, whether Higher Education FEE-HELP or a VET Student Loan. It is indexed each year in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). For example, in 2021, the lifetime loan limit is $108,232 for most students.
You can check your HELP balance on myHELPbalance.
A student will commence repaying any FEE-HELP loan through the Australian Taxation Office once their income reaches the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment ($47,014 per annum 2021-2022). Click for more information on loan repayment.
How to apply for FEE-HELP?
To apply for FEE-HELP, you will need to read the FEE-HELP information booklet. The booklet offers students information about each of the HELP loans under HELP Fact sheets.
If you are eligible and would like to defer your fees through FEE-HELP, you need to complete the online form via the eCAF system before the census date. eCAF applications will be emailed to students once the enrolment process is complete and all eligibility documents provided.
If you wish to apply, please contact and advise the Admissions Team via email [email protected].
Currently, if you get a FEE-HELP loan to pay for your undergraduate course, you will have to pay a 20 per cent loan fee* which is imposed by the Government. The loan fee does NOT apply to you if your course is postgraduate study.
(*The loan fee does not count towards your combined HELP limit).
Loan fee exemption
In response to COVID-19 the Government waived loan fees from April 2020 until 31 December 2021. This means that undergraduate students accessing a FEE-HELP loan were not charged the FEE-HELP loan for census dates from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2021.
Subject to the passage of legislation, the Government will extend the exemption until 31 December 2022. We will update this page if and when that legislation is passed.
Unique Student Identifier (USI)
The Unique Student Identifier (USI) is a reference number made up of ten numbers and letters and will stay with you for life.
If you are commencing your studies in 2021, you will need to provide your USI as part of your enrolment process. In addition, if you seek Commonwealth financial assistance (FEE-HELP), you must provide your USI on your electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF).
From 1 January 2023, all students must have a USI to graduate and receive their qualification or statement of attainment. This includes all students who started before 2021, as well as all international students studying onshore.
It is free and easy to create your USI. Please visit the Unique Student Identifier website to get your USI.