Important update for higher education students: Proposed changes under the Higher Education Reform Package

The Australian Government has proposed changes to eligibility for Commonwealth supported places (CSP) for New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents. Subject to the passage of legislation, from 1 January 2018 commencing New Zealand citizens and Permanent Residents will not be eligible to access a Commonwealth supported place in undergraduate and postgraduate programs but will be eligible to take out an optional FEE-HELP loan.

More information

Types of Commonwealth assistance loans

How you apply for a loan may differ depending on whether you're eligible for an optional loan or a HECS-HELP loan.

Optional loans - FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans and SA-HELP

  • FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans are optional Commonwealth assistance loans that enable eligible students to pay for all or part of their tuition fees. 
  • SA-HELP is an optional loan scheme that assists eligible higher education students to pay for all or part of their Student Services and Amenities (SSAF) fees. SA-HELP does not enable you to defer your tuition fees.

How to apply for an optional loan

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, it’s easy to apply. When you enrol in Enrolment Online, you’ll be asked to indicate which optional loan/s you want to apply for. You’ll then get an email from the Government with further instructions on how to apply.

Tip: Before your loan can be approved, you must:

  • provide your Tax File Number on your application
  • verify your citizenship when you enrol. 
If you’d like to apply for an optional loan you must do so before your first census date or you’ll have to pay your fees in full before the due date.

Current students

If you’re a current student enrolling into a new program, you’ll need to submit a new request for FEE-HELP, SA-HELP or a VET Student Loan for that program in order to defer your fees. This includes vocational education students who have been transitioned into a new version of the National Training Package.

HECS-HELP

A HECS-HELP loan enables eligible higher education students in a Commonwealth supported place to pay for part or all of their tuition fees.

How to apply for a HECS-HELP loan

If you've been offered a Commonwealth supported place, you'll be automatically prompted to complete an application for HECS-HELP when you enrol in Enrolment Online.

Tip: Before your loan can be approved, you must:

  • provide your Tax File Number on your application
  • verify your citizenship when you enrol. 

Note: If you start a new program, you will need to submit a new application for HECS-HELP when you enrol in order to defer your fees.

FAQs about Commonwealth assistance loans

VET Student Loans, FEE-HELP and SA-HELP only

Once your optional loan is approved:

  • You will be issued with a HELP approval letter* in Enrolment Online. Your HELP approval letter contains important information about the terms of your HELP loan. To view and print your HELP approval letter, log in to Enrolment Online and select My student record. Under Financial details, select View HELP approval letters.

*HELP approval letters are not issued for HECS-HELP.  HECS-HELP is automatically approved for eligible students in a Commonwealth supported place.

All Commonwealth assistance loans:

  • You can see when your loan is approved by checking the loan status - log in to Enrolment Online and select My student record. Under Financial details, select Manage Commonwealth assistance and optional loans to view the status of each loan type.
  • All approved loans are listed on your tax invoice - see  Your Tax Invoice Explained.

If you have an approved HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, SA-HELP or VET Student Loan, the amount of your loan will not be calculated until after the relevant semester census date, when these fees are deferred to the loan schemes.

Therefore, invoices issued before the relevant semester census date will show that semester’s total tuition fees and include them in the amount payable.

Your invoices are issued in Enrolment Online. When you've been issued an invoice, a notification email is sent to your RMIT student email account which you are required to check weekly.

Read more about tax invoices.

Yes. If you want to make an upfront payment towards your tuition fees, you must do so on or before the relevant semester census date.

If you want to make an upfront payment towards your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), you must do so before the due date on your invoice.

 

Once your fees have been deferred after each census date, you will be issued with a Commonwealth Assessment Notice (CAN) within 28 days after the deferral.

A notification email will be sent to your RMIT student email account and your nominated personal email when a CAN is available to view via Enrolment Online.

Keep track of your HELP debt and retain your VET Student Loan

It's important that you stay up-to-date with your loan requirements. 

Find out how to keep track of your HELP debt and retain your VET Student Loan.