HELP and other Information

For: 

The Australian Government provides financial assistance to students through the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), which consists of five different loan schemes.

Remission of HELP debts for teachers in very remote areas of Australia

A qualified teacher who relocates to a very remote area on or after the start of the 2019 school year, and remains teaching at that school for at least four years in six, may be eligible to have their outstanding HELP debt remitted.

This initiative also applies to teachers currently teaching in a very remote area of Australia who remain for a further four years. Service prior to the start of the 2019 school year will not count towards the four‑year requirement.

Teachers in very remote schools are able to have indexation on their outstanding HELP debt waived while they remain teaching in that location. There is no length of service requirement for indexation waivers. This is available for eligible teachers from 14 February 2019. Once they are no longer teaching in a very remote area, indexation on any remaining HELP debt will recommence.

This 2019-20 Federal Budget measure is subject to the passage of legislation.

Remote locations are defined by the 2016 ABS Remoteness Structure.

Increase HELP loan limit for aviation courses

The combined Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loan limit will be increased to $150,000 for students undertaking eligible aviation courses at a VET Student Loans (VSL) approved provider, from 1 January 2020.

This 2019-20 Federal Budget measure is subject to the passage of legislation.

Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) Charging Measures 2018

In line with the Australian Government Charging Framework, the Government introduced two HELP Charging Measures in the 2018-19 Federal Budget. The HELP Charging Measures allow for higher education providers, who utilise Commonwealth funding, to contribute to the maintenance and operation of HELP arrangements. The introduction of the HELP Charging Measures ensure consistency and fairness across the higher education sector.

Subject to the passage of legislation, these new charges will apply from 1 January 2020.

Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)

HELP provides assistance for students to pay their student contributions (HECS-HELP), tuition fees (FEE-HELP, overseas study expenses (OS-HELP) and student service and amenities fees (SA-HELP).

Education Providers can get information on how to apply to become approved to offer FEE‑HELP to their eligible students; and approved HELP providers can access a range of important support materials.

For students

Moving from school to tertiary education is a big step, and many students can find the transition difficult.

There are many aspects of tertiary education that are different to studying at high school and you need to make sure you understand all the financial support and services available to you, and the requirements you must fulfill before you begin. For detailed information about the types of support and services available, visit the Study Assist website.

Student payments

There are a range of means-tested payments available to support eligible students who are undertaking, or who are planning to undertake, approved study or an Australian Apprenticeship.

Government loans for students

The Australian Government provides financial assistance through five different HELP schemes to assist students with the cost of their tuition. The right loan for you will depend on your circumstances, eligibility and where you want to study.

HELP for applicants/approved providers

Providers can apply to become approved to offer FEE-HELP  to eligible students.

FEE-HELP is for eligible fee-paying students enrolled in an accredited higher education course, such as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, to pay all or part of their tuition fees.

For detailed information about schedule and estimates, provider withdrawal processes, funding clusters and indexed rates, statistics and data reporting, ongoing financial requirements and access to the HELP IT System (HITS), providers can review either the Approved HEP information.

For new information about HELP and any changes to the program, providers can keep up to date with the HELP Noticeboard.

Our HELP Resources for providers include newsletters, the HITS user guides, legislation, guidelines and administrative documents.

Providers can also email the appropriate line area within the department by reviewing the Contact Us page.

Release of new HELP data

The department regularly reports a range of key statistics on HELP, including the Higher Education Statistics Collection on this website.

In conjunction with the Australian Taxation Office, the department has recently released further high-level statistics relating to HELP debts and repayments.

Tuition Protection for FEE-HELP from 2020

The Australian Government is committed to student protection and is expanding the successful Tuition Protection Service (TPS) for international students to include tuition protections for domestic students accessing a VET Student Loan (VSL), or FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP at a private education provider or TAFE.

On 18 September 2019, the Australian Government introduced a package of Bills to Parliament to expand the TPS. Subject to the passage of the Bills, the new tuition protection arrangements will commence on 1 January 2020.

Non-exempt providers will be required to pay levies, commensurate with their size and risk. Students, providers and the education and training sectors can be confident that the new tuition assurance arrangements will support students, and replacement providers, if tuition assurance is activated. Replacement providers will benefit from the introduction of an incentive payment if they enroll students from a closed provider.

Further information on future tuition protection arrangements is available from the Australian Government at:

For higher education students and providers or contact FEE-HELPTuitionAssurance@education.gov.au

For VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans VET students and providers Tuition assurance and provider closure or contact

VETTuitionAssurance@education.gov.au

Videos

The following is a list of all the videos that are associated with HELP and other Information.