24. Domestic students who are fee-paying

A student is Commonwealth supported for a unit of study only if their provider advises them they are [HESA section 36-5(1)]. Domestic students who are not Commonwealth supported (referred to as ‘fee-paying students) must be charged tuition fees (see part 25.1), but cannot be charged student contribution amounts [HESA section 19‑85]. These students may be eligible for FEE‑HELP (but not HECS-HELP) (see part 31.4) for all or part of those tuition fees [HESA Division 104].

Fee-paying students are not included in determining the basic grant amount for CGS purposes [HESA section 33-5].

24.1 - Fee-paying summer and winter school units

A provider must not advise a person that they are a Commonwealth supported student in relation to a unit of study if:

  • the person undertakes the unit during a summer or winter school period [HESA subsection 36‑10(7)(a)] and
  • the provider has determined that subsection 36-10(7) applies to the unit [HESA subsection 36‑10(7)(b)].

Importantly, providers should note that HESA section 36-10(7)(b) confers them with the discretion to decide whether a summer or winter school unit will be provided on a Commonwealth supported basis. In making a determination under HESA subsection 36-10(7)(b), the provider must be satisfied that each person undertaking the unit must have been able to undertake, or could have undertaken, the unit outside the summer or winter school period as part of a course of study with the provider [HESA subsection 36‑10(8)].

‘Summer school period’ means a period that starts on or after 1 November in a year and ends after 1 January, but before 1 March, in the following year. ‘Winter school period’ means a period that starts on or after 1 June in a year and ends on or before 31 August in that year [HESA subsection 36‑10(10)]. A provider must determine whether a summer or winter school unit of study is not to be provided on a Commonwealth supported basis before the start of the applicable summer or winter school period [HESA subsection 36‑10(9)].

When determining that a unit is a fee-paying summer or winter school unit, a provider must ensure that students are aware the unit is a fee-paying summer or winter school unit.

Example

  • On 20 October 2018, Provider X makes a determination that a summer school unit commencing on 1 November 2018, which ordinarily forms part of course of study with provider, will not be provided on a Commonwealth supported basis for persons undertaking that unit. Accordingly, all persons undertaking that unit would do so on a fee-paying basis.