4. Pre-2010 students

From 2010, the maximum annual student contribution amount for education and nursing units of study was increased from the National Priority Band rate of $4,696 in 2013 to the Band 1 rate of $5,868 for 2013 and indexed for later years. This only applies to commencing students from 1 January 2010. Continuing students will continue to be subject to the National Priority Band rate.

4.1 - When is a person a pre-2010 student?

A person is a pre-2010 student for a unit of study they are now undertaking if they commenced a course of study with a provider before 1 January 2010 and was a Commonwealth supported student in relation to a unit of study in that course, and any of the following apply:

  • The person did not complete the course by 31 December 2009
  • In 2009, the person was undertaking an enabling course (see part 7.7)
  • The person has completed the related course for an honours course of study and they are undertaking the honours course of study; and
  • The person is undertaking a unit of study that would have been included in Education in the funding cluster Mathematics, Statistics, Behavioural Science, Education, Computing, Built Environment, Other Health or the Nursing funding cluster.

The maximum student contribution amounts for old funding clusters are subject to a savings provision in section 3 of Schedule 5 to the Higher Education Support Amendment (2009 Budget Measures) Act 2009).

To be a pre-2010 student, there is no requirement for a Commonwealth supported student to have been undertaking a course of study in education or nursing or a related discipline prior to 2010. They also do not need to have been undertaking units of study in education and nursing or related disciplines prior to 2010.


  • A student who is enrolled in a double or combined degree program is a pre‑2010 student if they completed the requirements of only one of the awards on or before 31 December 2009.
  • A pre-2010 student enrolled in a single degree program and who transfers to a combined or double degree program remains a pre‑2010 student even if they complete the requirements of one of the awards.

Pre-2010 students who transfer from one course of study to another

Pre-2010 arrangements apply to students who transfer from one course of study to another, including where one course of study is postgraduate and the other is undergraduate, or to those who transfer between providers, as long as they meet the above requirements.

Pre-2010 students who defer their studies

Where a student commenced a course of study as a Commonwealth supported student before 2010, but had not completed the course of study by the end of 2009, and they took a break from their studies by deferring, they are considered a pre-2010 student on their return to that course of study.

Students are generally subject to the same provisions as existed when they commenced their Commonwealth supported course.

4.2 - When is a person not a pre-2010 student?

A student can be a pre-2010 student only if, among other requirements, they were a Commonwealth supported student for a unit of study undertaken as part of a course of study before 1 January 2010. A person is a Commonwealth supported student in a unit only if they remain enrolled at the end of the census date for the unit.

Therefore, a person is not a pre‑2010 student if they:

  • deferred their enrolment in the relevant unit of study prior to 1 January 2010; or
  • withdrew following enrolment from all units before the end of the first census date for a unit in their course of study.

An exception would be if the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) student met the pre-2010 requirements for a different course of study.

A person who studied as a student prior to 1 January 2005, but who did not undertake any study between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2009 as a Commonwealth supported student, will not be a pre-2010 student.