The Australian Government introduced two Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) charges for higher education providers in the 2019-20 Federal Budget: an annual charge and an application fee. The charges commence from 1 January 2020, and will help cover the Commonwealth Government’s cost of administering the HECS HELP and FEE HELP programs. Legislation for these two charges received passage in Parliament on 15 October 2019.
The charges include:
- an application fee for higher education providers seeking approval to offer FEE-HELP under the Higher Education Support Act 2003. This will recover the Commonwealth's full costs of administering and assessing applications
- an annual charge for all higher education providers whose students are entitled to HECS‑HELP and/or FEE-HELP assistance. This will partially recover the costs incurred by the Commonwealth in administering these programs.
The Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) has been finalised, which outlines the costs for each regulatory activity, and how the application fee and annual charge rates are expected to be determined. Financial and non-financial performance information for these cost recovery activities was also included.