Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) Charging Measures 2018

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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 application fee will help cover the Commonwealth Government’s cost of administering the HECS‑HELP and FEE‑HELP programs

The charges are subject to the passage of legislation and will apply from 1 January 2020.

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.

A draft Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) was released for consultation on 31 October 2018. The draft CRIS outlined 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.

Consultation on the draft CRIS concluded on 23 November 2018, and the feedback received informed development of the final CRIS.

The 2019-20 Federal Budget delayed the introduction of the charges by 12 months, to January 2020.