FEE-HELP is an Australian Government loan scheme that helps eligible higher education students enrolled in fee-paying place to pay their tuition fees. Non-award programs are not eligible for FEE-HELP.
To be eligible for FEE-HELP you must be either:
An Australian citizen AND will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study (course) contributing to your course of study (program)
A permanent ‘humanitarian’ visa holder AND will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit (course)
A permanent visa holder AND will undertake bridging study for overseas trained professionals AND will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit (course).
FEE-HELP enables eligible students to obtain a loan to pay all or part of their tuition fees. It does not cover any administrative or general service charges. Over their lifetime students may borrow an amount up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay their tuition fees.
The FEE-HELP limit is indexed each year and in 2013 is $116,507 for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science students (in programs which satisfy the academic requirements for provisional registration to practice in one of these fields) and $93,204 for all other students. Under FEE-HELP, the Government pays the loan amount directly to the University. Recipients then repay the loan through the taxation system once their income reaches the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment.
There is a FEE-HELP loan fee of 25% for undergraduate programs. You may make partial payments of $500 or more to the University by the study period census date to reduce your FEE-HELP debt. However, partial payments of $500 or more paid to the Tax Office after the census date receive a 5% discount on the payment – a link to the FEE-HELP information booklet is below.
If eligible and you wish to defer part or all of your tuition fees through FEE-HELP, you must submit a 'Request for FEE-HELP Assistance' form and provide your Tax File Number by the relevant census date. Once your program is activated, the online form will be available from your mySI-net home page via your 'Financial' link.
What happens to my FEE-HELP debt?
Your FEE-HELP debt becomes part of your accumulated HELP debt, which is the total of any HELP debts you have incurred. You start repaying your HELP debt when your repayment income is above the minimum repayment threshold for compolsory repayment. This is indexed annually and is $49,095 for the 2012/13 income year.
For more information, see the Government's FEE-HELP information booklet (PDF).