Commonwealth supported places and HELP Loans

The Australian Government provides:

You must meet the eligibility requirements to access government subsidies or loans. To find out if you are eligible, please visit the StudyAssist website.

Commonwealth supported places

All Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent visa holders studying an undergraduate degree who meet the eligibility requirements are awarded a Commonwealth supported place (CSP).

If you are enrolled in a CSP, your course is subsidised by the Australian Government and you will only be liable to pay a student contribution amount.

To confirm your place you must:

If you need more information about Commonwealth supported places, please visit the Australian Government’s StudyAssist website.

Higher Education Loan Programs (HELP)

There are four HELP loan schemes that allow you to defer payment of your fees. To access any of these HELP loans you will need to complete the relevant eCAF:

eCAF forms for fee liability category

The table below shows which eCAF forms are available for each liability category and which fee type they apply to.

Liability category
Recommended eCAF
Commonwealth supported
HECS-HELP for tuition fees
SA-HELP for student services and amenities fee (SSAF)
OS-HELP for overseas study expenses
Domestic fee paying
FEE-HELP for tuition fees
SA-HELP for student services and amenities fee (SSAF)
Contribution exempt
HECS-HELP for tuition fees
SA-HELP for student services and amenities fee (SSAF)
Research term scheme (RTS) SA-HELP for student services and amenities fee (SSAF)
Fee exempt SA-HELP for student services and amenities fee (SSAF)

HECS-HELP

HECS-HELP is a loan available to eligible students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place to pay their student contribution amounts.

To be eligible for HECS-HELP you must:

Note: It is important that you submit your eCAF by the due date to ensure it is verified and processed prior to the census date.

Before applying for HECS-HELP we recommend you read the Australian Government's Information for Commonwealth supported students and HECS-HELP.

You can find more information about HECS-HELP on the StudyAssist website.

FEE-HELP

FEE-HELP is a loan available to eligible domestic students enrolled in a fee-paying place.

To be eligible for FEE-HELP you must:

Note: It is important that you submit your eCAF by the due date to ensure it is verified and processed prior to the census date.

  • Not exceed your FEE-HELP limit.

Before applying for FEE-HELP we recommend you read the Australian Government's FEE-HELP information brochure.

You can find more information about FEE-HELP on the StudyAssist website.

SA-HELP

SA-HELP is a loan available to eligible domestic students who do not wish to pay their Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF) upfront.

To be eligible for an SA-HELP loan you must:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible course of study at an approved provider, such as Curtin University
  • Meet the citizenship and residency requirements
  • Submit an SA-HELP eCAF via OASIS before the due date of the relevant study period and provide your tax file number or Certificate of Application for a tax file number.

Note: It is important that you submit your eCAF by the due date to ensure it is verified and processed prior to the census date.

Before applying for SA-HELP we recommend you read the Australian Government's SA-HELP information brochure.

You can find more information about SA-HELP on the StudyAssist website.

OS-HELP

OS-HELP is a loan available to eligible students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place who want to undertake some of their study overseas.

Further information about OS-HELP is provided under:

For more information visit the Australian Government’s StudyAssist website.

If you choose to use a HELP loan to defer your tuition fees, the Australian Government pays your tuition fees directly to Curtin on your behalf and a HELP debt is recorded for you with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) against your tax file number (TFN).

If you need more information about HELP loans, please visit the StudyAssist website.

Important Information

Tax file number (TFN)

Your tax file number (TFN) is your personal reference number issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). It is unique to you and cannot be used by anyone else, and you cannot use anyone else’s TFN.

If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) in your course and/or wish to use a HELP loan to defer your fees, you must submit your tax file number (TFN) on an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) by the due date of the relevant study period.

If you don't have a TFN, please see How do I get a TFN?

Eligibility for New Zealand Citizens

If you are an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder and meet the requisite criteria, you will be able to access a HELP loan to pay your tuition fees.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a New Zealand citizen who holds a Special Category Visa (SCV)
  • Have first entered Australia as a dependent minor aged under 18 years
  • Have been residing in Australia for the previous 10 years (and you have been present in Australia for at least eight out of those 10 years) at the time of application for the loan
  • Have been residing in Australia for the past 18 months out of the last 2 years at the time of application for the loan
  • Meet the other eligibility criteria for a HELP loan under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA).

If you are applying for a HELP loan, you must provide proof of your eligibility when submitting an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF).

The documents you must submit with your eCAF are:

Australian Permanent Residency for New Zealand citizens

If you are a New Zealand citizen and gain permanent residency (PR) in Australia, you will lose your SCV status. If you lose your SCV status for any reason, you become ineligible for HELP for all units of study with census dates after the date your SCV status is lost.

You can find further information about HELP loan eligibility on the StudyAssist website.