Commonwealth supported places and HELP Loans

If you are a domestic student, you may be eligible for subsidies and/or loans provided by the Australian government, including:

  • Subsidies through Commonwealth supported places (CSP)
  • Student loans through the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)

Commonwealth supported places

A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is a place in a course with lower tuition fees. If you are in a CSP, part of your tuition has been subsidised by the Australian government so you pay less.

If you are enrolled in an undergraduate degree, you will be awarded a CSP if you are:

  • An Australian citizen, who will live and study in Australia for at least part of your course; or
  • An Australian permanent resident, who will live and study in Australia for the duration of your course; or
  • A New Zealand citizen, who will live and study in Australia for the duration of your course

Curtin also offers CSPs for a small number of postgraduate courses. If you are enrolled in a postgraduate course, please contact Curtin Connect to check whether CSPs are offered.

If you are eligible, you will automatically be offered a CSP in your course. You will then need to confirm your place by:

  • Enrolling in a Commonwealth supported unit before the census date
  • Ensuring you meet the residency requirements listed above (live and study in Australia as required for your citizenship or residency status)
  • Submitting a valid electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) before the due date of the study period you are enrolled in

You can find more information about Commonwealth supported places on the StudyAssist website.

Full fee paying and not-for-degree places

A full fee paying place is a place that is not subsidised by the Australian government. If you are enrolled as a full fee paying student, you must pay the full cost of your course. You may be eligible to use a FEE-HELP loan to pay your fees, if you meet the relevant criteria.

If you undertake individual units at Curtin, rather than a full course, you will be enrolled as a not-for-degree student and must pay your full fees upfront when you enrol.

Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)

The Australian government’s Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) offers loans to eligible domestic students studying at university. There are four HELP loans available, which allow you to defer payment of your tuition and Student Services and Amenities Fees (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 are a New Zealand citizen, you will need to meet the Special Category Visa (SCV) and residency requirements to be eligible for a HELP loan:

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.

If you are eligible and wish to use a HELP loan to pay your fees, you must complete the relevant electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) by the due date of the study period you’re enrolled in:

Which eCAF to complete

There are four eCAFs available at Curtin. The one you’ll need to complete depends on your enrolment.

The table below shows which eCAFs should be completed for each type of enrolment:

Liability category
Recommended eCAF
Commonwealth supported
HECS-HELP for tuition fees
SA-HELP for Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF)
OS-HELP for overseas study expenses
Domestic fee paying
FEE-HELP for tuition fees
SA-HELP for Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF)
Contribution exempt
HECS-HELP for tuition fees
SA-HELP for Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF)
Research training program (RTP) SA-HELP for Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF)
Fee exempt SA-HELP for Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF)














 


 

Once you know which form to complete, you can find and submit your eCAF on the My eCAFs tab in eStudent, via OASIS. For detailed instructions on how to complete your eCAF, please see eStudent Help.

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

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?

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