Before applying, organisations should consider whether FEE-HELP is appropriate. HEPs are responsible for ensuring they comply with the legislative requirements. If approved, an organisation will have to change some of its business practices to ensure compliance. Breaches of legislative requirements may result in penalties including suspension or revocation of approval.
An organisation seeking approval to offer FEE-HELP must meet certain legislative eligibility requirements. To be eligible an organisation must be a body corporate with its central management and control in Australia, be listed on the national register of higher education providers and offer at least one eligible accredited course.
The national register is available on the Tertiary Education Quality and Standard Agency (TEQSA) website.
Registered higher education providers applying must also meet legislative requirements in relation to financial viability, student policies and procedures for fairness and equal opportunity, academic and non-academic grievance, refunds and re-crediting of a FEE-HELP balance. There are also ongoing responsibilities including certain administrative requirements and data reporting requirements associated with FEE HELP.
Making an application
The FEE-HELP Provider Application Guide (Application Guide) covers the requirements that applicants must address to become approved HEPs. For each requirement the Application Guide provides a checklist of information and/or documentation which must be provided, reference to the legislative provisions and a detailed discussion of the requirements.
The Financial Viability Instructions (FVI) for FEE HELP inform applicants of the financial information that is required, the form in which it must be prepared and how financial viability will be assessed.
You must read the Application Guide and FVI before applying.
How to apply
Once you are able to access HITS, you will need to enter your organisation’s details, financial performance data and upload all documentation required to meet legislative requirements including mandatory forms. If you do not provide enough information the application will not be accepted by the department.
It is a requirement for some documents to be certified. The Guidelines for certification of documents provides advice on how to certify a document.
IMPORTANT: From 1 January 2020, the Commonwealth Government charges an ‘Application Fee’ for HEPs seeking approval to offer FEE-HELP under the Higher Education Support Act 2003. This fee will recover the Commonwealth's full costs of administering and assessing applications. For more information about the Application Fee, visit HELP Charging Measures.
Once an application is lodged, the Applicant is required to pay the Application Fee to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Applications will be assessed within 90 days of receipt of the application fee. If further information is required this will extend the assessment period by a further 60 days after the deadline given for the provision of the additional information.
Please email the FEE-HELP team at FEE-HELP@dese.gov.au to initiate payment of your Application Fee.
- Higher Education Support Act 2003 and legislative guidelines.
- Higher Education Senior Authorised Officers’ Statutory Declaration
- Higher Education Fee Requirements Form
- Declaration of Compliance with Reporting Requirements
- Deed of Financial Guarantee – financial viability template
- Instructions for drafters of the Deed of Financial Guarantee – financial viability template