HELP and other Information

For: 

The Australian Government provides financial assistance to students through the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), which consists of five different loan schemes.

Remission of HELP debts for teachers in very remote areas of Australia

A qualified teacher, including an early childhood teacher, who relocates to a very remote area (using the ASGS Remote Structure) on or after the start of the 2019 school year, and remains teaching for at least four years in six, may be eligible to have their outstanding HELP debt remitted.

To be eligible, individuals must be engaged as a teacher at any of the following:

  • an early childhood education and care service that includes a preschool education program
  • a preschool
  • a school providing primary or secondary education.

This initiative also applies to indiviuals currently teaching in a very remote area of Australia who remain for a further four years. Service prior to the start of the 2019 school year will not count towards the four‑year requirement.

Teachers working in very remote schools are able to have indexation on their outstanding HELP debt waived while they remain teaching in that location. There is no length of service requirement for indexation waivers. This is available for eligible teachers from 14 February 2019. Once they are no longer teaching in a very remote area, indexation on any remaining HELP debt will recommence.

Further information can be found on the Remission of Higher Education Loan Program debts for teachers page, or by contacting veryremotehelp@education.gov.au

Increase HELP loan limit for aviation courses

The combined Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loan limit will be increased to $150,000 for students undertaking eligible aviation courses at a VET Student Loans (VSL) approved provider, from 1 January 2020.

This 2019-20 Federal Budget measure is subject to the passage of legislation.

Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) Charging Measures

In line with the Australian Government Charging Framework, the Government introduced two HELP Charging Measures in the 2019-20 Federal Budget. The HELP Charging Measures allow for higher education providers, who utilise Commonwealth funding, to contribute to the maintenance and operation of HELP arrangements. The HELP Charging Measures ensure consistency and fairness across the higher education sector.

Legislation received passage through Parliament on 15 October 2019. The charges commence on 1 January 2020

.Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)

HELP provides assistance for students to pay their student contributions (HECS-HELP), tuition fees (FEE-HELP, overseas study expenses (OS-HELP) and student service and amenities fees (SA-HELP).

Education Providers can get information on how to apply to become approved to offer FEE‑HELP to their eligible students; and approved HELP providers can access a range of important support materials.

For students

Moving from school to tertiary education is a big step, and many students can find the transition difficult.

There are many aspects of tertiary education that are different to studying at high school and you need to make sure you understand all the financial support and services available to you, and the requirements you must fulfill before you begin. For detailed information about the types of support and services available, visit the Study Assist website.

Student payments

There are a range of means-tested payments available to support eligible students who are undertaking, or who are planning to undertake, approved study or an Australian Apprenticeship.

Government loans for students

The Australian Government provides financial assistance through five different HELP schemes to assist students with the cost of their tuition. The right loan for you will depend on your circumstances, eligibility and where you want to study.

HELP for applicants/approved providers

Providers can apply to become approved to offer FEE-HELP  to eligible students.

FEE-HELP is for eligible fee-paying students enrolled in an accredited higher education course, such as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, to pay all or part of their tuition fees.

For detailed information about schedule and estimates, provider withdrawal processes, funding clusters and indexed rates, statistics and data reporting, ongoing financial requirements and access to the HELP IT System (HITS), providers can review either the Approved HEP information.

For new information about HELP and any changes to the program, providers can keep up to date with the HELP Noticeboard.

Our HELP Resources for providers include newsletters, the HITS user guides, legislation, guidelines and administrative documents.

Providers can also email the appropriate line area within the department by reviewing the Contact Us page.

Release of new HELP data

The department regularly reports a range of key statistics on HELP, including the Higher Education Statistics Collection on this website.

In conjunction with the Australian Taxation Office, the department has recently released further high-level statistics relating to HELP debts and repayments.

Tuition Protection for FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP from 2020

The Australian Government is committed to protecting student tuition and is expanding the successful Tuition Protection Service (TPS) for international students on 1 January 2020 to domestic students accessing a VET Student Loan (VSL), or FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP at a private education provider.

Private education and training providers are to pay levies, commensurate with their size and risk, to sector specific funds. The funds will be used to assist students affected by a provider default and who cannot complete their course because the provider fails to provide a course or a part of a course to the student.

The department will assist students affected by a provider default by:

  • working to identify if there is a course with another provider that is suitable for the student to complete their qualification, and if there is, provide assistance to enrol with the provider
  • where there is no suitable course or the student chooses to be re-credited, the department will arrange a re-credit of a student’s loan balance for units of study commenced but not completed.

The new tuition protection arrangements are established by the Education Legislation Amendment (Tuition Protection and Other Measures) Act 2019, which was passed by Parliament on 5 December 2019. The Higher Education Support (HELP Tuition Protection Levy) Bill 2019 introduces the levy model which will fund the scheme. The Bill is expected to pass through the Senate in early 2020.

Further information about tuition protection.

Resources

The following is a list of all the resources that are associated with HELP and other Information.

Results

  1. Individual Provider Tables

    Created: 16 August 2017

    Individual Provider Tables

  2. Instructions for drafters of the Deed of Financial Guarantee – Financial Viability template

    Created: 20 November 2013  |  Last modified: 8 May 2015

    Instructions to assist Applicants and Approved Providers of FEE-HELP and VET FEE-HELP when drafting their Deed of Financial Guarantee - Financial Viability template

  3. Notional VET FEE-HELP loan account guideline

    Created: 29 March 2016  |  Last modified: 7 April 2016

    VET FEE-HELP Provider information - Request to increase Notional VET FEE-HELP loan account

  4. Percentage of Commonwealth supported places provided in medicine

    Created: 26 November 2013

  5. Privacy Notice

    Created: 28 March 2014  |  Last modified: 28 March 2019

    This ‘Privacy Notice’ describes how your personal information, for the purposes of entities being approved under the Higher Education Support Act 2003, is used.

  6. Provider Type Tables

    Created: 16 August 2017

    Provider Type Tables

  7. PSC Quick Reference Guide HITS- Inviting users

    Created: 22 June 2018

    The Primary Security Contact (PSC) officers from each organisation are able to manage HITS access for users within their organisation.  This document is a quick reference guide...

  8. Reducing HESA Administration- July 2013

    Created: 26 November 2013

    This purpose of this information paper is to describe the planned changes to the administration of publishing unit of study information, including schedules of tuition fees,...

  9. Research Masters degrees and Research Doctoral degrees

    Created: 26 November 2013

  10. Statement of VET Tuition assurance (VET FEE-HELP only)

    Created: 26 November 2013  |  Last modified: 8 May 2015

    An optional template for VET providers in completing their VET Tuition Assurance statement.

  11. Statutory Declaration

    Created: 20 November 2013  |  Last modified: 29 March 2019

    Senior Authorised Officers' Declaration is an overarching declaration to be signed by two Directors, or the Director and Secretary, of the body corporate applying to become a...

  12. Student Tables

    Created: 16 August 2017

    Student Tables

  13. Students exempt from payment of student contributions and tuition fees

    Created: 26 November 2013

  14. Study Tables

    Created: 16 August 2017

    Study Tables

  15. Tax File Number (TFN) Guidelines for Higher Education Providers and Open Universities Australia (OLA)

    Created: 26 November 2013

  16. Tuition Protection Fact Sheet

    Created: 26 September 2019  |  Last modified: 28 October 2019

    Tuition protection - Questions and answers on future arrangements for higher education students and providers.

  17. Tuition protection – Questions and answers for Higher Education students and providers

    Created: 11 December 2019

    Tuition protection – Questions and answers for Higher Education students and providers

  18. Very remote Centre Based Day Care services list

    Created: 6 December 2019

    List of center based day care services in a very remote location in Australia (using the ASGS Remoteness Structure) that apply for teachers that are eligible for application of...

  19. VET FEE-HELP Annual Statistical Report Tables- 2017

    Created: 7 August 2018

    This document is an attachment to the VET FEE-HELP Annual Statistical Report 2017

  20. VET FEE-HELP Certificate IV Trial information for students

    Created: 14 January 2014  |  Last modified: 4 August 2016

    Information sheet for VET students interested in participating in the Certificate IV trial.

  21. VET FEE-HELP Certificate IV Trial information for VET providers

    Created: 14 January 2014  |  Last modified: 4 August 2016

    Information sheet for VET providers interested in participating in the Certificate IV trial.

  22. VET FEE-HELP First Year Survey

    Created: 27 November 2013  |  Last modified: 6 August 2014

    This is a financial workbook specifically desinged for approved providers.

  23. VET FEE-HELP marketing guidelines

    Created: 20 December 2013  |  Last modified: 1 April 2015

    This guide is to be used by VET providers when they develop marketing material which incorporates VET FEE HELP.

  24. VFH Annual Statistical Report 2017

    Created: 7 August 2018

    This report focuses on students whose tuition fees were paid (whether in whole or in part) using a VET FEE-HELP Loan (VFH) in 2017. This report refers to these students as VFH ‑...

  25. VSL Student Impact Fact Sheet

    Created: 24 May 2017

    This factsheet provides a series of questions and answers to assist students affected by the VET Student Loans formal provider approval process.

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