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Financial support: FEE-HELP & higher education loan schemes

Need financial support to manage the cost of study? You may be eligible for the Australian Government’s FEE-HELP scheme.

By Meegan Waugh Published 05/07/2022

The government offers a range of Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) schemes to support Australian students who are pursuing higher education.


The schemes include:

  • HECS-HELP – to help Commonwealth-supported students cover their student contribution
  • FEE-HELP – to help full fee-paying students cover their fees
  • SA-HELP – to pay for student services and amenities
  • OS-HELP – for Commonwealth-supported students studying overseas.

The scheme most relevant to postgraduate courses is FEE-HELP, as they are largely full-fee paying A small number of postgraduate programs may have commonwealth supported places (CSP), in which case HECS-HELP is the scheme available to those students.

How does FEE-HELP work?

Under the FEE-HELP scheme, you can apply for a loan to cover some or all of your university fees. It’s for study (tuition) fees only – you can’t use a FEE-HELP loan to pay for accommodation, textbooks or other equipment.

For most courses in 2022, the maximum you can borrow under any HELP scheme is across the span of your education is AUD$109,206. If you’ve already used a HELP scheme to pay for previous study, make sure you check your available balance.

You’ll need to start paying back your HELP loan once you’re earning above the compulsory repayment threshold. In 2021-2022, the threshold is AUD$47,014. Repayments are facilitated through the Australian tax system.

FEE-HELP is available for all courses listed on this site, as long as you meet eligibility requirements.

Am I eligible?

You may qualify for FEE-HELP if you are:

  • an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa
  • studying at least part of your course in Australia
  • enrolled in a full fee-paying place.

For the full eligibility criteria, please visit the Australian Government’s FEE-HELP page.

How do I apply?

To apply for FEE-HELP, you’ll need:

  • a tax file number (TFN), or proof that you’ve applied for one
  • a Request for a FEE-HELP loan form, which you can request from your education provider.

You must complete and submit your request form before the census date.

Where can I find out more?

For up-to-date information on the FEE-HELP program, eligibility requirements and the application process, visit the Australian Government’s StudyAssist website.