A FEE-HELP loan allows students to borrow from the Commonwealth, up to the FEE-HELP limit, to cover some or all of their tuition fees.
Students who receive a FEE-HELP loan will have part or their entire tuition fees paid to the University by the Commonwealth and a FEE-HELP debt recorded for them with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
To be eligible for FEE-HELP, you must:
- be an Australian citizen residing in Australia for at least one course of study contributing to your program OR be an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holder (see Note 1) residing in Australia for at least one course of study contributing to your program OR be a permanent humanitarian visa holder residing in Australia for the duration of your course of study OR be a permanent visa holder who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, residing in Australia for the duration of your course of study
- complete and submit a Request for FEE-HELP Assistance form for each program you are enrolled in by the census date
- provide your Tax File Number (TFN) or a Certificate of application for a tax file number before the census date. Importantly, you must ensure that your TFN, and all your personal details (names, date of birth and addresses) provided to the University match exactly with your records with the ATO, otherwise you will not be eligible to access HELP.
Note 1: From 1 January 2016, if you hold a New Zealand Special Category Visa, you may be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan, providing you meet all of the following criteria:
- you first entered Australia as a dependent child under 18 years of age and at that time you did not have a spouse or de factor partner; and
- you meet the residency requirements:
- first started to be generally living and resident in Australia at least 10 years before the test day*; and
- have been in Australia for at least:
> a total of 8 out of the past 10 years immediately before the test day*; and
> a total of 18 months out of the past two years immediately before the test day*,
- you are otherwise eligible for FEE-HELP (the full eligibility criteria is available from the FEE-HELP information booklet).
* 'Test day' means the first date you successfully applied for a FEE-HELP loan as an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holder for a unit that formed part of the same course of study. If you have not previously successfully applied for a FEE-HELP loan for a unit that forms part of your course of study then the 'test day' is the date you submit the Request for FEE-HELP assistance form.
If you are a holder of a permanent visa, or a New Zealand Citizen, who does not meet the above eligibility criteria, you are not eligible for FEE-HELP, and must pay your tuition fees to the University by the invoice due date.
FEE-HELP eligible students may pay their tuition fees in one of the following ways:
- pay the full tuition fees to the University by the invoice due date
- receive a FEE-HELP loan for the full tuition fee
- pay some of the tuition fees to the University by the invoice due date and receive a FEE-HELP loan for the remainder of the tuition fees.
Undergraduate students who receive FEE-HELP will also incur a 25% loan fee when their debt is created e.g. a loan for tuition fees of $10,000, will attract a loan fee of $2,500, making the total debt $12,500.
Postgraduate students do not have a loan fee applied to their FEE-HELP loan.
The Request for FEE-HELP Assistance form is available as part of the University's online enrolment process or through the following path in Access Adelaide*:
- Select the 'My Finances' Menu
- Select 'Payment Category'
- Select the 'Apply for FEE-HELP' button
- Follow the prompts, enter your TFN where required, and answer all questions on the form
- Select 'Submit Form'
*Eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holders will need to provide evidence of their eligibility in person at Ask Adelaide, Hub Central, by the census date of the relevant study period, otherwise their application will not be valid.
If you are a cross-institutional student and wish to access FEE-HELP at both institutions, you must complete a Request for FEE-HELP form for each institution in which you are enrolled.
There is a limit to how much students can borrow under FEE-HELP, this is called the FEE-HELP limit. The FEE-HELP limit is the maximum loan amount that eligible students can borrow over their life time. If you have reached the FEE-HELP limit you are no longer eligible to access a FEE-HELP loan. In 2018, the FEE-HELP limit will be $102,392 for most programs (except Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science, for which the FEE-HELP limit will be $127,992). This limit excludes the loan fee.
It is a student's responsibility to keep track of their FEE-HELP balance and to notify the University if there is insufficient FEE-HELP balance remaining to cover the tuition fees. Student’s can check their FEE-HELP usage and balance in MyUniAssist on the Commonwealth Government’s Study Assist website.
Repayment of a FEE-HELP debt is compulsory when your taxable income is above the minimum repayment threshold set by the Australian Government. Compulsory repayment of your FEE-HELP debt to the Australian Taxation Office is made through the Australian taxation system. The repayment thresholds can be found on the Commonwealth Government’s Study Assist website. All FEE-HELP debts are indexed each year to maintain their real value.
Note: You can check the current balance of your HELP debt and make repayments via your MyGov account my.gov.au. You can also request a HELP account statement by phoning the ATO on 13 28 61 between 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday.
If you wish to access FEE-HELP but don't yet have a TFN, it is important that you apply for one early via the (ATO) .
Once you receive your TFN from the ATO, you can enter it in Access Adelaide by following this path:
- Select the 'My Finances' Menu.
- Select 'Tax File Number'.
If you have not received your TFN by ten days before the census date, you must provide the University with either:
- A Certificate of application for a TFN issued to you by the ATO; OR
- Your printed TFN application summary together with an Australia Post TFN application receipt
You can submit this evidence at Ask Adelaide located in Hub Central, North Terrace campus.
If you have submitted the above evidence to the University, you will still need to enter your TFN in Access Adelaide as soon as you receive it from the ATO.