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A HECS-HELP loan allows students to borrow from the Commonwealth to cover some or all of their student contribution.

Students who receive HECS-HELP will have part or their entire student contribution amount paid to the University by the Commonwealth and a HECS-HELP debt recorded for them with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).


To be eligible for HECS-HELP, you must:

  • be studying in a Commonwealth supported place
  • be an Australian citizen residing in Australia for at least one course of study contributing to your program OR an eligible New Zealand special category visa holder residing in Australia for the duration of your unit(s) of study OR a permanent humanitarian visa holder residing in Australia for the duration of your course of study
  • complete and submit a ‘Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP' 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
  • provide your Unique Student Identifier (USI) before enrolling
  • have enough available HELP balance.

Holders of other permanent visas, and New Zealand Citizens, who do not meet the above eligibility criteria, are not eligible for HECS-HELP loans or the 10% HECS-HELP up-front payment discount and must pay all student contributions to the University by the invoice due date.

HECS-HELP eligible students may pay their student contribution in the following ways:

  • pay the full amount to the University by the invoice due date
  • pay some of the student contribution to the University by the invoice due date and receive a HECS-HELP loan, (if eligible) for the remainder of the student contribution
  • receive a HECS-HELP loan (if eligible) for the full student contribution*
    • *For units of study with a census date on or after 1 January, 2021 HECS-HELP eligible students who make an up-front payment of $500 or more towards their Student Contribution, will receive a 10% discount on the up-front payment.  E.g. payment of $500 will reduce your Student Contribution by $555.


To apply for HECS-HELP, eligible students must complete a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form, which is available as part of the University's online enrolment process through the following path in Access Adelaide*:

  1. Select the 'My Finances' Menu
  2. Select 'Payment Category'
  3. Select the 'Request for Commonwealth Support and HECS-HELP' button
  4. Follow the prompts, enter your TFN where required, and answer all questions on the form 
  5. Select 'Submit Form'

*Eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holders will need to provide evidence of their eligibility to by the census date of the relevant study period, otherwise their application will not be valid.

Within 28 days of the census date the University will send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) showing the amount of student contribution deferred to a HECS-HELP loan.

If you are a cross-institutional student and wish to access HECS-HELP at both institutions, you must complete a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form for each institution in which you are enrolled.

Combined HELP loan limit & balance

From 1 January 2020, there is a new combined HELP loan limit in place, which includes HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and Vet Student Loans. For 2021, the HELP loan limit will be $108,232 for most students.  The limit for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses leading to initial registration will be $155,448.

It is your responsibility to keep track of your HELP balance and to notify the University if there is insufficient HELP balance remaining to cover your Student Contribution amount. You can check your HELP balance on the Commonwealth Government’s website.


Repayment of a HECS-HELP debt is compulsory when your taxable income is above the minimum repayment threshold set by the Australian Government - refer to Repayment of HELP debt.

Any repayments you make on your HELP debt will credit your available HELP balance, up to your applicable HELP loan limit.

Tax File Number (TFN)

If you wish to access HECS-HELP but don't yet have a tax file number, it is important that you apply for one early via the (ATO) Link to external website

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