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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 (see Note 1) 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. 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 HECS-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 HECS-HELP (the full eligibility criteria is available from the HECS-HELP and Commonwealth supported place information booklet). 

* 'Test day' means the first date you successfully applied for a 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 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 Commonwealth Support and HECS-HELP form.

Holders of other permanent visas, and New Zealand Citizens, who do not meet the above eligibility criteria, are not eligible for HECS-HELP loans 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.


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 in person at Ask Adelaide, Hub Central, 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.


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

Tax File Number (TFN)

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

Once you receive your TFN from the ATO, you can enter it in Access Adelaide by following this path:

  1. Select the 'My Finances' Menu.
  2. 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.

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