Commonwealth Supported

As a domestic student, you could be entitled to a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) at University. This means that the Australian Government subsidises your fees so that you only pay the remainder of the fees through a 'student contribution' amount.

Commonwealth supported students

Only an approved Australian higher education provider can offer domestic students a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP). CSPs for eligible students are available in all undergraduate programs of study (limited CSPs are available in dentistry, medicine, oral health, and veterinary science).

If you study in a CSP:

  • the Commonwealth contributes to the cost of your courses
  • you pay a Student Contribution towards the cost of your courses
  • you may be eligible for HECS-HELP assistance to pay your student contribution.

To be eligible for a CSP you must be either:

  • an Australian citizen and will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to your course of study
  • a permanent visa holder (check the list of visa subclasses) or a New Zealand citizen and will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit.

You must also:

  • have a USI if you are a new student commencing a program on or after 1 January 2021
  • have completed all the necessary steps to secure your CSP by the census date

Changes affecting Commonwealth supported students

The following changes take effect from 1 January 2022:

  • students enrolling in a new program in a CSP must meet the completion rate requirements to keep their CSP
  • all students (continuing and commencing) must have sufficient Student Learning Entitlement (SLE)
  • Completion rate requirements for Commonwealth supported students

    The completion rate requirement does not apply to continuing Commonwealth supported students studying in a program they commenced prior to 2022. It will apply to new Commonwealth supported students who enrol in a program of study from 1 January 2022.

    If you have a low completion rate, you will not be eligible to be a Commonwealth supported student and will not be eligible to receive certain Commonwealth assistance for your study, including HECS-HELP loans.

    A low completion rate is when you fail to complete at least 50 per cent of the courses of study you have attempted, after you have attempted:

    • eight or more courses of study in a bachelor level or higher award; or
    • four or more courses in a higher education course lower than a bachelor award.

    If you have a low completion rate, you can:

    • continue your program by paying upfront at the full-fee rate (because you won’t be able to access a CSP or a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan). If you pay upfront and increase your completion rate to 50 per cent or higher, you will be eligible for Commonwealth assistance for your program again.
    • transfer to a new program. If you change to a new program, your previous completion rate will not carry over and you will be able to access Commonwealth assistance for your new program.
    • apply for ‘special circumstances’ for one or more of your non-completed courses. For those non-completed units to be excluded from your completion rate, you will need to prove that ‘special circumstances’ applied to you while you were studying those courses.
  • Student Learning Entitlement (SLE)

    The Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) is the amount of study you can undertake in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) in your lifetime.

    All students will start with 7 equivalent full-time study load (EFTSL) of Commonwealth supported study. This is your SLE amount, with 7 EFTSL equating to 7 years of full-time study. From 1 January 2022, as you undertake study as a Commonwealth supported student, your SLE balance will reduce by the EFTSL value of the courses you undertake. Any study in a CSP with a census date before 1 January 2022 will not reduce your SLE amount.

    A person can receive additional SLE in EFTSL, when undertaking certain courses or when certain events occur.

    A person can have their SLE amount recredited where special circumstances apply, or where their HELP balance is re-credited.

    For more information please visit Study Assit: Student learning entitlement.

How to request Commonweath support

All Commonwealth supported students must complete a Request for Commonwealth Support and HECS-HELP Form for each program of study. A student must read the Information for Commonwealth Supported Students booklet before completing this form. The booklet is available from the Commonwealth Government's Study Assist website.

Full details of Student Contributions and HECS-HELP are provided to you when you are made an offer of a place at the University, before you enrol. For further information, visit the Government’s Study Assist website.

Student contribution

  • Student contribution amounts

    Important note: Student contribution amounts are calculated at the course (unit) level, not the program (degree) level, according to the area of study that each course falls within. Therefore, if you enrol in courses that fall within different student contribution bands (e.g. commerce and languages), you will be charged different student contribution amounts for those courses, according to the area of study of each individual course.

    See student contribution amounts

  • Calculating your student contribution

    How much you pay depends on how many courses you are enrolled in, the unit value of those courses and under which band your courses fall. To find out the amount for your course(s), search for the course(s) on Course Planner.

    If you are not sure how to calculate how much Student Contribution you should be paying, the Information for Commonwealth Supported Students booklet contains detailed instructions and examples of how to calculate your Student Contribution. This booklet is available to download from the Government’s Study Assist website.

    If you are studying Cross-Institutionally, please visit our Cross-Institutional Students page.

  • Paying your student contribution

    All Commonwealth Supported students are issued an invoice in MyAdelaide for each study period in which they enrol. Please visit our Payments page for more information about invoices, due dates and payment options.

    Commonwealth supported students must pay their Student Contribution in full by the invoice due date of each study period in which they are enrolled, and/or may be eligible to apply for HECS-HELP to cover some or all of their Student Conitrbution – see HECS-HELP page to check your eligibility.

    Student Contribution payments received after the census date cannot be accepted and will either be returned or refunded.

    If you make a partial payment, you must be eligible to have the balance of your Student Contribution deferred to a HECS-HELP loan, otherwise your enrolment in any fully or partially unpaid courses will be cancelled.

    Commonwealth supported students requiring further information on financial assistance and advice, please visit our Financial Assistance page.

    For more information concerning late, non-payment or incomplete deferral of Student Contribution for Commonwealth Supported students please refer to our Outstanding Debts page.

For further information on Local Sponsored Students, please visit our sponsored students page.

Other fees and charges

Please visit our other fees and charges page for more information.