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.  You must also be either:

  • 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 visa holder who held a NZ special category visa immediately prior to your permanent visa and you previously met the long-term residency requirements; OR
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder or eligible former permanent humanitarian visa holder residing in Australia for the duration of your course of study; OR
  • a pacific engagement visa holder (this visa becomes eligible from 1 February 2024).

You must also:

  • 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
  • be assessed as a genuine student and as academically suitable for your unit of study
  • maintain a reasonable study load of no more than 2 EFTSL per year unless approved by The University of Adelaide to study a higher load
  • have read the Commonwealth supported places and HECS-HELP information booklet
  • have submitted a valid CSP and HECS-HELP eCAF by the census date.

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 to ask.studentfinance@adelaide.edu.au 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 and balance

The combined HELP loan limit includes HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and Vet Student Loans. For 2023, the HELP loan limit will be $113,028 for most students.  The limit for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses leading to initial registration will be $162,336.

The HELP loan limit in 2024 is $121,844 for most students.  The limit for students studying medicine, dentistry, veterinary science courses leading to initial registration is $174,998.

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 myHELPbalance 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).