The Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) has 4 different loan schemes that provide financial support to students. In 2020. changes provide extra support for students in regional and remote areas.
Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
The Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) provides financial help for students to pay:
- Student contributions (HECS-HELP)
- Tuition fees (FEE-HELP)
- Overseas study expenses (OS-HELP)
- Student service and amenities fees (SA-HELP)
Students can also access financial help for their Vocational Education and Training (VET) tuition fees through (VET Student Loans)
HELP loan limits
For 2020, the HELP loan limits are:
- $108,232 for most students
- $155,448 for students studying:
- Medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses leading to initial registration
- Eligible aviation courses
For units of study from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2021 inclusive, undergraduate FEE-HELP assisted students will be exempt from loan fees. This is to encourage students to commence or continue study during the COVID 19 pandemic.
From 1 July 2021, FEE-HELP loan fees for undergraduate fee-paying places at higher education providers will be reduced to 20 per cent (from 25 per cent). The reduction of the loan fee reduces the financial burden on students and continues to support the sustainability of the HELP scheme.
Key statistics on HELP are collected and published regularly. The most recent publication looks at statistics relating to HELP debts and repayments.
In October 2020 legislation for the Job-ready Graduates Package (the package) of reforms to higher education was passed. Changes in this package:
- Affect student contributions
- Provide more opportunities for regional students, including:
- The new Tertiary Access Payment
- Guaranteed Commonwealth supported places for Indigenous students
- Affect student eligibility requirements for Commonwealth assistance for their studies.
Most of these changes will begin on 1 January 2021.
Current and new students who will be studying from 1 January 2021 should talk to their current or intended higher education provider to confirm how these changes may affect their individual circumstances.