Commonwealth Support and HECS-HELP
Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP are different. A Commonwealth supported place is subsidised by the Government so that students are only required to pay a student contribution amount rather than tuition fees. HECS-HELP is the loan scheme to help eligible Commonwealth supported students pay their student contributions through a loan.
Commonwealth supported places are subsidised higher education places. The Australian Government subsidises a portion of the real cost of the student’s place. Commonwealth supported students then contribute to the cost of their higher education through payment of a Student Contribution.
Commonwealth supported places are available in all undergraduate level and some postgraduate level courses. Your Offer Letter will advise if you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place.
You are eligible to be Commonwealth supported if you are:
- an Australian citizen who will undertake in Australia at least one unit of study that contributes to the requirements of your course; or
- a New Zealand citizen who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit of study; or
- the holder of a permanent visa, including a permanent humanitarian visa, who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit of study.
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, you MUST submit a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form to CQUniversity before the census date of your first term of enrolment. Failure to submit a valid form by the census date of your first term will result in your enrolment being cancelled for that term.
Students who change course must submit a new Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form for the new course prior to the census date of their first term of enrolment in the new course.
The Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form is available online in MyCentre. Details on how to submit a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form can be accessed here (login required). A paper copy can be mailed to you on request. Please contact the Student Advice Team if you require a paper form: 13 27 86, or +61 7 4930 9000 if calling from overseas.
Please be sure to read the HECS-HELP Commonwealth supported places information booklet before completing the form. This booklet is available online at the Study Assist web site.
HECS-HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay their student contributions. Students do not have to use a HECS-HELP loan to pay their student contributions; they can choose to pay upfront in full or can choose to pay some of the student contribution upfront and use a HECS-HELP loan for the rest.
To be eligible for HECS-HELP a student must be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place (see above), and provide their Tax File Number on the submitted Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form.
NOTE: New Zealand citizens who hold a Special Category Visa and who meet other eligibility criteria may be eligible for HECS-HELP. See the New Zealand citizens – eligibility for HELP page for more information.
From 1 January 2020 the Australian Government introduced a combined HELP loan limit which caps the amount you can borrow. This loan limit includes any HECS-HELP debt incurred from 2020 onwards plus any existing and new FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans.