This overview covers everything you need to know to about paying all your fees, and how to access loans to help you pay them.
This information is for you if you’re:
an Australian or New Zealand citizen, humanitarian visa holder or an Australian permanent resident, and
enrolled in an undergraduate degree, double degree or UniLink diploma.
If you're an Open Universities Australia (OUA) student enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported place (CSP), please refer to the Ask George help page regarding information on Student Services Amenities Fees and SA HELP. Completing the Commonwealth Supported place (CSP) HECS HELP form does not defer your Student Services Amenities Fees. Refer to the OUA website for information on fees.
Your tuition fees cover the basic cost of delivering your nationally recognised Swinburne course.
If you are a local student offered a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), your tuition fees are made up of two parts: a portion subsidised by the Australian Government (you don’t need to pay this back), and your own student contribution (most students use a HECS-HELP loan to pay this).
Students not offered a CSP can still enrol on an upfront fee-paying basis.
If you are not offered a CSP and need to borrow the full cost of your course from the government, you can access a FEE-HELP loan, provided you have not reached the HELP-loan limit.
The HELP loan limit is the maximum amount you can borrow from the government in your lifetime towards your education costs. It is fixed and cannot be topped up.
For 2020, the HELP loan limit is $106,319 for most students. The limit for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses will be $152,700.
Subject to the passage of legislation, from 1 January 2020 students undertaking eligible aviation courses of study will have access to the higher combined Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loan limit. The loan limit amount will be the 2019 HELP loan limit amount of $150,000, indexed by the Consumer Price Index.
An SA-HELP loan is specifically to assist with paying the Student Services and Amenities Fee.
OS-HELP is available to eligible local students for international study experiences, including exchange and study tours.
There are also several scholarships available to local undergraduates who meet the criteria. You are strongly encouraged to apply.
Loan limit changes – Combined HELP loan limit
The combined HELP loan limit is a cap on what you can borrow from the Australian Government to cover the costs of your tuition fees. The HELP loan limit will replace the current FEE-HELP limit from 1 January 2020.
The HELP loan limit will include HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Students Loans.
Existing FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loan debts will be carried over and count towards your HELP loan limit.
Any previous HECS-HELP debts will not be included in the HELP loan limit.
From 1 January 2020 onwards, new HECS-HELP borrowing will count towards the limit.
On 1 January 2020, your FEE-HELP balance will become your HELP balance.
On 1 January 2020, the FEE-HELP loan limits will become the HELP loan limits.
How much are my fees?
The amount of your fees varies, depending on which units you are studying. You may be eligible to defer payment of your fees under HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP.
To find out the exact amount you need to pay, log in to My Financials and view your Statement of Account and Tax Invoice. This always shows the current calculation based on your enrolment, and any loans and discounts you’ve successfully applied for.
Note: The cost of your tuition fees as shown on your Statement of Account may not match the cost outlined on your letter of offer. This is because your Statement of Account always reflects the most current information, with any additional fees or loans and discounts applied, as well as changes to your enrolment.
How do I pay?
You can pay your tuition fees and your SSAF for each teaching period up-front, partially, or defer the whole amount. These are your payment options:
Via a HECS-HELP (or FEE-HELP) loan from the government (and SA-HELP for the SSAF)
If you’re eligible for a HECS-HELP or SA-HELP loan and choose to defer repayment, you will only need to pay back these loans once your income rises above the minimum repayment threshold. HECS-HELP loans do not cover your SA-HELP loan, hence you need to submit an SA-HELP form if you wish to defer your fees.
If you are not eligible for a HELP loan you must pay your fees up-front. If you are eligible for a HELP loan you may elect to pay your fees upfront to the university to avoid a HELP debt.
Note: All upfront payments must be received by the census date.
You can choose to pay a portion of your fees in a teaching period, in which case the balance for that teaching period accrues to your HECS-HELP or SA-HELP loan debt.