The Australian Government introduced Job-Ready Graduates legislation which changes funding arrangements and student protections in higher education.

If you're undertaking a course that is a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) or using HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, these changes impact you.

Students will be assessed for low completion (LCR) as part of the government's requirements.

Read about the government's Job-ready Graduate legislation

Frequently asked questions

General

The low completion rate measure has been extended to students accessing Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs), HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP from 1 January 2022.

  • It applies to students who enrol in courses from 1 January 2022 (i.e. does not apply to students who enrolled in their course prior to 1 January 2022).
  • The low completion rate applies within a course, meaning that if a student transfers to a new course their pass-rate renews for the new course. Similarly, if a student is enrolled in two courses and has a low completion rate in one of them, their other course is not affected.
  • The low completion rate applies within a course until the student raises their pass-rate in that course to 50 per cent or higher again, at which point they would be eligible for Commonwealth assistance again within that course.

The purpose of this legislation is to prevent students from incurring HELP debts for studies they are unsuited for.

Thus, if a student is enrolled past the census date, then the fee for the unit is incurred and the unit is deemed to be ‘undertaken’. If a student then either withdraws after this census date, with or without an academic penalty or fails the unit, then this will lower the student’s completion rate.

This is being done to ensure that students who are not progressing well and not academically suited in their course are not accruing a large amount of debt that they will need to repay in the future.

A low completion rate is a fail rate of more than 50% of the units of study you have undertaken after you have undertaken eight or more units of study in a bachelor level or higher course.

A low completion for lower courses Associate Degree and lower is a fail rate of more than 50% of the units of study after you have undertaken 4 units.

Students who do not meet the requirements will lose access to all Commonwealth assistance, including FEE-HELP assistance.

Course (lower than bachelor level) Course code begins with
Diploma DP
Associate degree AB
Course (bachelor level or higher) Course code begins with
Bachelor BA
Bachelor (honours) BH
Bachelor (double degree) BB
Graduate certificate GC
Graduate diploma GD
Master MA
Master (double degree) MM

If you have not successfully completed more than 50% of units in your course but have not yet undertaken the minimum number of units required for low completion rate to apply, you will not be considered to have a low completion rate.

Find out more about low completion rate

You may lose your Commonwealth Supported Place, HECS-HELP and/or FEE-HELP.

A completed unit is any pass grade, or any unit transferred from another course, that contributes to your credit points. Units credited from another course will only be considered a completed unit, when calculating your completion rate, if those credited units were from teaching periods that began on or after 1 January 2022.

Any unit with a unit status of fail. For example, units which you have failed (i.e. N, NA, NCOM, SN and WF) or if you have withdrawn from the unit after the census date.

An undertaken unit is any unit you are enrolled in for which you have incurred a fee.

Units not considered to be undertaken are units for which you have not incurred a fee. For example, unit/s you have withdrawn from before the census date.

At the end of each study period, for the units you have enrolled in, after results are published.

You can continue to study in a full fee-paying place in the same course. Alternatively, you can transfer to another course that you are more academically suited to. You may be able to access a Commonwealth Supported Place if you move to another course. 

No. It is a government requirement that the university removes a student’s access to their Commonwealth Supported Place, HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP if their completion rate is below 50%. 

Calculating low completion rate

No, only units that were undertaken with Commonwealth support will count towards your completion rate.

However, your success as a full fee-paying student will impact you if you request to be reinstated in a CSP place. Your academic suitability will be assessed based on the successful completion of units in the full fee-paying place.

A unit, in the context of low competition rate, is any single unit, regardless of the amount of credit points the unit bears.

Yes.

No.

Yes, if the unit was undertaken prior to 1 January 2022.

Improving completion rate

Yes.

No.

You will not have access to Commonwealth Supported Place until you raise your completion rate in that course to 50% or more again. At this point, you may be eligible to apply for Commonwealth assistance again within that same course. Your completion rate is calculated each time results are published.

Course specific

If you are studying and accessing a Commonwealth Supported Place and you commence the course after 1 January 2022, this will apply to you. A double degree is considered to be a single course in its own right.

Yes, if you commenced your course after 1 January 2022.

Yes, if you commenced your course after 1 January 2022.

As your course is below the bachelor level, the 4 unit rule applies. You will be considered as having a low completion rate after having undertaken 4 units and failing more than 50%.

Yes, you can.

No, not yet. You will not lose your Commonwealth Supported Place until you have:

  1. undertaken at least 8 units, and
  2. failed more than 50% of those units.

However, you will be notified of the support available to you, and the things you can do to bring your study back on track.

Changing courses

When you move to another course the course will have a different course code.

You are not considered to have moved to another course of study simply by changing your major, minor or stream as this is done while still being admitted to the same course.

For example, If you transfer from mechanical engineering to electrical engineering, your completion rate is reset if these are reported as separate courses.

However, this will not be the case if, within a Bachelor of Engineering course, ‘mechanical engineering’ and ‘electrical engineering’ are simply different streams within the same course.

Your units undertaken as part of your previous course may be credited via a course transfer request.

No.

No. If you choose to continue as a full fee-paying student, then the fees, upon successfully improving your completion rate, cannot be retrospectively changed to include Commonwealth support (i.e. be subsidised) or be added to your HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP.

Special circumstances

Special circumstances impacting your performance in a unit can include:

  • medical reasons
  • family reasons
  • employment-related reasons.

Special circumstances do not include:

  • not knowing unit/course requirements or your responsibilities as a student
  • inability to repay a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan
  • delays with the processing of a submitted enrolment change
  • incorrect enrolment
  • experiencing symptoms of an ongoing or pre-existing medical condition (except in cases where you can show your condition has unexpectedly worsened post census).

Students who are unable to complete a unit(s) within the teaching period due to special circumstances may be eligible for a Post Census Remission of Debt (PCRD) to remit the financial and academic penalties for the applicable unit(s).

A successful application for PCRD may improve your completion rate meaning you are still eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place in your current course.

Please note though, that your completion rate, and ineligibility for a Commonwealth Supported Place, stand until such times as your financial and academic penalties are officially remitted.

There is no maximum count of units.

I have failed more than 50% of my units in my course and am therefore ineligible to continue with a Commonwealth Supported Place in my current course. I have now applied for special circumstances. If my application is approved, after continuing in my course as a full fee-paying place, will my Commonwealth Supported Place be retrospectively reinstated?

No. Your government assistance would not be retrospectively reinstated. 

If you choose to continue in a full-fee place beyond the census date, whilst your PCRD application is still pending, you are unable to be changed back to a Commonwealth Supported Place, even if your PCRD application is successful in improving your completion rate to 50% or more.

However, you will be able to resume the course in a Commonwealth Supported Place from the beginning of the next teaching period.  

Keep on exploring

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  • Understanding your academic results

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  • Student support services

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