QTAC Information Sheet
Study fees and costs
Public universities - Commonwealth supported places (CSP)
Commonwealth supported places (CSP) are offered at public institutions to:
- Australian citizens
- New Zealand citizens
- holders of a permanent visa
The Australian Government contributes towards course costs for Commonwealth supported students. Students also pay a ‘student contribution’. This student contribution may be borrowed from the Commonwealth government under the HECS-HELP Scheme.
Please note eligibility for CSP and HELP schemes for Australian citizens residing outside Australia has changed. Since 1 January 2013, a person is not eligible for Commonwealth support or a HELP loan if a higher education provider reasonably expects the person will not undertake any of their courses in Australia.
Student contributions vary between providers and courses. These student contributions must be within a range set by the government (see table below for a guide to the cost of a standard full-time year of tertiary study in 2013). Course specific indicative costs for 2014 will be available late in 2013 from each institution.
Study Assist website
The Study Assist website from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) provides information about the Australian Government assistance for financing tertiary study. DEEWR can also be contacted by phone on 1800 020 108.
Student contributions per year
Estimated Student contribution range for 2013*
humanities, behavioural science, clinical psychology, education, nursing, social studies, foreign languages, visual and performing arts
$0 to $5868
computing, built environment, allied health, other health, engineering, surveying, agriculture, mathematics, statistics, science
$0 to $8363
dentistry, medicine, veterinary science, accounting, administration, economics, commerce, law
$0 to $9792
* Costs are indicative and will depend on the individual subjects chosen. The student contributions shown are for first year full-time students. Student contributions are indexed each year according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
TAFE Queensland and Southbank Institute of Technology study costs
Program course costs vary between courses and institutes. Courses can either be Partially Government Funded (PGF) or fee-for-service (fee).
The amount of Government subsidy for a PGF course varies according to the qualification level and the area of study. Students pay the remainder of their course cost (which is called the Student Contribution Fee).
To be eligible for a PGF course you must be:
- an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a Refugee and Humanitarian Visa Holder; and
- a Queensland resident (ie reside or intend to reside in Queensland for at least six months).
Fee courses are not subsidised by the Government. Students pay for these courses.
VET FEE-HELP and FEE-HELP
Some students may be eligible for a deferred payment scheme, either VET FEE-HELP or FEE-HELP, which are available to eligible students completing some certificate IV, diploma, advanced diploma and associate degree level PGF and fee courses.
VET FEE-HELP and FEE-HELP, provided through the Commonwealth Government, are income contingent loan schemes which allow eligible students to defer payment of their course fees until their income reaches a minimum threshold level. Once this income level is reached, students repay their loan through the tax system, ie they make loan repayments each year when they submit their tax return, until the loan is repaid.
Note: New Zealand citizens are not eligible for VET FEE-HELP or FEE-HELP loans, and further eligibility requirements are detailed on the Study Assist website
Students need to be aware that some diploma and advanced diploma level courses may include lower level certificate qualifications as part of the course. These lower level qualifications are not eligible for VET FEE-HELP or FEE-HELP. Information on the lower level qualifications incorporated into diploma and advanced diploma level courses is available from the relevant institute.
What does this mean?
For example, for a 12 month diploma course, training may be delivered as follows:
- first six months training is at the Certificate III level
- final six months is at the Diploma level.
In this example only the last six months of the course is eligible for VET FEE-HELP. The first six months requires upfront payments from the student.
Students may also have to pay additional costs on top of the Student Contribution Fee. These costs may be for text books or uniform items such as hard hats or work books etc, and will vary with the course and the institute.
Fee concessions (eg for Health Care Card holders) may be available. Alternative fee structures may apply to applicants who reside outside of Queensland. Interstate applicants should contact institutes directly to determine relevant fees.
Private provider study costs
The estimated fees for non-government institutions - Bond University, Christian Heritage College (for most courses), and Queensland Institute of Business and Technology - are set out in course entries in Search for Courses. Modes of payment should be negotiated with the institution. FEE-HELP loans may be available.
International Applicants - study costs
International applicants should confirm fees with individual institutions.
Other costs to factor into your budget while studying include accommodation, groceries, phone, books, study equipment and transport.
Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP)
Australian citizens and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa may pay their student contribution or tuition fee upfront. Alternatively, students may request a Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loan. There are a number of HELP loans:
- HECS-HELP - for eligible Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution for public university study costs.
- FEE-HELP - for eligible fee-paying students enrolled at eligible higher education providers. Loans cover up to the full amount of their tuition fees. Undergraduate FEE-HELP loans are subject to a 25% loan fee.
- VET FEE-HELP - for eligible full fee-paying students undertaking diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree, graduate certificate, or graduate diploma level study at an approved provider. Loans can cover up to the full tuition cost. VET FEE-HELP loans are subject to a 20% loan fee.
- OS-HELP - for eligible full-time Commonwealth supported students who wish to undertake part of their study overseas. Loans are up to $6051 per six-month period. Students can receive two OS-HELP loans in a lifetime.
Information about applying for a HELP loan will be provided by the tertiary institution with their enrolment information. Please note if you wish to obtain a HELP loan you must supply your Tax File Number (TFN). If you have not done so, you can apply for a TFN at the Australian Taxation Office (refer to 'Get a Tax File Number'). Repayments for all HELP loans depend on income. Students are not required to start paying their HELP debts until their income reaches a minimum threshold.
For the 2013-2014 income year, the compulsory repayment threshold is $51,309.
New Zealand citizens and holders of other permanent visas do not have access to HELP loans and must pay their student contributions or tuition fees upfront. Visit the Study Assist website for information.
Commonwealth Scholarships Program
The Commonwealth Scholarships Program financially assists Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students on low incomes with higher education costs. The types of Commonwealth scholarships are:
- Indigenous Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarships - assists with education costs
- Indigenous Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarships- assists students from regional and remote areas with accommodation costs when moving to undertake higher education
- Indigenous Access Scholarships - helps with the costs associated with higher education in an area of National Priority
- Indigenous Enabling Scholarships - helps with the costs of taking an eligible enabling course at a higher education institution
Apply directly to the institutions for these scholarships. For more information contact the institution.
Australian Government Scholarships
The Department of Human Services provides scholarships to some Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY Living Allowance students studying full-time in an approved scholarship course:
- Relocation Scholarships – for eligible students living away from their family home to study
- Student Start-up Scholarships – for eligible students to help with up-front costs of items such as textbooks and specialised equipment.
For eligibility criteria and more information, visit the Department of Human Services website.
Institution equity and other scholarships
Some tertiary institutions offer equity scholarships as part of their wider equity programs and many institutions offer scholarships such as sporting and academic scholarships. For information about institution specific scholarships and how to apply refer to the Institution Scholarships table or contact the institution directly.
The Department of Human Services provides income support for students, including:
- Youth Allowance - for eligible full-time students aged under 25 who undertake an approved course
- Austudy - for eligible full-time students aged 25 and over who undertake an approved course
- ABSTUDY - for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who undertake approved full-time and part-time study
- Pensioner Education Supplement - for recipients of some Department of Human Services and Veterans' Affairs payments to help with the costs of studying
The above payments are subject to income and assets tests.
Depending on your situation, you may also be eligible for help with the costs of studying.
- Education Entry Payment – assists with the cost of books and fees if you are returning to study or training to improve your skills and qualifications
- Fares Allowance – assists with reimbursement for a trip to university at the start of the year, a return trip home during the year and a trip home at the end of the year, if you have to live away from home to study
- Other concessions and allowances – includes concessions and allowances such as a Health Care Card or Rent Assistance.
Alternatively, for information about:
- Youth Allowance and Austudy – phone 132 490
- ABSTUDY – phone 1800 132 317
- languages other than English – phone 131 202
- TTY enquiries for the hearing and speech impaired – phone 1800 810 586.