This page provides basic information to students about the HECS-HELP which is available at Kent for some courses.
You must read the 2022 Commonwealth Supported Places and HECS-HELP Information Fact Sheet and 2022 Commonwealth Supported Places and HECS – HELP Booklet before applying for a HECS-HELP Loan.
What are Commonwealth Supported Places and HECS-HELP?
A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is an enrolment subsidised by the Australian Government. Kent offers a limited number of CSPs in its Undergraduate Certificate Courses.
In a CSP, the cost of your study is split into two parts:
- the Australian Government pays a share of the costs directly to Kent—this is your subsidy amount
- you pay your share of the costs—and this is called your student contribution amount.
If you are eligible, you can use a HECS-HELP loan to pay your student contribution amount.
HECS‑HELP is a loan from the Australian Government you can use to cover the cost of your CSP course (i.e. your student contribution amount). A HECS‑HELP loan does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or textbooks.
After enrolling in a course, you will enrol in your subjects for the relevant study period. You must pay the cost of those subjects upfront or defer them to a HECS‑HELP loan by the census date, otherwise your CSP enrolment will be cancelled.
You start repaying your HELP debt through the Australian tax system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold, which is $47,014 in 2021-22. For the most up-to-date information on HELP debt repayments, check the ATO’s website at www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Study-and-training-support-loans/When-must-you-repay-your-loan.
If you go overseas and have a HELP debt, you still need to make repayments as if you were living in Australia.
In which Kent courses are Commonwealth Supported Places and HECS-HELP available for?
Commonwealth Supported Places and HECS-HELP is available for three Kent courses in 2022:
Note that not all enrolments in the above Kent courses will be offered a Commonwealth Supported Place.
How much do I have to pay?
Each unit of study is classified into a band where the Government sets the Commonwealth contribution amount and the maximum student contribution amount that can be charged per year for full-time study in each band.
Your student contribution amount depends on what you study. Throughout your course, you may undertake units of study that come from different bands.
To see the Commonwealth contribution amount and student contribution amount for the relevant Kent course please refer to the relevant course page or click the links provided in the section above.
Will I be charged an application or a Loan Fee or interest?
There is no application or loan fee for a CSP or HECS-HELP.
There is no interest charged on your HELP debt but indexation will be applied each year. Indexation maintains your debt’s real value by keeping it in line with the cost of living, as measured by the consumer price index. You can check current indexation rates at www.ato.gov.au/indexation.
The HECS-HELP discount
The HECS-HELP discount If you are eligible for HECS-HELP and you make a full upfront payment to Kent of 90% of your student contribution for your unit/s of study, or a partial upfront payment of $500 or more for your unit/s of study, you will receive a 10 per cent discount. This is known as the ‘HECS-HELP discount’. This discount effectively increases the value of your upfront payment.
Am I eligible?
To get a Commonwealth Supported Place you must:
- be an Australian who studies some of their course while living in Australia OR a New Zealand citizen, an Australian permanent resident, a permanent humanitarian visa holder (or eligible former) who studies the entire course while living in Australia
- be correctly enrolled by the census date and have read the 2022 CSP and HECS‑HELP information booklet
- have a Unique Student Identifier (USI)
- pay your fees by the census date (you can pay using a HELP loan, upfront or both).
To be eligible for HECS‑HELP, you must:
- be enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place
- be an Australian citizen who will study part of their course in Australia OR be an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder or a permanent humanitarian visa holder (or eligible former) and will live in Australia for the entire course
- be enrolled correctly and submit your HECS‑HELP form by the census date
- have a tax file number (TFN) or have applied for one ‑ you can start your application now at ato.gov.au/TFN.
How do I Apply?
Not all enrolments in the above Kent courses will be offered a Commonwealth Supported Place. You must check if you have been offered a CSP before you enrol.
If you have been offered and accept to enrol in a CSP, you will need to complete a CSP and HECS‑HELP loan form (also known as an eCAF) which Kent will provide to you.
You must enrol in your CSP by the census date or it will be cancelled, so make you sure check your new student email for instructions.
What if I am not eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place?
If you are not enrolled in a CSP, you may be enrolled in a fee-paying place and you will not be eligible for HECS-HELP.
Fee-paying places are not subsidised by the Government so these students will pay full tuition fees.
If you are enrolled in a fee-paying place, please refer to the page with FEE-HELP information to see what assistance may be available to you.
How much can I borrow and what is the HELP loan limit?
You can borrow up to the HELP loan limit to pay your tuition fees. The HELP loan limit is the total amount available to you under HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP. Any amount you borrow under FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP, VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP will be added together until you reach the HELP loan limit.
For most students the HELP loan limit is $109,206 in 2022. If you have studied before, you can check your available HELP balance at www.myHELPbalance.gov.au.
It is your responsibility to keep track of your HELP loans and repayments to ensure you have enough available HELP balance to pay for your study. You must ensure that you have enough available HELP balance at the census date to cover the amount of the fees you wish to defer to FEE-HELP.
Any compulsory or voluntary repayments made to the ATO on your HELP debt, from the 2019–20 income year onwards, will be re-credited to your HELP balance (i.e. making HELP repayments will increase the available HELP balance you have to undertake further study).
What are the pass requirements?
A 50 per cent pass rate applies. This means that once you have undertaken 4 or more units in a sub-bachelor level course, or 8 or more units in bachelor and above level courses, you must have passed at least 50 per cent of your total attempted units in order to remain eligible for a CSP and HECS-HELP hence you need to ensure is that you pass at least 50 per cent of your total attempted units across your course of study, otherwise you will have to pay the tuition fees upfront until you improve your pass rate.
If you have a low completion rate you will be able to continue your course by paying upfront at the full-fee rate but you won’t be able to access a CSP or a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan. If you pay upfront and increase your completion rate to 50 per cent or higher, you will be eligible for Commonwealth assistance for your course again.
If you choose to change courses you re-set the 50 per cent pass rate.
What if there are changes to my enrolment?
If you want to withdraw from a unit or course without getting a HELP debt or losing an upfront payment, you must follow Kent’s formal withdrawal process by the relevant census date.
If you withdraw from a unit of study after the census date because you become seriously ill or because of another unforeseen event, you can apply to request a refund of your upfront payment or a re-credit of your available HELP balance.
To do this, you will have to meet specific special circumstances criteria, which means you will have to demonstrate that what happened to you:
- was beyond your control
- did not make its full impact on you until on or after the census date
- made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements for your unit(s) of study.
You will need to apply within 12 months of your withdrawal day. If your HELP balance is re-credited, your HELP debt for the unit will also be reduced. This process does not apply if you have successfully completed your unit of study, or you changed your mind about studying, or you failed the unit.
Requests for re-crediting of HELP debts should be sent to StudentFinance.Syd@kent.edu.au or StudentFinance.Melb@kent.edu.au accompanied by independent supporting documentation. Students will be informed of the outcome within ten (10) working days.
If you withdraw from a unit after the census date, due to changing your mind, you will be legally obliged to repay your HELP debt and will not be able to apply to have your HELP debt remitted.
Further information regarding payments and refunds can also be found at:
Please read our Statement of Tuition Assurance in the event that Kent cannot offer your course.
For further information please refer to: