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Government HELP loans


FEE-HELP assists eligible students to access a loan to help cover all or part of their tuition fees through a loan. There is a fixed maximum amount that you can borrow in your lifetime, called the HELP limit. To apply for FEE-HELP you will need to provide your Tax File Number (TFN).

Any amount borrowed becomes part of an accumulated HELP debt which you will be required to repay through the tax system once you meet a certain salary threshold. There is a combined HELP loan limit on what you can borrow from the Australian Government to cover the cost of your fees.

Up to date information on the HELP loan limit can be found on the Study Assist website.


To be eligible for FEE-HELP you need to be:

  • be an Australian citizen or 
  • an Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder, or an eligible former permanent humanitarian visa holder or
  • a pacific engagement visa holder (effective 1 February 2024) or
  • be a New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holder or an Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder residing in Australia for the duration of your study and 
  • meet the FEE-HELP citizenship and residency requirements. 

If you are enrolled as a non-award student, you are not eligible for any Commonwealth support or loan-scheme assistance and need to meet the full cost of your tuition fees.

Eligibility criteria and legislation around FEE-HELP can change. See the Australian Government's Study Assist website all eligibility, residency and citizenship requirements.

Additional eligibility requirements

Student learning entitlement

From 1 January 2022, the Goverment implemented the Student Learning Entitlement (SLE). This is the amount of study you can undertake in a Commonwealth supported place.

The SLE means students can undertake a maximum of 7 years of full-time subsidised study (7 Equivalent Full Time Student Load or EFTSL) in a Commonwealth supported place. This is calculated from 1 January 2022.

Find out more about how the Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) works.

How to apply

If you would like to apply for a FEE-HELP loan you will need to complete the Request for FEE-HELP assistance form in Sydney Student.

This form can be completed as part of your enrolment process in Sydney Student, or at a later time through Sydney Student (go to 'My finance', 'Your finances', then 'Government forms') but it must be submitted on or before your earliest census date.

You should also read the FEE-HELP information booklet available at Study Assist prior to completing the form.

Your Student Financial Statement in Sydney Student will show your liability status as ‘Deferred through FEE-HELP’, and will include the fee amounts being deferred FEE-HELP.

If you’re a Commonwealth supported student eligible for FEE-HELP and have not submitted your completed FEE-HELP assistance form or paid your tuition fees up front before census, your enrolment will be sanctioned initially and may be cancelled later in the semester if your fees remain unpaid.

Changing your payment option

If you decide during your study that you’d like to change your payment option and you’re eligible for FEE-HELP, you can make this change through Sydney Student (go to ‘My finance’, ‘Your finances’, then ‘Government forms’) before the relevant census date.

Student Centre



1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

Find out more about how we can help

Last updated: 07 February 2024

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