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Job-ready Graduates Package

If you're in a Commonwealth-supported place, or receiving Government assistance through a HELP loan, find out how these changes impact you.

What are the changes and how do they affect me?

The Australian Government’s Job-ready Graduates Package commenced on 1 January 2021.

As a result, if you start a new course of study or transfer to a new course of study after January 2021 the cost of study has increased in some disciplines and decreased in others, compared to 2020 levels. In addition to the significant changes to the cost of study, the Job-ready Graduates Package has also introduced new completion rate requirements which took effect from 2022.

More information on the Job-ready Graduates Package can be found at Study Assist and on the Government’s Job-ready Graduates website.

Low completion rate requirements

The new completion rate requirements will apply if you:

  • start a new award course on or after 1 January 2022 and
  • are enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) and either pay your student contribution upfront or defer part or all of your contribution to HECS-HELP and/or
  • defer part or all of your tuition fees to FEE-HELP.

If the new completion rate requirements apply to you, you must pass at least half (50%) of the units of study you take, once you commence your enrolment. A low completion rate is a fail rate of more than 50 per cent of the units of study you have attempted, after you have attempted eight or more units of study in a bachelor level or higher course (or four or more units in a higher education course lower than a bachelor course).

Each semester when we check your academic progression, we will check your unit of study completion rate against the low completion rate requirements.

If you have a fail rate of more than 50% of the units of study attempted, legislation states that we can no longer offer you a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) or Commonwealth support through HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or SA-HELP.

You will receive an email confirming that you have a low completion rate, and outlining your next steps as well as how to access the academic advice and support you need. You will need to take action before the deadline outlined in your email. After this deadline, you will lose access to your course in a Commonwealth supported place and your status will be changed to full-fee paying.

Choose to continue your course in an upfront, full-fee paying place


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How much will it cost if I continue my course in a full-fee paying place?

Find out how to calculate what your fees would be.

If you are currently on a Commonwealth supported place (CSP), it means your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay the remainder as a ‘Student Contribution’. 

If you choose to continue in a full-fee paying place, this means your place receives no financial contribution from the government and you are required to pay the full cost of the course.

You will need to pay your fees by the relevant payment dates each teaching period. You can find payment due dates for your course on our Study dates page. If you do not pay the full fee payment by the due date you will be discontinued from your unit enrolment and your course.

Find out more about full-fee paying places, and when your fees are due. If you choose to change to a full-fee paying place, you will need to email the Fees Team directly to request this at hecs.office@sydney.edu.au.

If you are already enrolled in a domestic full fee paying place you will not be able to use FEE-HELP to assist with your tuition fees.

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.

Change to another course

If you apply and are successful in changing to another course, your previous low completion rate will not carry over and you'll be eligible to apply for a CSP and for HELP loans for your new course. However, be aware that you will need to meet eligibility requirements to transfer to the new course and the course transfer process is competitive and requires a good academic record. Find out more about the options to change your course and the deadlines for applying.

You will need to ensure that any future enrolled units in the old course are discontinued prior to the census date so that you are not liable for them.

Suspend your course

Suspending your studies allows you to take a break from studying while keeping your place in the course. If you decide to suspend your studies, you will still be identified as having a low completion rate in this course when you return and you will not be entitled to CSP for the next semester of study.

If you decide to continue studying in your current course but in a full-fee paying place, this is how to calculate your full-fee amount per unit:

  1. Review the schedule of fees to find the total annual cost of the course you are enrolled in.
  2. Find out the credit point value of the units you want to study from your handbook.
  3. Calculate as follows:
    • Total annual cost of the course divided by 48 (full time credit point load) = cost per credit point value
    • Multiply the ‘cost per credit point value’ with the number of credit points in the unit you are studying.
    • This will give you the total full fee payment for that unit.
    • Do this for each unit you want to study in the semester to obtain the full-fee payment.

Example scenario

Student A is enrolling in 4 units of study for the semester. 

Each unit of study is worth 6 credit points = total credit points of 24.

The total annual cost for student A’s course in this fee schedule is $46,000.

How to calculate: 

  • $46,000 annual cost divided by 48 (full-time credit point load over 2 semesters) = $958.33 per credit point
  • Student A’ units are worth 6 credit points each
  • Student A is taking 4 units in the semester = 24 credit points. 
  • 24 times $958.33 = $22,999.92

This means Student A would need to pay $22,999.92 for their tuition fees by the payment due date to continue their studies in a full fee paying place.

If you elect to continue in a full-fee paying place you are required to make the payment by the due date and if you fail to make this payment in time, you will be discontinued from your course.

If special circumstances beyond your control have prevented you from successfully completing one or more units of study, you may be eligible to apply for late discontinuation under special circumstances. If you are successful in your application you will receive a ‘discontinue not to count as failure’ (DC) outcome for the affected units and these units will be removed from counting towards your completion rate. Submitting an application does not guarantee that your application will be approved or that your completion rate will increase to the required level.

After the deadline advised in your email, you will lose access to your course in a Commonwealth supported place and your status will be changed to full-fee paying. This applies even if you have an application for late discontinuation under special circumstances pending.

If you are continuing your studies, you will need to select units, complete your re-enrolment and pay your fees by the necessary deadlines.

If you're advised that you don't meet the completion rate requirement, make sure you carefully read the email and respond by the date provided. Your email will include a contact for our case managers, who will be in touch to talk through your options.

Additional support

Academic progression support

If you’re worried about your studies and academic progress, we have a range of advisers available to help you understand your options and the support services available.

Wellbeing support

If you would like to speak to someone about how you are feeling, you can access our confidential Student Mental Wellbeing Support Line available 24/7. You don’t need an appointment – just call 1300 474 065 or text 0488 884 429 to speak to someone. Find out more about the health and wellbeing support available.

Additional information on the Government requirements can also be found on the Study Assist website.

Changes to fees

From 1 January 2021, the Australian Government’s Job-ready Graduates package made changes to fees payable by students who enrol in a new course of study with a Commonwealth supported place. The new student contribution rates are higher for some programs, and lower for others. Existing students who commenced their course of study prior to 1 January 2021 are 'grandfathered students' and they are not required to pay at the higher rate.

If you are a domestic student in a CSP and you are seeking a course transfer (including course upgrades, downgrades and some honours), please be aware that this transfer will be treated as a new course enrolment.

This means you will be charged the new Job-ready Graduates Package fee rates for units in your new degree. The new completion rate requirements will also apply to all course commencements in 2022 and beyond.

If you apply to do honours or transfer to a new course to do honours, you may be charged the new fee rates for honours. Find out more about honours fees.

If you are considering applying for a course transfer because you have concerns about your academic progress, please see our academic progression support page.