COVER

Document Sample
 COVER Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                information for
                                                 Commonwealth supported students



                                                                       2007

                             www.goingtouni.gov.au




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                               1
                  You must read this booklet before
                   signing one of the forms below

                 Will you be commencing                     Is this the first time that you
                  your course in 2007?                           have studied since 1
                                                             January 2005, and you will
                                                            be continuing with a course
              If yes, you must sign this form:                     in 2007 that you
                                                             commenced before 2005 as
                                                                   a HECS student?

                                                            If yes, you must sign this form if
                                                              you have not already done so
                                                               (in which case, you are not
                                                              required to complete another
                                                                   one for your course):




          Will you be continuing with a course as a Commonwealth supported student that
                                   you commenced in 2005 or 2006?
          If yes, you should have already completed a form when you commenced your course.
                       You are not required to complete another one for that course.




 When you sign the form, you declare that you have read this booklet in its entirety and
   that you are aware of your obligations as a Commonwealth supported student.


     If you are a fee-paying student (a non-Commonwealth supported student), you should read the
                                   FEE-HELP information 2007 booklet.
The information in this booklet and the FEE-HELP information 2007 booklet is also available on the Going
                                to Uni website at www.goingtouni.gov.au.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                2
                      Information for Commonwealth
                         supported students 2007

 Are you enrolling in a course of study at a higher education provider
      in 2007 and your provider has advised you that you will be
                      Commonwealth supported?
            If yes, you must read this booklet and you should keep it for reference
        throughout the year. It contains important information on your obligations as
                             a Commonwealth supported student.

Important things to remember:

      You must complete and submit a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP
       form to your higher education provider on or before the census date (or an earlier date
       set by your provider) for your first unit of study contributing to your course of study
       (sections 2.2 & 2.3).
     The following points apply to your first and all subsequent units of study throughout your
       course:
           o You must have enough Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) to cover the unit(s)
               in which you are enrolled as a Commonwealth supported student (sections 2.5 –
               2.11).
           o If you are eligible for HECS-HELP, you must provide your tax file number or
               pay 80% of your student contribution up-front to your provider on or before the
               census date (or an earlier date set by your provider) (section 4.3).
           o If you are NOT eligible for HECS-HELP, you must pay your student contribution
               up-front, in full, to your higher education provider on or before the census date
               (or an earlier date set by your provider) (section 3.4).
           o If you have submitted a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP
               form and remain enrolled at the end of the census date, you will use your SLE.
               If you have requested a HECS-HELP loan, provided your tax file number (or
               Certificate of application), and not paid 80% of your student contribution up-front,
               you will incur a HECS-HELP debt (even if you have not attended any classes)
               (section 2.2, 4.3, Chapter 6).).
      To avoid incurring a HECS-HELP debt or using your SLE, you must follow your
        provider’s withdrawal procedures on or before the census date (Chapter 6).



Be aware of the census date for your units of study, and any earlier date that your
provider has set for finalising your payment arrangements.

If you fail to meet your obligations by the end of the census date
your provider must cancel your enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                            3
Important dates – census dates
The census date is a date by which you must fulfil your obligations as a Commonwealth
supported student. If you fail to do so, your enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student will
be cancelled.

Your higher education provider must set a census date for your units of study. This date cannot be earlier
than 20% of the way into the unit. Your provider will publish census dates about six months before the
commencement of the unit – check your provider’s website. Often there will be only one census date
for all units in a teaching period but this is not always the case, and units of study in the same teaching
period can have different census dates.

Your provider can also set an earlier date for the submission of the Request for Commonwealth
assistance and HECS-HELP form and up-front payment of your student contribution. If it has set an
earlier date, you must ensure that you meet this deadline as your provider may charge you a late fee or
cancel your enrolment if you do not. Your provider can allow you to fulfil the requirements for
Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP assistance after this earlier date but not after the census
date.

Remember, the census date is usually different from the academic withdrawal date (the last date that
you can withdraw from a unit without receiving a fail mark).

It is your responsibility to be aware of these dates. Your provider can tell you the census date and
any earlier date it may have set.

If you don’t meet the requirements for Commonwealth support by the census date, your provider
must cancel your enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student. (See section 2.2 about the
requirements you must meet by the census date to ensure your eligibility for Commonwealth support).




IMPORTANT NOTE - the Department of Education, Science and Training has endeavoured to
ensure that the information in this publication is consistent with the Higher Education Support
Act 2003, the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 and the Higher Education Support
(Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2003 (copies of which may be
found at www.comlaw.gov.au) and associated guidelines (copies of which may be found at
www.dest.gov.au). However, there may be differences between this publication and those
Acts, and Parliament may make changes to the Acts from time to time. To the extent of any
inconsistency between this publication and any of those Acts, the Act takes precedence.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                   4
     How this booklet is structured
                             Chapter 1 - Overview of Commonwealth supported places
                               Information on:
                               - what is a Commonwealth supported place;
                               - the benefits of being Commonwealth supported; and
                               - how to apply.
                                                                                                           Appendix A
                                                                                                         Higher education
                             Chapter 2 - Eligibility for Commonwealth supported places                     providers with
                                Information on the requirements that you must meet to be                  Commonwealth
                                               Commonwealth supported.                                   supported places


                                                 Do you meet the eligibility                         You are not eligible
                                                requirements in Chapter 2?                           for Commonwealth
                                YES                                                     NO
                                                                                                          support.



                              Chapter 3 - Paying for a unit of study
                              Information on the amount of your student
                               contribution and the options for paying it.



    Are you a New
                                          Are you an                 Are you a New Zealand citizen or
  Zealand citizen or
                                        Australian citizen           holder of a permanent visa (other
holder of a permanent
                                         or holder of a                than a holder of a permanent
     visa who is a
                                          permanent                   humanitarian visa) starting your
   pre-2005 HECS
                                         humanitarian                  course after 1 January 2005?
       student?
                                              visa?


                                   Chapter 4 – HECS-HELP                You are required to pay your student
 Appendix B                                                             contribution up-front to your provider.
 Information                       assistance
                                                                         You do not have access to HECS-
for pre-2005                        Information on eligibility for                HELP assistance.
     HECS            YES               HECS-HELP and the
   students                          payment options available
       Yes                              under HECS-HELP.
As a pre-2005
     HECS                                                                        Chapter 6 - Withdrawal or
 student, you                                                                    non-completion of studies
                                   Chapter 5 – Repaying
    may be                                                                   Information on how to withdraw, and
                                   your HECS-HELP debt
  eligible for                                                               what happens if you withdraw or do
HECS-HELP                           Information on compulsory                not complete your studies.
  assistance.                       and voluntary repayments.

                                                                                         Chapter 7 – Need
                    You must pay your                                                       more help?
     NO             student contribution                                                 Contacts and useful
                         up-front                                                               links




     Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                          5
Table of contents
1.            Overview of Commonwealth supported places .................................................................... 8
     1.1.    What is a Commonwealth supported place? .............................................................................. 8
     1.2.    Who administers Commonwealth supported places? ................................................................. 8
     1.3.    What are the benefits of being a Commonwealth supported student? ....................................... 8
     1.4.    How do I apply for a Commonwealth supported place? ............................................................. 8
     1.5.    Can I choose not to be Commonwealth supported? ................................................................... 8
     1.6.    What is a CHESSN? ................................................................................................................... 9
     1.7.    How do I get a CHESSN? ........................................................................................................... 9
2.            Eligibility for Commonwealth supported places ................................................................... 9
     2.1.    Am I eligible to be Commonwealth supported? .......................................................................... 9
     2.2.    Census dates ............................................................................................................................ 10
     2.3.    Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form ................................................... 10
     2.4.    Meeting the citizenship and residency requirements ................................................................ 11
     2.5.    Meeting the Student Learning Entitlement requirements .......................................................... 12
     2.6.    How much Student Learning Entitlement am I entitled to? ....................................................... 12
     2.7.    How do I consume my Student Learning Entitlement? ............................................................. 13
     2.8.    How do I find out how much Student Learning Entitlement I have used? ................................ 13
     2.9.    Where can I find out the balance of my Student Learning Entitlement? ................................... 13
     2.10.   What happens if I‟m part way through my course and my Student Learning Entitlement runs
              out? ........................................................................................................................................... 14
     2.11.   Can I enrol in units of study at different higher education providers? ....................................... 14
3.            Paying for a unit of study ...................................................................................................... 14
     3.1.    How much does the Australian Government contribute? ......................................................... 14
     3.2.    How much do I contribute? ....................................................................................................... 15
     3.3.    How can I check if the calculation of my student contribution is correct? ................................. 16
     3.4.    How do I pay my student contribution? ..................................................................................... 16
     3.5.    Is my student contribution tax deductible? ................................................................................ 19
4.            HECS-HELP assistance ......................................................................................................... 19
     4.1.    What is HECS-HELP? ............................................................................................................... 19
     4.2.    Eligibility for HECS-HELP ......................................................................................................... 19
     4.3.    What are my payment options under HECS-HELP? ................................................................ 20
     4.4.    Can I change my payment option? ........................................................................................... 22
5.            Repaying your HECS-HELP debt .......................................................................................... 22
     5.1.    When do I start repaying my HELP debt? ................................................................................. 22
     5.2.    How much will my repayments be? .......................................................................................... 23
     5.3.    Is interest charged on my debt? ................................................................................................ 24
     5.4.    How do I repay my debt if I am a payee under pay as you go (PAYG) withholding? ............... 24
     5.5.    How do I repay my debt if I am a payer under pay as you go (PAYG) instalments?................ 25
     5.6.    What do I do if I disagree with my compulsory repayment? ..................................................... 25
     5.7.    What happens if I have difficulties making my compulsory repayment? .................................. 25
     5.8.    Can I make voluntary repayments? .......................................................................................... 26
     5.9.    Can I get a bonus for voluntary repayments? ........................................................................... 28
     5.10.   Are repayments tax deductible? ............................................................................................... 28
     5.11.   What happens to my debt if I die? ............................................................................................ 28
     5.12.   What happens to my debt if I go bankrupt? .............................................................................. 29
     5.13.   Where can I get information on my HELP account? ................................................................. 29
6.            Withdrawal or non-completion of studies ........................................................................... 29
     6.1.    How do I withdraw from my unit? .............................................................................................. 29
     6.2.    What happens if I withdraw? ..................................................................................................... 30
     6.3.    How do I apply to get my SLE re-credited and debt removed? ................................................ 30
     6.4.    What happens if I fail a unit? ..................................................................................................... 31
     6.5.    What happens if I don‟t attend any classes? ............................................................................ 31
7.            Need more help? Contacts and useful links ....................................................................... 31
     7.1.    Your higher education provider ................................................................................................. 31
     7.2.    Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) ......................................................... 31
     7.3.    Tax Office .................................................................................................................................. 31
     7.4.    Centrelink .................................................................................................................................. 32




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                                                                        6
  7.5.   Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) .................................................................. 32
Appendices ............................................................................................................................................... 32
  Appendix A - Higher education providers with Commonwealth supported places................................. 32
  Appendix B – Information for pre-2005 HECS students ......................................................................... 33
Index     ........................................................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                                                                    7
1. Overview of Commonwealth supported places
1.1.       What is a Commonwealth supported place?
A Commonwealth supported place is a higher education place for which the Australian Government
makes a contribution to your higher education provider towards the cost of your education. The
Australian Government allocates a number of Commonwealth supported places to providers each year.
A list of providers that currently have Commonwealth supported places is at Appendix A.

You are a Commonwealth supported student if you meet the eligibility requirements (section 2.1) and are
enrolled in a unit of study that is Commonwealth supported. If you are enrolled in a unit as a
Commonwealth supported student, you will generally be required to contribute to the cost of your
education through a student contribution. Your provider sets the student contribution that you are
required to pay for each unit of study, which must not exceed an amount set by the Australian
Government. If you are eligible, you may be able to use HECS-HELP to help pay your student
contribution (Chapter 4).

If you are not enrolled in a unit as a Commonwealth supported student, you will be required to pay the
tuition fee your provider has set. However, you may be eligible for FEE-HELP for your tuition fee. For
more information, get a copy of the FEE-HELP information booklet from your provider or from the Going
to Uni website at www.goingtouni.gov.au.

1.2.       Who administers Commonwealth supported places?
The Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), the Australian Taxation Office (the „Tax
Office‟), and higher education providers administer Commonwealth supported places under the Higher
Education Support Act 2003.

1.3.       What are the benefits of being a Commonwealth supported student?
The main benefits of being Commonwealth supported are:

       the Commonwealth contributes substantially to the cost of your education;
       the Commonwealth limits the student contribution that your higher education provider can charge
        you;
       you may be eligible for HECS-HELP assistance for your student contribution;
       you may be eligible for a Commonwealth Learning Scholarship; and
       you may be eligible for an OS-HELP loan to assist you to undertake study overseas.

For information on Commonwealth Learning Scholarships and OS-HELP, ask your provider or visit the
Going to Uni website at www.goingtouni.gov.au.

1.4.       How do I apply for a Commonwealth supported place?
You can apply for a Commonwealth supported place through a tertiary admissions centre (TAC). In some
cases, you may be able to apply directly to your higher education provider (you will need to confirm this
with your provider).

If you are successful, either your TAC or provider will contact you with an offer for a Commonwealth
supported place within your selected course of study. Your provider will send you an enrolment package,
which will include this booklet and a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form
(section 2.3).

1.5.       Can I choose not to be Commonwealth supported?
Yes. You may choose not to be Commonwealth supported for any of your units of study. In order to do
so, you must inform an appropriate officer of your higher education provider, in writing, on or before the
census date that you do not wish to be Commonwealth supported in relation to the unit.



Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                     8
However, you need to be aware that, subject to fairness requirements under the Higher Education
Support Act 2003, your provider is under no obligation to offer you a fee-paying place for those units.
You also need to keep in mind the benefits associated with being Commonwealth supported (section 1.3).

1.6.       What is a CHESSN?
As a Commonwealth supported student, you will be allocated a Commonwealth Higher Education Student
Support Number (CHESSN). The CHESSN is a unique identifier that will remain with you. It will help
higher education providers and the Australian Government to provide information to you about your
Student Learning Entitlement, HECS-HELP assistance, and some other forms of Commonwealth
assistance for higher education.

You can use your CHESSN to access myUniAssist on the Going to Uni website at
www.goingtouni.gov.au (see section 7.2). . On myUniAssist, you can check the amount of
Commonwealth assistance you have received since 1 January 2005, including the usage of your Student
Learning Entitlement.

1.7.       How do I get a CHESSN?
Your tertiary admissions centre (TAC), or your higher education provider, will allocate you a
Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) as part of the admission
application process. When you apply for admission, you will be asked by your provider or TAC to consent
to personal identifying information to be provided to the Australian Government (the Department of
Education, Science and Training, and the Tax Office) for the allocation of a CHESSN and the
management of your Commonwealth assistance.

Providers are required to comply with Commonwealth privacy legislation when handling personal
information relating to your Commonwealth assistance. There are strict penalties for officers of providers
and the Australian Government who misuse this personal information.

Providers must have grievance procedures for non-academic matters, which can be used by students for
dealing with complaints about their providers misusing this personal information. Providers must also
have a procedure to allow you to access the personal information.

You will be notified of your CHESSN in your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (section 3.3).



2. Eligibility for Commonwealth supported places
2.1.       Am I eligible to be Commonwealth supported?
You are eligible to be Commonwealth supported for a unit of study if, among other things, you:

           enrol in the unit on or before the census date and remain enrolled at the end of the census
            date (section 2.2);
           submit a completed Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form on or before
            the census date to your higher education provider (section 2.3);
           meet the citizenship and residency requirements (section 2.4); and
           have sufficient Student Learning Entitlement to cover the unit in which you are enrolling (unless
            the unit consists wholly of work experience in industry or forms part of an enabling course of
            study – ask your provider) (sections 2.5 to 2.11).

Being eligible for a Commonwealth supported place is not a guarantee that you will be offered a place.
Your provider is responsible for allocating Commonwealth supported places based on merit and is
required to let you know, in writing, whether you have been offered one. You are not a Commonwealth
supported student unless you have received this advice from your provider (which may be in respect of a
particular unit or a course of study (covering all units in the course)). If you do not wish to be a




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                      9
Commonwealth supported student in relation to a particular unit, you must notify the appropriate officer of
your provider, in writing, on or before the census date for the unit (see section 1.5).

2.2.       Census dates
For each unit of study, your higher education provider must set a census date, which must be at least
20% of the way through the period in which the unit is to be undertaken.

As a Commonwealth supported student, the census date is when:

       you use your Student Learning Entitlement for your unit of study (see section 2.7);
       you become liable to pay your student contribution for the unit; and
       you incur a HECS-HELP debt for the unit if you have taken out a HECS-HELP loan.

These things will occur even if you withdraw after the census date and do not complete the unit.

Also, to ensure your eligibility for Commonwealth support, on or before the census date, you must:

       submit your completed Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form; and
       make any up-front payment of your student contribution that you are required to make; and
       if you intend to take out a HECS-HELP loan, provide your tax file number to your provider.

It is not possible to submit forms or tax file numbers or make up-front payments after the census date.

Your provider may set an earlier date for the submission of the form and up-front payments – check
with your provider. You must ensure that you meet this deadline as your provider may charge you a late
fee or cancel your enrolment if you do not.

Your provider will inform you of census dates and any earlier date it may set. It is your responsibility to
be aware of these dates.


Failure to meet these requirements by the end of the census date will result in your provider
cancelling your enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student.


2.3.       Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form

Do I need to complete the form?

If you enrol in a Commonwealth supported place, you must complete and submit a Request for
Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form on or before the census date (or an earlier date set by
your higher education provider) for your first unit of study that is contributing to your course of study as a
Commonwealth supported student. You must complete this form even if you are not requesting
HECS-HELP assistance.


Failure to meet this requirement by the end of the census date will result in your provider
cancelling your enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student.

Your provider may also cancel your enrolment if you do not meet this requirement by an earlier
date which it has set – check with your provider.


Your provider will give you a copy of this form. Some providers also allow students to submit the form
electronically – check with your provider.

You should contact your provider if you are unsure of how to complete the form. Your provider cannot
accept copies or facsimiles of the form.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                        10
Which form do I complete?

There are two Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP forms. One is for new students
commencing their course of study in 2007. The other is for pre-2005 HECS students (Appendix B) who
are continuing with a course in 2007 that they began before 2005 (the Request for Commonwealth
support and HECS-HELP – pre-2005 HECS form). You will need to ensure you complete the correct
form – check with your provider if you are unsure. If you have completed one of these forms since 2005
for your current course, you are not required to complete another one for that course.

Do I have to provide my tax file number (TFN)?

You need to quote your TFN if you are eligible for HECS-HELP assistance and you:

          wish to obtain a HECS-HELP loan for all or part of your student contribution; or
          are paying your student contribution up-front but, as a safety net, you want to ensure that if you
           fail to make the payment on or before the census date, that you can still obtain a HECS-HELP
           loan.

If you have not paid your student contribution in full on or before the census date (or an earlier
date set by your provider) and you did not provide your TFN on or before the census date, your
provider will cancel your enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student.

What does signing the form mean?

The form is a legal document and it requires you to declare that you have read this booklet and that you
are aware of your obligations as a Commonwealth supported student. Also, if you take out a
HECS-HELP loan, you will have a legal obligation to the Commonwealth in relation to the repayment of
your debt.

If I change my course of study or my provider, do I need to fill out a new form?

Yes. You should check with your provider if you think you need to fill out a new form. If you do not
complete a new form when required on or before the census date, your provider will cancel your
enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student.

What if my eligibility changes after I submit the form?

If circumstances affecting your eligibility for Commonwealth support or HECS-HELP assistance change
after you have completed your Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form, you must
advise your provider in writing of the change in your eligibility. You may also need to give your
provider evidence of the change (such as your Certificate of Australian Citizenship (section 2.4)).

2.4.        Meeting the citizenship and residency requirements
These requirements are that you must be:

       
                                    1
           an Australian citizen ; or
       
                                                                                                2
           a New Zealand citizen who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit ; or
       
                                                                                                         2
           the holder of a permanent visa who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit .


1
  A person does not meet the Australian citizenship requirements for access to Commonwealth assistance until the person is an
Australian citizen. That is, the person must have taken the Australian Citizenship Pledge and be in possession of their Certificate of
Australian Citizenship. The only exception to this is for pre-2005 HECS students (Appendix B). Pre-2005 HECS students can be
taken to have met the Australian citizenship requirements if they have had their application for Australian citizenship approved by
the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.
2
  In determining whether you are resident in Australia for the duration of the unit, any period of residence outside Australia will be
disregarded if it:
      a) cannot reasonably be regarded as indicating an intention to reside outside Australia for the duration of the unit; or
      b) is required for the purpose of completing a requirement of that unit.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                                              11
2.5.       Meeting the Student Learning Entitlement requirements
All Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and holders of a permanent visa are allocated a Student
Learning Entitlement (SLE). This is measured in equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL), which is the
proportion of a full time load that a unit of study represents. Your higher education provider sets an
EFTSL value for each unit of study it offers. To be Commonwealth supported for a unit, you must have
enough SLE to cover the EFTSL value of that unit.

2.6.       How much Student Learning Entitlement am I entitled to?
Your total Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) is made up of ordinary, any additional, and lifelong SLE.
Your SLE will be used as you undertake study as a Commonwealth supported student. Any study you
undertook before 2005 does not affect your SLE.

Ordinary SLE

All eligible students are allocated „ordinary‟ SLE to the value of 7 equivalent full-time student load
(EFTSL) which entitles you to 7 years of equivalent full-time study as a Commonwealth supported
student.

Example

If you choose to study at half the pace of a full-time student, you will have the same SLE as a full-time
student (equivalent of 7 years of full-time). However, you may study for 14 years as a Commonwealth
supported student.


Additional SLE

You may also be entitled to additional SLE, which is an extra entitlement to ensure that you have enough
SLE to complete at least one course of study as a Commonwealth supported student. You will be
allocated additional SLE for your course if you are Commonwealth supported and the course is:

        an undergraduate course that will take longer than 6 years of full-time study to complete. The
         additional SLE will ensure that, combined with your ordinary SLE, you will have enough total SLE
         to cover the length of your course, plus one year of additional flexibility; or
        an honours course, a graduate entry bachelor degree or a postgraduate course. In these
         cases, the additional SLE will be enough to cover the length of the course; or
        restructured by the provider, requiring you to undertake additional units of study. In this case, the
         amount of additional SLE will be enough to cover those additional units.

In general, the amount of additional SLE that you will be granted will be as outlined above. However, if
you have previously been allocated additional SLE for another course and you used some of it, the
amount you used will reduce the amount you are granted for subsequent courses.

Example

Toby enrols in a combined Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Engineering as a Commonwealth supported
student. The length of the course is 7 years of full-time study. He has not used any additional SLE for
any other course.

Toby is entitled to have a total SLE for the course of 8 EFTSL (the length of the course (7 years), plus 1
year of additional flexibility). Because Toby already has 7 EFTSL of ordinary SLE, his additional SLE is 1
EFTSL. That is, 8 (total SLE) – 7 (ordinary SLE) = 1 (additional SLE).


Any additional SLE you are granted for a course can only be used for that particular course and cannot
be transferred to another course. You begin consuming additional SLE once you have used all of your
ordinary SLE.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                        12
Example

Francesca undertakes a Bachelor of Commerce and uses 3 EFTSL of her ordinary SLE during her
studies. She then enrols in the related honours course as a Commonwealth supported student.
Francesca is entitled to 1 EFTSL of additional SLE for the honours component.

Francesca completes her honours course, consuming 1 EFTSL of SLE. The SLE she uses is her
ordinary SLE, leaving her with a balance of 3 EFTSL of ordinary SLE. The additional SLE she was
granted for the honours course will be lost because she did not need it as she had enough ordinary SLE
to cover the course. She cannot use the additional SLE for another course as additional SLE can only be
used for the course for which it was granted.


Lifelong SLE

In order to encourage lifelong learning, eligible students will accrue lifelong SLE. Lifelong SLE will allow
you to update, or add to your qualifications. You will begin accruing lifelong SLE:

        in 2012 if you were aged 20 years or older on 1 January 2005; or
    
                                            th
         on 1 January of the year of your 27 birthday if you were aged less than 20 years on
         1 January 2005.

The amount of lifelong SLE you accrue will be 1 EFTSL when you first start accruing, and 0.25 EFTSL
every 1 January thereafter.

2.7.       How do I use my Student Learning Entitlement?
You will use Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) on the census date for the unit of study in which you are
enrolled as a Commonwealth supported student. Your SLE is reduced by the equivalent full-time student
load (EFTSL) value of the unit. You are not required to have enough of one particular type of SLE (eg
enough ordinary SLE) to cover a unit, so long as your total SLE available for the course of study covers it.

Example

Omar enrols in a unit of study worth 0.125 EFTSL. At the time of enrolment, his total SLE is 1.025
EFTSL. It consists of:

        - 0.025 EFTSL of ordinary SLE (he used 6.975 EFTSL of ordinary SLE for previous study); and
        - 1 EFTSL of additional SLE for the course of which the unit forms a part.

Omar is able to undertake the unit as a Commonwealth supported student because he has enough total
SLE to cover it. His ordinary SLE is reduced to zero, and he uses 0.1 EFTSL (the balance) of additional
SLE.


2.8.       How do I find out how much Student Learning Entitlement I have used?
Within 28 days after the census date for a unit of study, your higher education provider will send you a
Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN). The CAN will include information on the amount of SLE that
you have used for your unit.

If you believe the CAN is incorrect, then you have 14 days from the date of the CAN (or a longer period
that your provider allows) to give an appropriate officer of your provider a written request, asking for the
CAN to be corrected.

2.9.       Where can I find out the balance of my Student Learning Entitlement?
You can use your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN), and other
personal identifying data, to log on to myUniAssist on the Going to Uni website. On myUniAssist, you will



Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                       13
be able to see a record of your SLE usage, along with records of other forms of Commonwealth
assistance you have received.

The Going to Uni website is maintained by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).
Your information is updated once DEST receives data from your higher education provider. Given the
time between the census date and the date when your provider reports the information, when calculating
the balance of your SLE, you will need to take into account any units in which you have enrolled but
which do not yet appear on myUniAssist.

It is your responsibility to keep track of the balance of your Student Learning Entitlement (SLE).

2.10.      What happens if I’m part way through my course and my Student Learning
           Entitlement runs out?

If you run out of Student Learning Entitlement part way through your course of study, you will no longer
be Commonwealth supported for any remaining units. Your higher education provider may (but is not
required to) offer you a fee-paying place in your course. If you enrol as a fee-paying student, you will be
required to pay tuition fees.

You may be entitled to a FEE-HELP loan for your tuition fees. For more information, get a copy of the
FEE-HELP information booklet from your provider or the Going to Uni website at
www.goingtouni.gov.au.

2.11.      Can I enrol in units of study at different higher education providers?

Yes. You can enrol in units of study as a Commonwealth supported student at different higher education
providers so long as you are eligible to do so. This includes having enough Student Learning Entitlement
(SLE) to cover all the units. If you do not have enough SLE to cover all the units in which you enrol, you
must choose the units for which you wish to be Commonwealth supported. For the units that you choose
not to be Commonwealth supported, you must notify an appropriate officer of the relevant provider,
in writing, on or before the census date.

You are responsible for monitoring the usage of your SLE (sections 2.8 and 2.9). If you do not inform
your provider, and you do not have enough SLE to cover your units, your provider must cancel
your enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student in the units your SLE does not cover.
Your provider may give you the option of enrolling as a fee-paying student or on a non-award basis for
those units – ask your provider.



3. Paying for a unit of study
3.1.       How much does the Australian Government contribute?
The amount the Australian Government contributes depends on the funding cluster in which the unit of
study is classified and on the weight of your unit in your course of study (the equivalent full-time student
load (EFTSL) value of the unit). This amount is paid direct to your higher education provider. Table 1
shows the Commonwealth contribution amounts for one EFTSL in 2007. These amounts are indexed
each year.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                       14
Table 1: Commonwealth contribution amount per EFTSL for 2007


                                                                                                             Commonwealth
 Funding cluster
                                                                                                              contribution*

 Law                                                                                                               $1,528

 Accounting, administration, economics, commerce                                                                   $2,515

 Humanities                                                                                                        $4,239
                                                                                                                   $5,006
 Mathematics, statistics

 Behavioural science, social studies                                                                               $6,729

 Computing, built environment, health                                                                              $7,495

 Foreign languages, visual and performing arts                                                                     $9,217

 Engineering, science, surveying                                                                                   $12,476

 Dentistry, medicine, veterinary science                                                                           $15,638

 Agriculture                                                                                                       $16,624
                                                                                                                   $7,396
 Education
                                                                                                                   $10,189
 Nursing

* The Commonwealth contribution amounts will increase by 7.5% for providers that comply with the National Governance Protocols and the Higher
Education Workplace Relations Requirements.



3.2.         How much do I contribute?
Your higher education provider determines the amount you contribute for each unit of study, within ranges
the Australian Government sets. The range that applies to a unit depends on the student contribution
band in which the unit is classified.

Your student contribution will also depend on the weight of the unit within your course of study (the
equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) value of the unit). Your provider will be able to advise you of
the EFTSL value of the units in which you are enrolled.

There are also different ranges, depending on when you began your course of study. If you are a
pre-2005 HECS student (Appendix B), the maximum amount your provider can charge you is no more
than what the HECS rate would have been for you in 2007 if HECS had not changed.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                                                            15
Table 2: Student contribution bands and ranges for 2007


                                                          Student             Student              Student
                                                    contribution range   contribution range   contribution range
                                                         (students        (pre-2005 HECS       (pre-2005 HECS
Student contribution band                           commencing on or       students who         students who
                                                      after 1 January    began their course   began their course
                                                           2005)             on or after            before
                                                                          1 January 1997)      1 January 1997)

Band 3                                                 $0 – $8,333          $0 – $6,665          $0 - $3,001
(law, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science)


Band 2
(accounting, administration, economics,
commerce, mathematics, statistics, computing,          $0 – $7,118          $0 – $5,694          $0 - $3,001
built environment, health, engineering, science,
surveying, agriculture)


Band 1
(humanities, behavioural science, social studies,      $0 – $4,996          $0 – $3,998          $0 - $3,001
foreign languages, visual and performing arts)


National priorities                                    $0 – $3,998          $0 – $3,998          $0 - $3,001
(education, nursing)



Not all units in a given course of study fall within the same contribution band. For example, if you are
enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing, you may undertake some units of study that are classified as „science‟
and some that are classified as „nursing‟. Therefore, your provider can set your student contribution for
the science units up to the maximum for band 2 and for the nursing units up to the maximum for the
national priorities band.

You will need to contact your provider to find out your student contribution amount for the unit in which
you are enrolling.

Example

Oki commences a Bachelor of Arts in 2006 and enrols in History A01. Her provider has set the student
contribution amount for this unit at $4,000 for one EFTSL. For Oki, History A01 has an EFTSL value of
0.125. Her student contribution amount for History A01 is: 0.125 x $4,000 = $500.


3.3.        How can I check if the calculation of my student contribution is correct?
After the census date, your higher education provider will send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice
(CAN). The CAN will include information on your student contribution amounts, Student Learning
Entitlement usage and HECS-HELP assistance for the units of study in which you were enrolled as a
Commonwealth supported student on the census date.

If you believe the CAN is incorrect, then you have 14 days from the date of the CAN (or another period
that your provider allows) to give an appropriate officer of your provider a written request, asking for the
CAN to be corrected.

3.4.        How do I pay my student contribution?
The options available for paying your student contribution will depend on your eligibility for HECS-HELP.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                           16
Australian citizens and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa
                                      3
If you are an Australian citizen or the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa, you may be entitled to
HECS-HELP assistance (chapter 4). HECS-HELP allows you to obtain a HECS-HELP loan for all or part
of your student contribution, or provides you with a 20% discount for full up-front payments or partial up-
front payments of $500 or more.

Holders of other permanent visas and New Zealand citizens

If you are the holder of a permanent visa (other than a permanent humanitarian visa) or a New Zealand
citizen, you are generally required to pay your student contribution up-front, in full, to your higher
education provider on or before the census date (or an earlier date set by your provider). You are not
eligible for HECS-HELP.

The only exception to this is if your provider has identified you as a pre-2005 HECS student
(Appendix B). In this case, you may be eligible for HECS-HELP.

The following chart outlines the process involved in paying your student contribution.




3
  A person does not meet the Australian citizenship requirements for access to Commonwealth assistance until the person is an
Australian citizen. That is, the person must have taken the Australian Citizenship Pledge and be in possession of their Certificate of
Australian Citizenship. The only exception to this is for pre-2005 HECS students (Appendix B). Pre-2005 HECS students can be
taken to have met the Australian citizenship requirements if they have had their application for Australian citizenship approved by
the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                                              17
How you can pay your student contribution

                                              Eligible student enrols in a unit
                                              of study as a Commonwealth
                                                     supported student.


                                             Student completes Request for
   Student makes an                          Commonwealth support and
   up-front payment                          HECS-HELP form and submits
    of 80% of their                           it to their provider on or before
        student                                        the census date.
   contribution on or
   before the census
   date and receives           YES              Is student eligible for            NO
     20% discount.                             HECS-HELP assistance?


       Student obtains a             Student makes partial up-front                  Student is required to pay
      HECS-HELP loan for              payment of less than 80% of                  student contribution up-front,
         entire student              their student contribution on or             in full, to provider on or before
          contribution.                  before the census date,                           the census date.
                                        receives 20% discount on
                                       payments of $500 or more,
                                       and obtains a HECS-HELP
                                            loan for remainder.



                    Tax Office notified of the amount of
                   the student‟s HECS-HELP debt (the
                    part of the student contribution that
                     remained unpaid on the census
                                    date).


                     HECS-HELP debt is recorded
                    against student‟s tax file number.



                   HECS-HELP debt becomes part of
                    student‟s accumulated HELP debt
                   and is indexed by the Tax Office on
                            1 June each year.


Repayment income                 Repayment                    Student may
  at or below the             income above                  choose to make
minimum threshold              the minimum                     voluntary
 for income year               threshold for                 repayments to
                                income year                  the Tax Office
Student not required                                          and receive
to repay HELP debt            Student begins                 10% bonus on
   (but may make                compulsory                    payments of
      voluntary                repayment of                  $500 or more.
    repayments).                HELP debt.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                                  18
3.5.        Is my student contribution tax deductible?

No. You are not entitled to a tax deduction for your student contribution amount even if you pay it up-
front. The Government already contributes significantly to the cost of your Commonwealth supported
place so your student contribution is not tax deductible.



4. HECS-HELP assistance
4.1.        What is HECS-HELP?
HECS-HELP helps eligible students pay their student contribution for a unit of study in which they are
enrolled as a Commonwealth supported student.

There are two forms of HECS-HELP:

          1. a HECS-HELP loan for all or part of your student contribution. You do not need to start
             repaying your debt until your repayment income is above the minimum threshold for
             compulsory repayment (chapter 5).
          2. a HECS-HELP discount if you pay at least $500 of your student contribution up-front, for
             units you undertake as part of a course of study that have the same census date (section
             4.3).

4.2.        Eligibility for HECS-HELP

Am I eligible for HECS-HELP?

You are eligible for HECS-HELP if you:

         are enrolled in a unit of study as a Commonwealth supported student;
         meet the citizenship and residency requirements. That is, you must be:
                                         4
              - an Australian citizen ; or
              - the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa who will be resident in Australia for the
                                       5
                  duration of the unit ; or
              - a New Zealand citizen or the holder of a permanent visa (other than a permanent
                  humanitarian visa) who is a pre-2005 HECS student and who meets the eligibility
                  requirements that were in place under HECS (Appendix B).

What else do I need to do to ensure my eligibility for HECS-HELP?

You must also, on or before the census date (or an earlier date set by your higher education provider),
submit a completed Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form (section 2.3); and

         supply your tax file number (TFN) if you intend to obtain a HECS-HELP loan (section 4.3); or
         pay 80% of your student contribution up-front to your provider (section 4.3). The Australian
          Government will pay the remaining 20% to your provider – this is your HECS-HELP discount.



4
  A person does not meet the Australian citizenship requirements for access to Commonwealth assistance until the person is an
Australian citizen. That is, the person must have taken the Australian Citizenship Pledge and be in possession of their Certificate of
Australian Citizenship. The only exception to this is for pre-2005 HECS students (Appendix B). Pre-2005 HECS students can be
taken to have met the Australian citizenship requirements if they have had their application for Australian citizenship approved by
the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.
5
  In determining whether you are resident in Australia for the duration of the unit, any period of residence outside Australia will be
disregarded if it:
      a) cannot reasonably be regarded as indicating an intention to reside outside Australia for the duration of the unit; or
      b) is required for the purpose of completing a requirement of that unit.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                                              19
Where you meet the citizenship requirements for HECS-HELP after you have completed your Request
for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form, but on or before the census date for a unit of study,
you must advise your provider in writing of the change in your eligibility status and give your
provider evidence of the change (such as your Certificate of Australian Citizenship – section 2.4).

Failure to do so may result in you being considered as not meeting the eligibility requirements for
that unit of study.

Does an existing HELP debt affect my eligibility for HECS-HELP?

No. An existing HELP debt does not affect your eligibility for HECS-HELP (section 5.1).

Do my assets or income affect my eligibility for HECS-HELP?

No. Your assets or income do not affect your eligibility for HECS-HELP. However, your income will affect
when you begin repaying your debt (section 5.1).

4.3.       What are my payment options under HECS-HELP?
If you are eligible for HECS-HELP, you may either:

        make a full up-front payment of your student contribution for all the units of study you are enrolled
         in as a Commonwealth supported student, that form part of your course of study, and that have
         the same census date. You will receive a 20% discount;
        pay part of your student contribution up-front, receive a 20% discount on the payment amount
         where it totals $500 or more, and obtain a HECS-HELP loan for the remainder. (The units of
         study towards which you are making a part payment of $500 or more must be part of the same
         course of study and have the same census date); or
        obtain a HECS-HELP loan for the full amount of your student contribution.

Full up-front payments

To make a full up-front payment of your student contribution, you only need to pay 80% of the total of the
student contribution amounts for all the units you are undertaking as part of a course of study and that
have the same census date. You must make this payment on or before the census date (or an earlier
date set by your higher education provider) for the units. The Australian Government will pay the other
20% (your HECS-HELP discount) direct to your provider on your behalf.

You should be aware that your provider must not accept a payment of more than 80% of your student
contribution for any particular unit.

Example
Pablo is enrolled in 4 units as part of a Bachelor of Engineering, all with a census date of 31 March 2007,
and is eligible for HECS-HELP. The total student contribution for these 4 units is $3,000.

Pablo wishes to make a full up-front payment of his student contribution. To do so, he must pay $2,400
(80% of $3,000) to his provider on or before 31 March 2007. The Australian Government will pay the
remaining $600 (the HECS-HELP discount) to Pablo‟s provider.

If you do not intend to obtain a HECS-HELP loan, you are not required to provide your tax file number
(TFN) on your Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form. However, you may wish to
provide your TFN as a safety net. This will ensure that, if you are unable to make the up-front payment
on or before the census date, you will be able to obtain a HECS-HELP loan. TFNs are used to enable
your provider to advise the Tax Office of the amount of your debt. If you do not pay your entire student
contribution up-front and have not provided a TFN on or before the census date, your provider must
cancel your enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student. Your provider does not have any
discretion to accept an up-front payment after the census date.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                       20
Note that your provider may set a date for up-front payments which is earlier than the census date
– check with your provider.

Partial up-front payments

If you pay less than 80% of the student contribution for the units in which you are enrolled in a particular
course of study and that have the same census date, this is a partial up-front payment. Partial up-front
payments must be made on or before the census date (or an earlier date set by your provider). Partial
up-front payments that total $500 or more will attract a 20% discount on the payment amount. To
calculate the real value of your payment, including the discount, multiply your payment by 1.25. Your
student contribution amount minus your payment and the discount will be the amount of your
HECS-HELP debt.

Example
Isabelle undertakes 4 units as part of her Bachelor of Science, all with a census date of 31 March 2007,
and is eligible for HECS-HELP. The total student contribution for these units is $3,000.

Isabelle makes a partial up-front payment of $500 before the census date, which means her payment,
including the discount, is $500 x 1.25 = $625. Her HECS-HELP debt will therefore be $3,000 – $625 =
$2,375.

The Australian Government will pay this amount ($2,375), plus the amount of the discount ($625 - $500 =
$125) to Isabelle‟s provider on her behalf. Isabelle will be required to repay the amount of her debt
($2,375) when she earns above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment.

If you intend to make a partial up-front payment, you must provide your TFN on your Request for
Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form to enable you to obtain a HECS-HELP loan for the unpaid
portion of your student contribution. Failure to do so will result in your provider cancelling your
enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student in that unit.

You should be aware that your provider must not accept a payment of more than 80% of your student
contribution for any particular unit.

Note that your provider may set a date for up-front payments which is earlier than the census date
– check with your provider.

Obtaining a HECS-HELP loan

To obtain a HECS-HELP loan for all or part of your student contribution, you must provide your TFN on
your Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form. Failure to do so will result in your
provider cancelling your enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student in that unit if you have not
made a payment of 80% of your student contribution.

If you choose not to provide your TFN, you will not be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan. If you cannot
quote your TFN when you enrol, you should obtain a TFN, or a certificate from the Tax Office stating that
you have applied for one, and provide it to your provider on or before the census date. If you cannot
quote your TFN or supply a certificate on or before the census date, you will not be eligible for a
HECS-HELP loan. TFNs are used to enable your provider to advise the Tax Office of the amount of your
debt.

How do I get a TFN?

If you do not have a TFN, you will need to complete a Tax file number application or enquiry for an
individual form, available from the Tax Office website at www.ato.gov.au. TFNs cannot be allocated
over the telephone, by facsimile or email. For information on how to apply for a TFN, or if you cannot find
your TFN, call the Personal Tax Infoline on 13 28 61.

It is essential to apply early to ensure you have your TFN on or before the census date. A TFN is
usually provided within 28 days of application. If you are applying for a TFN for the purpose of
HECS-HELP, and it is within one month before the relevant census date, you should request a Certificate



Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                       21
of application for a TFN from a Tax Office shopfront. If you have not received your TFN within 10 days
before the census date, you should provide this certificate to your provider as proof that you have applied.

You must then quote your TFN to an appropriate officer of your provider within 21 days of the day the
Tax Office issues you a Tax File Number Advice.

What do I need to do if I am unable to get my Certificate of application from the Tax
Office shopfront?

If you have mailed your Application for a TFN to the Tax Office and you are unable to get your Certificate
of application from a Tax Office shopfront, contact the Tax Office on 1300 650 225 for advice on what you
need to do.


4.4.       Can I change my payment option?

You can change your HECS-HELP payment option on or before the census date for the units of study
that you enrol in as a Commonwealth supported student. The completion of a Request for
Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form only provides an indication of your intended payment
option. Your actual payment option is determined at the end of the census date for each unit on the basis
of any up-front payments you have made to your provider on or before the census date.

For example, if you previously chose to obtain a HECS-HELP loan for your entire student contribution, but
now wish to make an up-front payment, there is no need to fill out another form. Simply make the
payment to your higher education provider on or before the census date. You should also be aware
that your provider may set a date for up-front payments which is earlier than the census date.

Remember that if you wish to obtain a HECS-HELP loan for some or all of your student
contribution, you must provide your tax file number, or a Certificate of application, to your
provider on or before the census date.




5. Repaying your HECS-HELP debt
5.1.       When do I start repaying my HELP debt?

Information for students with a HECS, PELS, OLDPS, or BOTPLS debt incurred before
2005

Before 1 January 2005, any debts you incurred under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme
(HECS), the Postgraduate Education Loan Scheme (PELS), the Open Learning Deferred Payment
Scheme (OLDPS) and the Bridging for Overseas-Trained Professionals Loan Scheme (BOTPLS) were
added together and collected as one debt, called an accumulated HECS debt.

This debt became an accumulated HELP debt on 1 June 2006.

Information for students who have incurred a HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or OS-HELP debt

On 1 June 2007, any HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or OS-HELP debts incurred in 2007 become part of your
“accumulated HELP debt”. Your accumulated HELP debt includes any HECS, PELS, OLDPS or
BOTPLS debts you incurred before 2005 (see above), and any HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or OS-HELP
debts you have incurred since 1 January 2005.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                     22
You do not have to begin repaying your accumulated HELP debt until your repayment income is above
the minimum repayment threshold, which is $38,148 in the 2006–07 income year. Your repayment
                                                                                   6
income is made up of the following amounts from your tax return for the income year :

           your taxable income; plus
           any amount your taxable income was reduced by a net rental loss; plus
           any total reportable fringe benefits amounts; plus
           any exempt foreign employment income amount.

For further information regarding your repayment income, contact the Tax Office (section 7.3).

No compulsory repayment because of low family income

If you have a spouse or dependants and if, due to low family income, you are entitled to a reduction of
Medicare levy or you do not have to pay the Medicare levy, you will not have to make a compulsory
repayment for that year. For further information, contact the Tax Office (section 7.3).


5.2.          How much will my repayments be?
When your repayment income is above the minimum repayment threshold for any particular year, the Tax
Office will calculate your compulsory repayment for that year and include it in your income tax notice of
assessment. The repayment thresholds are adjusted each year to reflect any change in average weekly
earnings. Table 4 contains the repayment thresholds and repayment rates for income earned during the
2006–07 income year.

Table 4: 2006-07 repayment thresholds and repayment rates
                                 For repayment income in           Percentage rate to be
                                 the range:                        applied to repayment
                                                                   income:
                                 Below $38,149                                  Nil
                                 $38,149–$42,494                                4%
                                 $42,495–$46,838                               4.5%
                                 $46,839–$49,300                                5%
                                 $49,301–$52,994                               5.5%
                                 $52,995–$57,394                                6%
                                 $57,395–$60,414                               6.5%
                                 $60,415–$66,485                                7%
                                 $66,486–$70,846                               7.5%
                                 $70,847 and above                              8%

Your compulsory repayments increase as your repayment income increases - the more you earn, the
higher your repayment. Your compulsory repayment is based on your income alone, not the income of
your parents or spouse. You must start repaying your debt when your repayment income is above the
minimum repayment threshold, even if you are still studying.




6
    Income year refers to the financial year, not calendar year.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                      23
Example
Joshua‟s taxable income for the 2006–07 income year is $40,420. In his tax return, he claimed a net
rental loss of $1,250, had a total reportable fringe benefits amount of $3,560 and an exempt foreign
employment income amount of $2,580. Joshua‟s repayment income is $40,420 + $1,250 + $3,560 +
$2,580 = $47,810. Joshua‟s compulsory repayment for 2006–07 is $47,810 x 5% = $2,390.50.

If the calculated repayment amount is more than the balance of your accumulated HELP debt, you pay
only the balance.


5.3.       Is interest charged on my debt?
There is no real interest charged on your debt. Your accumulated HELP debt is indexed annually to
maintain its real value by adjusting it in line with changes in the cost of living (as measured by the
Consumer Price Index). The indexation adjustment is made by the Tax Office on 1 June each year and
applies to the portion of debt that has remained unpaid for 11 months or more. The indexation figure is
available on the Going to Uni website at www.goingtouni.gov.au.

On 1 June 2008, all debts incurred between January and June 2007 will be indexed and become part of
the accumulated HELP debt. Debts incurred between July and December 2007 will also become part of
the accumulated HELP debt but will not be indexed until 1 June 2009.


5.4.       How do I repay my debt if I am a payee under pay as you go (PAYG)
           withholding?
If you receive payments for work or services, benefit or compensation payments, retirement payments or
annuities, you may have amounts withheld from your payments under the pay as you go (PAYG)
withholding system. If amounts are withheld from your payments, you are a „payee‟ for PAYG withholding
purposes. The entity making the payment is your „payer‟ - your employer in most circumstances.

You must advise your payer that you have an accumulated HELP debt on a Tax File Number (TFN)
declaration or Withholding declaration. When you advise your payer that you have an accumulated HELP
debt, your payer will withhold additional amounts from your pay once you earn $728 or more per week in
the 2006–07 income year.

The additional amounts withheld are to cover any compulsory repayment that may be calculated for the
year. These amounts are not credited to your account during the year but form part of the amount shown
on your annual PAYG payment summary at „total tax withheld‟ and on your income tax notice of
assessment at PAYG withholding credits. Your compulsory repayment will not be calculated until your
income tax return for that year is processed. If you had too much withheld during the year, and you have
no other outstanding debts, the Tax Office will refund the excess to you.

Payments from more than one payer

If you receive payments from more than one payer, you must advise each of your payers that you have
an accumulated HELP debt. In 2006–07, your payer is not obliged to withhold additional amounts from
your pay until you earn $728 or more per week from your job. However, if your payments from all jobs
are more than the minimum repayment threshold for the income year, a compulsory repayment may be
raised on your next income tax notice of assessment. If you want one or more of your payers to withhold
additional amounts to cover any compulsory repayment, you should complete the Upwards variation
agreement, contained in the Withholding declaration, and give it to your payer/s. If you do not do this,
you may have to make a lump sum payment when you receive your notice of assessment.

Holiday or temporary jobs

If you have a holiday or temporary job and you earn $728 or more per week in the 2006–07 income year,
but your repayment income for the income year will remain below the minimum repayment threshold,




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                   24
there is no need to have additional amounts withheld. If you do not want your payer to withhold additional
amounts for your HELP debt, phone the Tax Office on 1300 360 221 for a 2007 PAYG income tax
withholding variation application. You should only apply to vary your amount withheld if you are sure that
your repayment income for the year will be below the minimum repayment threshold.

No compulsory repayment required because of low family income

If, due to low family income, you are entitled to a reduction of Medicare levy or you do not have to pay the
Medicare levy, you will not have to make a compulsory repayment for that year. You can provide your
payer with a completed Medicare Levy Variation Declaration, available from the Tax Office. Your payer
will then stop withholding additional amounts for that year. For more information about repayments,
contact the Tax Office (section 7.3).

5.5.       How do I repay my debt if I am a payer under pay as you go (PAYG)
           instalments?

Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments is a system where you make payments towards your expected tax
liability on your business and investment income for the current income year. The Tax Office will notify
you of an instalment rate and an instalment amount, which take into account any accumulated debt. For
more information about PAYG instalments, contact the Tax Office (section 7.3).

5.6.       What do I do if I disagree with my compulsory repayment?
You should check all the details from your income tax notice of assessment with the details contained in
your tax return. If you think there is a problem, phone the Tax Office on 13 28 61. When you phone,
have your notice of assessment and, if possible, a copy of your tax return with you.

After speaking to the Tax Office, if you still believe your compulsory repayment amount is incorrect, you
may request an amendment or lodge an objection with the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation.
Information on how to request an amendment or lodge an objection, including statutory time limits, is
available from the Tax Office (section 7.3).

5.7.       What happens if I have difficulties making my compulsory repayment?

If you believe that making your compulsory repayment would cause you serious hardship, or there are
other special reasons why you believe that you should not have to make a compulsory repayment, you
may apply to the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, in writing, to have that amount deferred. If you
intend to apply to defer your compulsory repayment, you will need to complete the form, Deferring your
compulsory HELP, HECS or SFSS repayment, available from the Tax Office. On the form, you are asked
to provide a detailed statement of your household income and expenditure to justify your claim.

Compulsory HELP repayments relate only to 2005-06 and later income years. There are time limits for
applying to defer your compulsory HELP repayment.

Compulsory HECS repayments relate only to 2004-05 and earlier income years. You can apply to defer
your compulsory HECS repayment at any time.

The Tax Office will advise you, in writing, whether your application is successful. If you are unhappy with
the decision, you may apply to have the decision reviewed within 28 days of receiving it. You will be
notified of the outcome of the review within 28 days of the Tax Office receiving your request.

Once your decision has been reviewed, you may then apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
for a review of that decision. The application must be lodged with the AAT within 28 days of the letter
advising you of the outcome of the review.

For more information on applying to defer a compulsory repayment, including time limits, contact the Tax
Office on 1300 650 225.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                     25
5.8.           Can I make voluntary repayments?
Yes. You can make a voluntary repayment to the Tax Office at any time and for any amount. Making a
voluntary repayment reduces your debt immediately. However, a compulsory repayment will still be
raised if you have an accumulated HELP debt and your repayment income is above the minimum
repayment threshold. Voluntary repayments are in addition to compulsory repayments. Voluntary
repayments are not refundable.

There are several ways you can make your repayment:

Electronic payments

When making electronic payments by BPAY® or direct credit, check with your financial institution for
processing deadlines to ensure your payments reach the Tax Office on or before the due date. Payments
made out of hours, on a weekend or public holiday, will not reach the Tax Office until the next working
day. If you require a receipt you should make your payment through BPAY® or in person at any Australia
Post outlet.

          BPAY – BPAY® allows clients to transfer funds from their cheque or savings account using their
           financial institution‟s phone or internet banking service. When making a voluntary repayment by
           BPAY®, please quote the Tax Office‟s biller code (75556) and use your HELP electronic funds
           transfer (EFT) code as the customer reference number. Your EFT code is printed on the top right
           of your information statement, just below your tax file number.
           ®
               Registered to BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518

          Direct credit – You can electronically transfer funds from your cheque or savings account using
           online banking facilities. To make a payment, you will need the following information:


                    Bank:                   Reserve Bank of Australia

                    BSB no:                 093 003

                    Account no:             316 385

                    Account name:           ATO direct credit account

           You must record your EFT code in the Reference or Description field. This will ensure that your
           payment is correctly recorded on your HELP account. Do not include spaces or alpha characters
           when entering the EFT code. Your EFT code is printed on the top right of your information
           statement, just below your tax file number.

           If you cannot find your EFT code, phone 1300 650 225 between 8.00am and 6.00pm (EST),
           Monday to Friday.

Mail or in person

          Mail payments - You can mail a cheque or money order to the address printed on the payment
           slip forwarded by the Tax Office. If a payment slip is not available, supply the following details in
           a letter or note – name, address, phone number and tax file number. Forward this information
           and your payment to the appropriate address as shown on the following page. It is important that
           you include your tax file number and mention that you wish to make a voluntary repayment to
           reduce your HELP debt.

           Do not write your tax file number on any cheques.

           If you live in Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania or
           Victoria, send your payment to:




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                         26
         Australian Taxation Office
         Locked Bag 1936
         ALBURY NSW 1936

         If you live in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, or Queensland send your
         payment to:

         Australian Taxation Office
         Locked Bag 1793
         PENRITH NSW 1793

         Pins, staples, paper clips or adhesive tape should not be used. Do not send cash through the
         mail. Cheques and money orders should be for amounts in Australian dollars and payable to the
         „Deputy Commissioner of Taxation‟. They should be crossed „Not Negotiable‟ and must not be
         post dated.

        In person at Australia Post – If you have pre-printed payment slips with a barcode, you can pay
         in person at any Australia Post outlet. See Payment slips below to order a booklet of payment
         slips. Photocopies of payment slips are not accepted.

         Payments can be made by cash, cheque or EFTPOS. Australia Post applies a $3,000 cash limit
         (maximum) to cash and EFTPOS payments. EFTPOS is available at most outlets. Payments
         can be made only using your savings or cheque accounts. The amount of the payment is also
         limited to the daily cash withdrawal amount permitted by your financial institution. Cheques
         should be for amounts in Australian dollars and payable to the „Deputy Commissioner of
         Taxation‟. They should be crossed „Not Negotiable‟ and must not be post-dated.

        Payment Slips – You may need to use personalised, pre-printed payment slips for some
         payment options. You can order a booklet of payment slips by phoning:
         - 13 28 65 and following the prompts – you will need your tax file number to use this automated
            ordering service; or
         - 13 28 61 (wait for the welcome message, press 4 then 2) between 8.00am and 6.00pm
            (EST), Monday to Friday. You will need to give your name, address, tax file number and
            advise that you need payment slips for HELP repayments. The Tax Office will mail a booklet
            of payment slips to your address.

Overseas payments
If you are overseas, you have three options for making voluntary repayments: BPAY®, Direct credit
through SWIFT or by mail.

For BPAY® and mailing options, the procedures are as outlined on page 32.

Direct credit through SWIFT
Payments can be made through SWIFT, an international messaging system used to exchange
information between banks and send payment instructions.

To make a payment you will need the Tax Office‟s bank details, listed below:

Bank:                         Reserve Bank of Australia
                              65 Martin Place
                              SYDNEY NSW 2000
                              Australia

Bank identifier:              RSBKAU2S

BSB:                          093 003

Account number:               316 385

Account name:                 ATO direct credit account




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                 27
To ensure your payment is correctly recorded, you must include the EFT code in Field 70 (normally
entitled „Details of Payment‟). Do not include spaces or alpha characters in Field 70.

Your EFT code is printed immediately above the barcode on your payment slip. The payment must be
sent in Australian dollars. Bank handling and exchange fees are normally automatically deducted from
the exchanged value of the payment at both the foreign bank and its companion bank in Australia, before
being forwarded to the Tax Office. You should make allowance for these fees when arranging your
payment.

You can request a receipt by emailing payment@ato.gov.au or phoning 1800 815 886. You will need to
provide your date of payment, amount and EFT code reference.

For more information, call the Tax Office on 1800 815 886 (between 8.00am and 6.00pm (EST), Monday
to Friday).

If you require confirmation of your payment, call the Tax Office on 1300 650 225 and ask for the balance
of your account. For written confirmation, you should ask for a statement of your account.

5.9.       Can I get a bonus for voluntary repayments?
Yes. If you make a voluntary repayment of $500 or more, you will receive a 10% bonus. This means
your account will be credited with an additional 10% of your payment.

Example
Tinka owes $5,250 and she wants to make a $2,500 voluntary repayment. With the 10% bonus, the
value of Tinka‟s repayment is $2,750 ($2,500 x 1.10), and her total debt is reduced to $2,500 ($5,250 –
$2,750). Tinka‟s bonus amount is $2,750 - $2,500 = $250.

If you wish to pay off your total debt, the amount of your repayment is your total debt divided by 1.10. If
your total debt is less than $500 and you make a voluntary repayment to pay off the total amount, you will
still receive the 10% bonus.

There is usually a delay between the census date for a unit of study, and when the Tax Office processes
and records your debt for that unit. So if you have only recently undertaken a unit against which you wish
to make a voluntary repayment, you should first contact the Tax Office to see if the debt has been
recorded against your TFN. If not, the Tax Office will be able to advise you what you need to do (section
7.3).

You may also benefit from making a voluntary repayment before indexation is applied on 1 June. If you
intend to make a voluntary repayment before indexation is applied, you should allow enough time for the
payment to be processed and credited to your account before 1 June.

If you intend to pay off your total debt with a voluntary repayment, ensure you make the repayment before
you lodge your income tax return. If your tax return is processed before your voluntary repayment is
credited to your account, a compulsory repayment may be included in your income tax notice of
assessment and you may not receive the 10% bonus.

5.10.      Are repayments tax deductible?
Repayments made by you, or someone other than your payer, are not tax deductible. If your payer
makes repayments towards your debt, they may be able to claim a tax deduction. However, the payer
will be liable for Fringe Benefits Tax on the repayments.

5.11.      What happens to my debt if I die?

If you die, your trustee or executor should lodge all outstanding tax returns up to the date of death. Any
compulsory repayment included on an income tax notice of assessment relating to the period prior to the




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                    28
date of death must be paid from your estate, but the remainder of your debt is cancelled. Neither your
family nor the trustee is required to pay the remainder of your accumulated HELP debt.

5.12.      What happens to my debt if I go bankrupt?
HELP debts and accumulated HELP debts are not provable under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and you will
have to pay them as if you had not been declared bankrupt.

5.13.      Where can I get information on my HELP account?
The Tax Office will send you an information statement in June each year if you have been incurring debts
or making payments to your account in the previous 15 months. If no activity, other than indexation, has
occurred, you will not be issued with an information statement.

Your information statement is sent to the latest postal address shown on Tax Office records. If your
postal address changes, you must notify the Tax Office. The Tax Office can tell you the balance of your
account, or provide you with a statement, if you phone the Tax Office on 13 28 61.

To protect the privacy of your information, you must provide the following information before the Tax
Office will give you details of your account over the phone.

        If you have ever lodged an income tax return, you must provide one of the following account
         identifiers:
         - your tax file number (TFN);
         - your name; or
         - your Australian Business Number (ABN).

         You must also provide any three of the following personal identifiers:
         - your date of birth;
         - your business, residential, postal or email address (one only);
         - your financial institution account number;
         - details from a Tax Office notice; or
         - other identifying details – for example, correct account balance, student identification number,
            course code, details of a payment arrangement, or taxable income. These must be verified
            against your account.

        If you have never lodged an income tax return, you need to supply only two of the above specific
         identifiers.

6. Withdrawal or non-completion of studies
6.1.       How do I withdraw from my unit?
It is your responsibility to follow your higher education provider’s withdrawal procedures and to
ensure the process has been formally completed on or before the census date. If you formally
withdraw on or before the census date, you will not use any of your Student Learning Entitlement (SLE)
and, if you have requested a HECS-HELP loan, you will not incur a debt for that unit for that census date.

You should not confuse the census date with the academic withdrawal date (the date set by your provider
as the final day that a student can withdraw from a unit without incurring academic penalty - i.e. a
recorded fail grade), as these dates are usually different.

How do I formally withdraw from a unit?

You must withdraw in writing from your unit or course of study on the form required by your provider‟s
central student administration on or before the census date and allow time for delivery and processing.
Check with your provider to see if you are required to withdraw online. Keep a copy of your withdrawal
form or letter, and confirmation of your withdrawal from your provider, for your records.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                      29
If you have submitted a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form with more than one
provider, or for more than one course with the same provider, you may use SLE and may incur a
HECS-HELP debt for both courses unless you withdraw by formally notifying each provider in writing on
or before the census date.

It is your responsibility to be aware of the dates and procedures your provider sets, and to meet
these requirements.

6.2.       What happens if I withdraw?

What happens if I withdraw on or before the census date?

If you formally withdraw on or before the census date from your unit of study, you will not use Student
Learning Entitlement (SLE) and you will not be liable to pay your student contribution for the unit. If you
requested a HECS-HELP loan, you will not incur a HECS-HELP debt for that unit.

What happens if I withdraw after the census date?

If you withdraw after the census date from your unit, you will still use your SLE and be liable to pay your
student contribution for the unit. If you requested a HECS-HELP loan, you will incur a HECS-HELP debt
for the unit.

If you withdraw from your unit because you become seriously ill, or other special circumstances occur,
and you are unable to continue your studies in that unit, you can apply to your higher education
provider to:
       - have the SLE you used for the unit re-credited and your HECS-HELP debt removed for that unit;
          and
       - have any up-front payment of your student contribution refunded.

See section 6.3.

If my study load changes, will this affect my eligibility for Youth Allowance, Austudy,
ABSTUDY or Pensioner Education Supplement?
If you vary your study load, you will need to notify Centrelink within 14 days and Centrelink will assess
whether you remain eligible for income support. For further information about Youth Allowance, Austudy,
ABSTUDY or Pensioner Education Supplement, contact Centrelink (section 7.4).

6.3.       How do I apply to get my SLE re-credited and debt removed?
If you withdraw from your unit of study after the census date, have not completed the unit, and the
special circumstances outlined below apply to you, you may apply to your higher education provider to
have your Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) for that unit re-credited, and any HECS-HELP debt for that
unit removed. You can also apply to have any up-front payments for that unit refunded. There are time
limits for applying (see below).

How do I apply?

Advise the central student administration office of your provider in writing that you wish to withdraw from
your unit of study or course of study. For information on how to withdraw, see section 6.1.

You then need to apply to your provider to have your SLE for that unit re-credited if you believe that the
reason you discontinued your studies justifies it. You should contact your provider to find out how to
apply. Do not apply to the Department of Education, Science and Training or the Tax Office.

To re-credit your SLE, your provider must be satisfied that special circumstances applied to you that:

        were beyond your control;
        did not make their full impact on you until on or after the census date; and




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                      30
        were such that they made it impracticable for you to complete your unit requirements.

Your provider will decide whether to re-credit your SLE in accordance with requirements in the Higher
Education Support Act 2003 and associated guidelines. If your provider re-credits your SLE, any
HECS-HELP debt you incurred for that unit will be removed and your provider will refund any up-front
payments you made towards the unit.

Time limits for applying

Your application for the re-crediting of your SLE and/or removal of any HECS-HELP debt must
reach your provider within 12 months after your withdrawal day. The “withdrawal day” is the day
your provider specifies in its notice to you as the day the withdrawal takes effect. If you have not
withdrawn, your “withdrawal day” is the last day of the period in which you were to undertake the unit.
Your provider may extend the time limits if it is satisfied that it was not possible for you to apply within the
12 months.

What if I am unhappy with the decision?

If you are unhappy with your provider‟s decision, you should apply in writing to your provider for a review
of that decision. If you are still unhappy with the reconsidered decision, you can apply to the
Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review. The AAT will advise you of its procedures. For more
information, visit the AAT website at www.aat.gov.au.

6.4.       What happens if I fail a unit?
If you fail a unit, you will still use Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) for that unit, and be liable to pay
your student contribution. You will also incur a HECS-HELP debt if you have chosen to obtain a HECS-
HELP loan.

If you fail and „special circumstances‟ apply, you may be entitled to have your SLE for the unit re-credited
and any HECS-HELP debt removed (see section 6.3).

6.5.       What happens if I don’t attend any classes?
Regardless of whether you attend any classes, if you do not formally withdraw and are enrolled at the end
of the census date, you will use your Student Learning Entitlement and be liable to pay your student
contribution. You will also incur a HECS-HELP debt if you have chosen to obtain a HECS-HELP loan.

7. Need more help? Contacts and useful links
7.1.       Your higher education provider
Your higher education provider can provide information on enrolments, withdrawals, paying your student
contribution amount up-front and obtaining HECS-HELP assistance.

7.2.       Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)
The Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) can provide general information on
Commonwealth supported places, assistance under HELP, and the Commonwealth Higher Education
Student Support Number (CHESSN).

        Visit the Going to Uni website at www.goingtouni.gov.au
        Call the student enquiry line on 1800 020 108
        Log on to myUniAssist for the balance of your entitlements at www.goingtouni.gov.au
        Visit the Course Information System at www.goingtouni.gov.au

7.3.       Tax Office




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                         31
The Tax Office can explain what happens once you have a HELP debt, including how compulsory
repayments are calculated and how indexation works.

        Visit the Tax Office website at www.ato.gov.au
        Get the booklet, Repaying your HELP debt in 2006-07, by calling 1300 720 092
        Call the Personal Tax Infoline for general tax information on 13 28 61
        Call the Higher Education Loan Accounts Unit for specific queries on your account on
         1300 650 225

Written correspondence (except for voluntary repayments) should be sent to:

          Australian Taxation Office
          PO Box 9888
          VIRGINIA BC QLD 4014

If you have a tax file number, have it ready before you call the Tax Office.

7.4.       Centrelink
Centrelink can provide details about Australian Government financial help available to students.

        Call 13 24 90 - Youth and Student Services - for information on Youth Allowance, Austudy and
         Pensioner Education Supplement
        Call 13 23 17 for information on ABSTUDY
        Call 13 12 02 for information in languages other than English
    
                                                              7
         Freecall™1800 810 586 for TTY payment enquiries, or
        Visit the Centrelink website at www.centrelink.gov.au.

7.5.       Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) can provide information on visas.

        Visit the DIAC website at www.immi.gov.au, or
        Call 13 18 81.

DIAC can also provide information on the eligibility requirements and application process for Australian
citizenship.

        Visit the citizenship website at www.citizenship.gov.au, or
        Call 13 18 80.




Appendices

Appendix A - Higher education providers with Commonwealth supported places



Australian Capital Territory                              South Australia
The Australian National University                        Tabor College Adelaide
University of Canberra                                    The Flinders University of South Australia
                                                          The University of Adelaide

7
        TTY is only for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. A TTY phone is required to use
this service



Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                           32
New South Wales                                        University of South Australia
Avondale College
Charles Sturt University                               Tasmania
Macquarie University                                   Australian Maritime College
Southern Cross University                              University of Tasmania
The University of Sydney
University of Newcastle                                Victoria
University of New England                              Deakin University
University of New South Wales                          La Trobe University
University of Technology, Sydney                       Monash University
University of Western Sydney                           Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
University of Wollongong                               Swinburne University of Technology
                                                       The University of Melbourne
Northern Territory                                     University of Ballarat
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary             Victoria University
Education
Charles Darwin University                              Western Australia
                                                       Curtin University of Technology
Queensland                                             Edith Cowan University
Central Queensland University                          Murdoch University
Christian Heritage College                             The University of Notre Dame Australia
Griffith University                                    The University of Western Australia
James Cook University
Queensland University of Technology                    Multi-state
The University of Queensland                           Australian Catholic University
University of Southern Queensland
University of the Sunshine Coast


This list was current at the time of publication. For up-to-date information on which providers
offer Commonwealth supported places, visit the Going to Uni website at:
www.goingtouni.gov.au.


Appendix B – Information for pre-2005 HECS students



Overview
From 2005, the Australian Government‟s reforms to higher education, announced in the policy statement,
Our Universities: Backing Australia’s Future, came into effect. The reforms include changes to HECS.
For information on the changes and how they affect you, get a copy of the Want to know about the
changes to HECS and PELS? brochure from your provider or the Going to Uni website at
www.goingtouni.gov.au.

As part of the reforms, the Australian Government put in place transitional arrangements for HECS
students who are continuing with a course of study they began before 2005. Students who are
considered to be pre-2005 HECS students:

        are taken to be Commonwealth supported students for the course;
        are able to access HECS-HELP assistance based on the eligibility criteria that applied under
         HECS for units of study that form part of that course; and
        will not be charged student contributions above what would have been the HECS rate for that
         particular year (section 3.2).

These transitional arrangements will remain in place until the end of 2008.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                    33
Am I a pre-2005 HECS student?
You are a pre-2005 HECS student if you commenced your course of study as a HECS student before
1 January 2005 and have not discontinued your enrolment or completed the requirements of the course.

If you discontinue your enrolment, for example, by formally withdrawing from your course or allowing your
enrolment to lapse without formal authorisation from your higher education provider, you will no longer
be considered a pre-2005 HECS student. The following circumstances will not be seen as a
discontinuance of your enrolment and you will therefore still be considered a pre-2005 HECS student:

         taking a leave of absence approved by your provider or deferring;
         transferring to another course at the same level. For example, from one undergraduate course to
          another, including from a single degree to a double degree, at the same or a different provider;
         being admitted to a course after completing the requirements of a qualifying or preliminary course
          at the same level (only applies if you commenced the qualifying or preliminary course after 1996);
          or
         being admitted to an honours course after completing the related pass course.

Your provider can assist you in determining whether you are a pre-2005 HECS student.

Eligibility for HECS-HELP for pre-2005 HECS students
If you are a pre-2005 HECS student, who is a New Zealand citizen or the holder of a permanent visa
(other than a permanent humanitarian visa), you will be eligible for HECS-HELP assistance if you meet
the eligibility requirements that were in place under HECS. Once you no longer meet these requirements,
you will no longer be eligible for HECS-HELP assistance.

These transitional arrangements cease on 31 December 2008. You will no longer be eligible for
                                                                            8
HECS-HELP assistance from this date unless you become an Australian citizen or the holder of a
permanent humanitarian visa and meet the other requirements for assistance.

If you are not eligible for HECS-HELP assistance, you may still be eligible for a Commonwealth supported
place but you must pay your student contribution up-front, in full, on or before the census date (or an
earlier date set by your provider) for your unit of study. You will not receive a discount for this up-front
payment.

New Zealand citizens who do not also hold a permanent visa

If you are a pre-2005 HECS student who is a New Zealand citizen (and you are also not an Australian
citizen or the holder of a permanent visa), you are eligible for HECS-HELP assistance only if you
commenced your course of study before 1 January 1996 and have been living in Australia for a
continuous period of at least 2 years.

Note: Most New Zealand citizens who arrive in Australia are the holders of a temporary visa called a
Special Category Visa (SCV). This is not a permanent visa.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) may issue a Certificate of Status of New Zealand
Citizens in Australia - Form 1162 to some New Zealand citizens. This certificate certifies the status of its
holder as a permanent resident in Australia for the purposes of applying for a grant of Australian
citizenship and accessing certain social security payments. However, the holder of this certificate is
not entitled to HECS-HELP assistance.

Holder of a permanent visa9 (other than a permanent humanitarian visa)

8
   A person does not meet the Australian citizenship requirements for access to Commonwealth assistance until the person is an
Australian citizen. That is, the person must have taken the Australian Citizenship Pledge and be in possession of their Certificate of
Australian Citizenship.
9
  If you applied for a permanent visa outside Australia, you became the holder of a permanent visa on the date on which you
entered Australia for the first time with that permanent visa. If you applied for a permanent visa from within Australia, you became a
permanent resident on the date on which you were granted that permanent visa for the first time.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                                              34
If you are a pre-2005 HECS student who holds a permanent visa (other than a permanent humanitarian
visa), you are eligible for HECS-HELP assistance if you:

        do not satisfy the prescribed residency requirements or, if you do, you first did so in the
         12 months immediately preceding enrolment day; or
        became the holder of a permanent visa before 1 January 1996; or
        commenced your current course of study before 1 January 1996.

Generally, if you are the holder of a permanent visa who is a pre-2005 HECS student, you will be eligible
for HECS-HELP assistance for your first 3 years in Australia as the holder of a permanent visa. Once
those 3 years have passed, if you have not become an Australian citizen, you will no longer be eligible for
HECS-HELP assistance.

The basic principle is that if you are the holder of a permanent visa, but you do not yet meet the
requirements for Australian citizenship (the prescribed residency requirements), you are eligible for
HECS-HELP assistance. If you satisfied the prescribed residency requirements 12 months or more
before the enrolment date, but choose not to become an Australian citizen, you are ineligible for
HECS-HELP assistance. The intention is that students have up to 12 months after becoming eligible for
citizenship to consider whether they wish to become an Australian citizen and make the necessary
arrangements, during which time they remain eligible for HECS-HELP assistance. However, once those
12 months are up, if you choose not to become an Australian citizen, you will no longer be eligible for
HECS-HELP assistance.

What are the prescribed residency requirements?

Once you have been present in Australia for a total of 2 years as the holder of a permanent visa, you are
eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. This is because you have met the residence requirements for
Australian citizenship as required by the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 (administered by DIAC).

To satisfy the residence requirements for Australian citizenship, you must have been present in Australia
as the holder of a permanent visa for periods totalling at least 2 years in the last 5 years. This time must
include a total of 12 months in the last 2 years, immediately before lodging your citizenship application.
Any periods of time spent outside Australia since becoming the holder of a permanent visa will not be
counted toward the 2 years residence requirement for Australian citizenship. To confirm your residency
status, contact the Citizenship Information Line on 13 18 80.

 Example
 10 October 2002                        Adeel came to Australia as the holder of an Australian permanent
                                        visa and has never left Australia since his arrival.
 19 February 2004                       Adeel enrols in a Bachelor of Education and is eligible to defer his
                                        HECS payment.
 10 October 2005                        Adeel has now resided in Australia as the holder of an Australian
                                        permanent visa for a period of 3 years and has not become an
                                        Australian citizen.
 19 February 2007                       Adeel enrols in his fourth year of the Bachelor of Education and is a
                                        pre-2005 HECS student. Under the pre-2005 HECS arrangements,
                                        he is not entitled to HECS-HELP assistance and must pay his student
                                        contribution up-front, in full. However, if Adeel becomes an Australian
                                               10
                                        citizen , he will be entitled to HECS-HELP.

If you hold a permanent visa and are a pre-2005 HECS student, the following chart will help you work
out whether you are eligible for HECS-HELP assistance.


10
   A pre-2005 HECS student may receive HECS-HELP if they have been granted a Certificate of Australian citizenship but have not
yet made the pledge as required under the Australian Citizenship Act 1948. This student must attend a citizenship ceremony and
make the pledge within 12 months of their citizenship being approved.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                                       35
                          Eligibility for HECS-HELP for pre-2005 HECS
                        students who are the holders of a permanent visa




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                       36
                       Want to……
                               Go to uni?
                               Find out about scholarships?
                               Find out about loans to study overseas?
                               Get to know what your entitlements are?
                               Find out about help with uni costs?
                               Get access to your records?

               Visit the Going to Uni website at:
                               www.goingtouni.gov.au


       Want assistance with your general education
       and/or accommodation costs?
       The Commonwealth Learning Scholarships programme provides support to Indigenous students
       and students from rural and regional areas who are from low socio-economic backgrounds.

       For more information, contact the student administration or undergraduate scholarships office at
       your higher education provider or:

                                              Visit the Going to Uni website at:
                                                              www.goingtouni.gov.au


       Want to study overseas?
       OS-HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible students to undertake some of their study
       overseas. Students may receive up to $5,196 in 2007 per six-month study period for one or two
       overseas study periods. You can use these loans to help you with a range of expenses such as
       airfares, accommodation and other travel costs.

       The repayment arrangements for OS-HELP are the same as those for HECS-HELP.

       For more information about OS-HELP, including whether you are eligible, contact the student
       exchange or study abroad office at your higher education provider or:

                                              Visit the Going to Uni website at:
                                                              www.goingtouni.gov.au


Copyright
Commonwealth of Australia 2006
ISSN 1449-8588

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process
without prior written permission from the Commonwealth available from the Department of Communications, Information
Technology and the Arts. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to Commonwealth
Copyright Administration, GPO Box 2154, Canberra ACT 2601 or e-mail commonwealth.copyright@dcita.gov.au.




Information for Commonwealth supported students 2007                                                                        37

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:7
posted:5/19/2010
language:English
pages:37