FEE-HELP

What is FEE-HELP?

FEE-HELP provides a loan to eligible fee-paying students for a part, or all of their tuition fees for units of study undertaken with a body approved as an Institute of Higher Education under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA).

Melbourne Institute of Technology was approved as an Institute of Higher Education on 11 May 2006.

FEE-HELP is available only to domestic students, and students on a permanent resident visa may not be eligible. For 2022, the FEE-HELP limit is $109,206 for most students.

You pay back your loan to the Australian Government through the tax system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold.

The compulsory repayment threshold is different each year. The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2021-22 income year is $47,014.

What courses are eligible for FEE-HELP?

All Bachelor and Master degree courses at MIT are eligible for FEE-HELP, but you need to meet the eligibility criteria.

Who is eligible for FEE-HELP?

To be eligible for FEE-HELP, you must:

  • be an Australian who studies some of their course while living in Australia
  • OR be an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder and will live in Australia for the entire course.
  • OR be a permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be a resident in Australia for the duration of your unit or course.
  • Be a permanent resident visa holder who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals and will be a resident in Australia for the duration of the study.
  • enrol and submit the FEE-HELP form (known as an eCAF) by the census date.
  • have a tax file number (TFN) or have applied for one – you can start your application now at www.ato.gov.au/TFN.

For further information on eligibility criteria, visit the Australian Government Study Assist website .

Loan fee

From 1 January 2022, the loan fee will reduce to 20 per cent for units of study with a census date on or after 1 January 2022.

Loan fee exemption

The Higher Education Relief Package was announced by the Government in 2020 in response to COVID-19. In it, loan fees for FEE-HELP loans were waived from 1 April 2020 to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on students and higher education providers.

The Government has extended the FEE-HELP loan fee exemption until 31 December 2021, this means that undergraduate students accessing a FEE-HELP loan were not charged the FEE-HELP loan fee for census dates from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2021.

Subject to the passage of legislation, the Government is extending the exemption until 31 December 2022.

For more information, visit the Australian Government Study Assist website.

How to apply for FEE-HELP?

To get a FEE-HELP loan, you will need to complete a Request for a FEE-HELP loan form. You will need a tax file number (TFN) or provide a Certificate of Application for a Tax File Number. You must submit the form before the due date.

To learn more about FEE-HELP, visit the Australian Government Study Assist website or contact us.

WHAT ARE THE NON-UNIVERSITY PASS RATE REQUIREMENTS?

If you began your current enrolment with a non-university higher education provider on or after 1 January 2018 and apply for FEE-HELP, the 50% pass rate will apply.

This means that once you have undertaken 4 or more units in a sub-bachelor level course, or 8 or more units in bachelor and above level courses, you must have passed at least 50% of your total attempted units in order to remain eligible for FEE-HELP. For example, if you are enrolled in a diploma course and in Trimester 1 you undertake 4 units and fail 3, you will not be eligible to access FEE-HELP in Trimester 2. You would have needed to pass at least 2 units.

Then if in Trimester 2, having paid for your units upfront you undertook another 4 units (8 units in total), you would need to pass 3 of those in order to re-establish your FEE-HELP eligibility in Trimester 3 (i.e. 8 units attempted and 4 passed).

What you need to ensure is that you pass at least 50% of your total attempted units across your course of study. Otherwise, you will have to pay the tuition fees upfront until you improve your pass rate.

Note: OUA has its own pass rate requirements in place, where a student must undertake 8 or more units for the pass rate to apply.

CITIZENSHIP AND RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible for FEE-HELP assistance for a unit of study, a person must be:

  • An Australian citizen (students do not meet the Australian citizenship requirements until they have become Australian citizens (that is, they have taken their pledge and are in possession of their certificate of citizenship) & Australian Citizenship Act 1948 or
  • The holder of a permanent humanitarian visa who will be resident in Australia for the duration of the unit (see Appendix I for a list of permanent humanitarian visas in the Administrative Information for providers: Student Support Handbook-April 2006) or
  • The holder of a permanent visa who is undertaking bridging study for overseas trained professionals and will be resident in Australia for the duration of the study (for information on bridging study see clause 44.5 and for a list of permanent visas, see Appendix I of the Administrative Information for providers: Student Support Handbook-April 2006).

The HESA Act 2003 is accessible at: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C2004A01234

Students interested in FEE-HELP must read and refer to the following documents and website:

  • FEE-HELP Information booklet;
  • Request for FEE-HELP assistance Application [form 1292 (A)]; and
  • the Australian Government's Study Assist website.

These documents referred to in 1& 2 above are available from Melbourne Institute of Technology (MIT) Level 2M, 288 La Trobe Street VIC 3000. MIT enrolment and admission staff is happy to provide further FEE-HELP information.

I HAVE MET THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND WOULD LIKE TO APPLY FOR FEE-HELP

Students that have met the eligibility requirements and wish to pay for part or all of their tuition fees through FEE-HELP must fully complete a 'Request for FEE-HELP assistance' form [1292(A)]. Students must complete and sign the form and return it to MIT Enrolments and Admissions division by the relevant census date for the units of study that they wish to enrol in. Students must also provide their tax file number (TFN) by the relevant census date.

WHO IS PERMITTED TO SIGN THE ‘REQUEST FOR FEE-HELP ASSISTANCE’ FORM [1292(A)]?

Generally, only the student receiving the commonwealth assistance is permitted to sign the form. However, MIT may accept a form that has been signed by a person who is exercising a legal power of attorney on behalf of the student. Whether or not a student is a minor does not influence his or her ability to sign the form.

CHECKING THE ‘REQUEST FOR FEE-HELP ASSISTANCE’ FORM [1292(A)] AND CORRECTING ERRORS.

Where MIT is satisfied that an eligible student has made an error in completing the form, MIT will provide the student with an opportunity to correctly complete and sign the form on or before the census date. Where MIT is not satisfied that the details on the form are correct, MIT will attempt to reconcile the differences. Where this is not possible, MIT will reject the form/document and advise the student that the enrolment conditions have not been met.

FAILURE TO PAY TUITION FEES IN FULL OR APPLY FOR FEE-HELP SERVICE

Eligible students who fail to pay their tuition fees in full or who do not apply for FEE-HELP will jeopardise the status of their enrolment.

I HAVE LODGED MY ‘REQUEST FOR FEE-HELP ASSISTANCE’ FORM [1292(A)] AND MY TFN WITH MIT AND MIT HAS ACCEPTED MY FORM.

MIT must issue a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) to all students who have sought FEE-HELP assistance and are enrolled in a unit of study at MIT. Such notice must be provided to the student by MIT within 28 days of the census date. The CAN is forwarded to the students’ local address.

The CAN provides students with the following information.

  • MIT’s details.
  • Student Identification number as issued by MIT;
  • Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN);
  • The course of study;
  • The date the CAN was issued;
  • Unit(s) of study;
  • Census date for each unit of study;
  • The Equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) for each unit of study;
  • Tuition fee amount for each unit of study;
  • Payment details for each unit of study (including any Up-front and FEE-HELP debt);
  • The totals of items (EFTSL, Tuition fee amounts, Payment details (Up-front and FEE-HELP amounts)
  • The total FEE-HELP debt to be recorded against the students’ TFN
  • The cut-off date by which a student has a right to request correction of information contained in the CAN. (The cut-off date must be within 14 days of the date of issue of the CAN)

STUDENT REQUEST FOR CORRECTION OF CAN

When a student believes that the information on the CAN is incorrect, the student may, within 14 days of dispatch of CAN, ask in writing for the CAN to be corrected. Such requests must be in writing and should be addressed to:

Manager Student Services and Engagement,
Melbourne Institute of Technology,
Level 2M, 288 La Trobe Street,
Melbourne, VIC 3000.

Or

Manager Student Services and Engagement,
Melbourne Institute of Technology,
Level 7, 154 Sussex Street,
Sydney NSW 2000.

Student requesting the correction of CAN should specify the particular information the student considers as incorrect and the reasons why it is so considered. Making the CAN correction request does not affect the liability of the student to pay the contribution, nor the student’s entitlement to Commonwealth assistance. Disputes not lodged within 14 days will not be considered.

Failure to dispute an incorrect Commonwealth Assistance Notice results in this fee liability being reported to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

WHAT IS USI?

A USI is a government-issued reference code which uniquely identifies you as someone who has undertaken education or training in Australia.

Your USI stays with you for life, and gives you access to an online record of your nationally recognised training in the form of USI Transcript. For more information, see the USI website.

DO I NEED A USI?

New higher education students (domestic and onshore international) who are not applying for financial assistance are encouraged to apply for and obtain a USI prior to enrolment. It is important to note that from 1 January 2023 all students must have a USI to receive their higher education award unless an exemption applies.

WHY DO I NEED TO GET A USI?

New amendments made in June 2020 to the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) mean that it is now compulsory for new students commencing study from 1 January 2021 to apply for and obtain a USI, in order to be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place and Commonwealth financial assistance (HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, and OS-HELP).

Extending the USI to higher education will create a single government identifier for your entire tertiary education journey. This will help simplify information management for students and providers and strengthen the integrity and richness of data available to improve education policy, programs, and pathways.

For more information, visit www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans.

WHERE DO I GET A USI?

Applying for a USI is fast and free, and you keep the same USI for life. You can apply for a USI in as little as five minutes at usi.gov.au

If you have studied a VET course in the last five years, including while at secondary school, you might already have a USI. Locate it easily at www.usi.gov.au/students/find-your-usi.

WHAT ABOUT CHESSN?

If you applied for Commonwealth financial assistance after 2005 you will have a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN). The CHESSN will be gradually decommissioned as the USI becomes the primary government identifier across higher education.

You can find your CHESSN on a past Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) issued to you by your provider for that course. You can also call your past provider(s) and ask them for your CHESSN.

From 2021, once a student has provided a USI it will become their primary identifier and replace the functionality of the CHESSN. More information about the CHESSN can be found here www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/your-chessn.

HOW DO I OBTAIN A COMMONWEALTH HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENT SUPPORT NUMBER (CHESSN)?

The Department of Education Science and Technology (DEST) allocates a CHESSN to all commonwealth supported students through MIT or tertiary admissions centre. CHESSN enables the monitoring of students’ use of commonwealth assistance.

A students CHESSN is unique and will enable the student to access information on their FEE-HELP balance from the Study Assist website.

CENSUS DATES

MIT must set a census date for each unit of study it provides or proposes to provide during a year. The MIT census dates are published at the following link:

FEE SCHEDULE FOR DOMESTIC STUDENTS

The MIT fee schedule is published at the following link: Tuition fees

WHAT HAPPENS IF A STUDENT WITHDRAWALS ON OR BEFORE THE CENSUS DATE?

Where a student withdraws correctly from a unit of study or course of study on or before the census date, he or she will not incur a FEE-HELP debt. MIT will repay to the student any payment of his or her tuition fee made on or before that date.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A STUDENT WITHDRAWALS AFTER THE CENSUS DATE?

Students who withdraw from a unit of study or course of study after the census date will incur a FEE-HELP debt for those studies. In the event, after the census date, a student becomes seriously ill or other special circumstances occur and the student is unable to continue their studies, then such students can apply to MIT to have their fee balance re-credited, and their FEE-HELP debt removed. Such applications must be made in writing.

HOW ARE FEE-HELP DEBTS REPAID?

A student’s FEE-HELP debt is added to their accumulated HELP debt by the Tax Office. Students repay their accumulated HELP debt through the taxation system once their income is above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayments. Refer to [HESA-S154-25] for current threshold. Students can make voluntary repayments towards their FEE HELP debt at any time to the tax office. Voluntary repayments of $500 or more attract a 5% bonus [HESA-division 151].

MIT CONDITIONS OF ENROLMENT IN UNIT(S) OF STUDY

To enrol in a unit(s) of study at MIT students must complete an appropriate enrolment form. Students can make an enrolment change by completing the enrolment amendment form. Enrolment amendment form must be lodged with MIT on or before the census date. MIT will not accept any enrolment amendment forms after the census date. Refer to the student handbook at Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

MIT ACADEMIC AND NON ACADEMIC GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

It is MIT’s practice to treat all students fairly. To this end MIT has grievance policies and procedures that are accessible to all its students and all persons seeking to enrol with MIT. Academic grievance procedures and non-academic procedures available at Policies, Procedures and Guidelines