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 2024, the FEE-HELP limit is $121,844 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 2023-2024 income year is $51,550.
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?
Your provider will assess your eligibility for a FEE-HELP loan against the criteria below. If you have any questions, please contact your provider.
To be eligible for FEE-HELP, you must:
- be one of the following:
- an Australian citizen who will study at least one unit of your course of study in Australia; or
- a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder, or eligible former New Zealand SCV holder; who meets the long-term residency requirements and who studies the entire course while living in Australia; or
- a permanent humanitarian visa holder or an eligible former permanent humanitarian visa holder who studies the entire course while living in Australia; or
- a pacific engagement visa holder who is resident in Australia for the duration of your unit(s) (note: a PEV holder becomes eligible from 1 February 2024)
- an Australian permanent resident can get FEE-HELP for approved bridging studies
- be enrolled in a fee-paying place at a provider that offers FEE-HELP loans
- be enrolled in an eligible course at your provider by the census date (your provider can tell you if your course is eligible)
- submit the Request for FEE-HELP loan form to your provider by the census date
- have an available HELP balance
- provide your provider with your Unique Student Identifier (USI) prior to the first census date (for new enrolments from 1 January 2021) unless an exemption applies
- be assessed as a genuine student and as academically suitable for your unit(s) of study
- maintain a completion rate of 50 per cent or above if you are studying at Open Universities Australia (OUA) and your units do not form part of a course of study
- not undertake more than 2 years' worth of higher education study in the last 12 months (unless your provider has approved a higher study load).
For further information on eligibility criteria, visit the Australian Government Study Assist website .
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.
Support for students policy and pass rate requirements
The Higher Education Support Act 2003 has been amended to remove the requirement that students must pass 50 per cent of their units they study to remain eligible for Commonwealth assistance (studying in a CSP or access to a HELP loans). Students enrolled in units of study with census dates on or after 1 January 2024 will not need to meet the pass rate requirements. However, pass rate requirements for students undertaking units of study through Open Universities Australia (OUA), that do not form part of a course, are still in place. This means they will not be eligible for FEE-HELP assistance where they have undertaken 8 or more units and failed more than 50 per cent of those units.
The amendments to HESA also introduced a requirement that higher education providers have policies to support students to successfully complete units of study in which they are enrolled. This amendment commences with a transitional period from 1 January 2024.
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.
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.
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:
- Unit census dates and fees - 2024
- Unit census dates and fees - 2023
- Unit census dates and fees - 2022
- Unit census dates and fees - 2022 (Certificate Courses)
- Unit census dates and fees - 2021
- Unit census dates and fees - 2020
- Unit census dates and fees - 2019
- Unit census dates and fees - 2018
- Unit census dates and fees - 2017
- Unit census dates and fees - 2016
- Unit census dates and fees - 2015
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