When it comes to pursuing higher education in Australia, understanding the available study finance options is crucial. Two commonly encountered schemes are HECS-HELP vs FEE-HELP in Australia. HECS-HELP, or Higher Education Contribution Scheme-HELP, is designed for Australian resident students studying in Commonwealth Supported places, while FEE-HELP provides financial assistance to students studying in fee-paying institutes.

What is HECS-HELP in Australia?

The HECS-HELP is the study finance option for Australian resident students. Students must study in a Commonwealth Supported place in a public or private approved institute. It can be broken down into two parts:

  • Contributions to student fees made by the Australian government could be made by forgoing or subsidising a portion of the fee.
  • The student contribution – is the portion that HECS-HELP can be secured for

To be eligible for this, the course being studied by the student must be a CSP. To read further on CSP

HECS-HELP loans can be repaid once a student graduates and earns an income above a certain threshold.

HECS-HELP loans are only provided to finance tuition fees. This category does not cover accommodation, textbooks, laptops, stationery, and living costs.

HECS-HELP vs FEE-HELP In Australia

What is FEE-HELP in Australia?

FEE-HELP is a finance option for any Australian student studying in a fee-paying institute. You need not to be enrolled in a CSP. And unlike the HECP-HELP loan, no subsidies are available to the students for the fee.

FEE-HELP covers all or a portion of tuition fees. Like HECP-HELP, it won’t cover any living costs for the student.

Eligibility requirements are similar for both FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP loans.

HECS-HELP vs FEE-HELP In Australia

The table below summarises key similarities and differences between the HECS-HELP vs FEE-HELP In Australia :

Eligibility Criteria
Student must be an Australian Resident or PRYesYes
Student in a NZ SCV visa holderYesYes
Student Profile:
Available to undergraduatesYesYes
Available to PostgraduatesNoYes
Available to Open Universities Australia (OUA) studentsNoYes
Students need to be enrolled in a CSPYesNo
Completion rate requirement applicableYesYes
Available to Fee Paying StudentsNoYes
Commonwealth Fee subsidies availableYesNo
Covers living expensesNoNo
Covers accommodation/textbook/laptop costs etcNoNo
Loan limits
Students need sufficient HELP balanceYesYes
HELP limits applicableYesYes
Max borrowing limit – Most students$113,028$113,028
Max borrowing limit – Students in Medicine, Dentistry, VET$162,336$162,336
Other Requirements
USI RequiredYesYes
TFN RequiredYesYes
Apply before Census dateYesYes
International StudentsNoNo
Loan Repayment
Interest on loanNoNo
Indexation on loan balanceYesYes
Income Threshold applicableYesYes
Can make voluntary repaymentsYesYes


It covers various aspects related to eligibility criteria, student profiles, enrollment requirements, loan limits, other requirements, application process, and loan repayment conditions for HECS-HELP vs FEE-HELP In Australia.


  • Both HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP require students to be Australian residents or Permanent Residents.
  • Students with a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) are eligible for both options.

Student Profile:

  • HECS-HELP is available to undergraduate students, while FEE-HELP is available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Open Universities Australia (OUA) students can access FEE-HELP but not HECS-HELP.

Enrollment and Completion:

  • HECS-HELP requires students to be enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), while FEE-HELP does not have this requirement.
  • Both options have a completion rate requirement.

Availability for Fee Paying Students:

  • HECS-HELP is not available to fee-paying students, whereas FEE-HELP is designed specifically for fee-paying students.

Fee Subsidies and Expenses Covered:

  • HECS-HELP offers Commonwealth fee subsidies, but FEE-HELP does not provide any fee subsidies.
  • Neither option covers living expenses, accommodation costs, textbooks, laptops, or stationery.

Loan Limits:

  • Both HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP have maximum borrowing limits of $113,028 for most students.
  • Students in Medicine, Dentistry, and Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs have a higher borrowing limit of $162,336.

Other Requirements:

  • Both options require students to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) and a Tax File Number (TFN).
  • The application forms for HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP are HECS-HELP eCAF and FEE-HELP eCAF, respectively.
  • Students must apply before the Census date for both options.
  • Neither HECS-HELP nor FEE-HELP is available to international students.

Loan Repayment:

  • There is no interest charged on the loan for both HECS-HELP vs FEE-HELP in Australia
  • Both options apply indexation to the loan balance.
  • Repayments are income-based and subject to an applicable income threshold.
  • Students can make voluntary repayments towards their loan.

You can calculate something like your HECS, FEE, PAY and GST etc. Buy using this efficient free HECS Calculator. Hope you like and enjoy it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *