The following information concerns students who are in a Commonwealth Supported Place at Curtin University.
Subject to the passage of legislation, from 1 January 2014, the Australian Government will remove the upfront HECS-HELP discount of 10% for eligible students that pay their student contributions upfront and the voluntary HELP repayment bonus of 5%.
Please Note, the removal of the upfront payment discount is determined on the study period census date, not the date on which payment is made. Therefore, if you are enrolled in a study period with census dates in 2014 you may no longer be eligible for the 10% upfront payment discount, regardless of whether you have made a payment in 2013.
Students who make payment directly to the Australian Tax Office should arrange for payments prior to 1 January 2014 in order to receive the 5% discount.
Any materials published regarding voluntary repayment bonus will not take precedent if new legislation is approved.
The University Fee Centre will provide an update as soon as further information is made available to public; in the meantime, students are encouraged to check their Official Communications located within OASIS for more updates.
For more information regarding the removal of the voluntary repayment bonus, please visit the Study Assist website.
From 1 January 2014, the up-front HECS-HELP discount for eligible students (Australian citizens and Permanent Humanitarian visa holders) upon upfront payment of their student contribution (totalling $500 or more) attracted a 10% discount, instead of the 20% discount offered pre-2012. This was in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003.
In addition, the HELP voluntary repayment bonus (applied to upfront voluntary payments of $500 or more), received by eligible students who paid directly to the Australian Taxation Office, was reduced from 10% to 5%.
Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) was introduced to Australia on 1 January 2005. The system allocated eligible students an Equivalent Full Time Study Load (EFTSL) value of 7.0, which entitled them to 7 years of equivalent full time study as Commonwealth Supported students. A student's SLE was reduced by the EFTSL value of their unit(s) of study.
On 14 September 2011 Parliament passed legislation which abolished SLE from 1 January 2012. Under the provisions of the Bill, higher education students no longer have a limit placed on how much study they can undertake as a Commonwealth Supported student.
Continuing students need not be concerned by any limits formerly placed on them by the operation of SLE. Students who have used up their SLE will now be able to continue study in a Commonwealth Supported place without restriction.
Further information about the abolition of the SLE system is available via the Australian Government's Study Assist website's glossary.
Changes to legislation made in 2010 under the Higher Education Support Amendment (FEE-HELP Loan Fee) Bill 2010, mean that the loan fee for FEE-HELP increased from 20% to 25% for undergraduate units of study with census dates on or after 1 January 2011.
From the 1st January 2005, the Commonwealth Government implemented a system of funding and administration for Higher Education. The reforms affect how the Government provides funding for universities and financially supports students, including the introduction of Commonwealth Learning Scholarships and the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).
In the 2008 Federal Budget, changes were made to reduce the maximum student contribution amount for units of study in mathematics, statistics and science.
The lower contribution amount will apply to students who commence their course on or after 1 January 2009 and some existing students who transfer from a course of study that is not in the natural and physical sciences to one that is. Current students (other than the transferring students described above) will continue under existing arrangements.
Pre-2008 students who transfer from a course of study that is not in the natural and physical sciences to one that is (on or after 1 January 2009), were eligible to retain their Pre-2008 status for units of study in accounting, administration, economics and commerce as well as their Post-2008 status for mathematics, statistics and science units of study. Please note that these transitional arrangements ended in 2012.
In the 2007 Federal Budget, changes were made to increase the maximum student contribution amount for units of study in accounting, administration, economics and commerce. These increases did not apply to pre-2008 students until the end of 2012.
Transitional provisions were made for students who began their course of study before 1st January 2005 and were under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) or Postgraduate Loan Scheme (PELS), which ended on the 31st December 2008. As of this date, students who were in the transitional arrangement (pre-1997 and pre-2005) were no longer entitled to lower fees; and NZ citizens or holders of a permanent visa (excluding permanent humanitarian status) were no longer eligible for HELP loans.