Your student contribution explained
What is my student contribution?
In a Commonwealth supported place (CSP), the Australian Government pays some of your fees and you pay the rest, this is called your 'student contribution amount'.
If you are enrolled in a CSP, you could get a HECS-HELP loan to cover your student contribution amount.
Changes to your student contribution amount
The Job-ready Graduates Package changes student contribution bands.
Students already studying in a Commonwealth supported place will have their contribution amounts grandfathered. From 1 January 2021, current students who enrol in units where the student contribution has decreased will have these reduced amounts applied.
We encourage both current and new students to talk to their higher education provider to confirm how these changes may affect their individual circumstances.
More information on additional support for students in regional and remote areas, including the new Tertiary Access Payment, Fares Allowance and the guaranteed Commonwealth supported places for Indigenous students, is on the Support for students page.
How much will I pay for my course?
Each unit of study is classified into a student contribution band, depending on the study area of the unit (this may be different from the study area of your course). The amount you pay for your unit of study is usually the maximum allowed by the Government for that band.
2020 Student contribution bands and ranges
|Student contribution band||2020 Student maximum student contribution amount (per EFTSL)|
|Band 3: Law, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science, accounting, administration, economics, commerce||$11,155|
|Band 2: Computing, built environment, other health, allied health, engineering, surveying, agriculture, mathematics, statistics, science||$9,527|
|Band 1: Humanities, behavioural science, social studies, education, clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, nursing||$6,684|
Continuing students commenced before 1 January 2021
If you are a continuing student (commenced before 1 January 2021) studying units in disciplines with increased student contribution amounts, you will continue paying the same amount as you would have, had these reforms not been implemented for any units that would otherwise have an increased student contribution.
**Grandfathered student contributions in 2021
|For a place in a unit of study included in this funding cluster||The 2021 maximum student contribution amount in respect of a grandfathered student
|Law, Accounting, Administration, Economics, Commerce, Communications, Society and Culture||
(a) Law, Accounting, Administration, Economics or Commerce $11,355
(b) Communications or Society and Culture $6804.
|Education, Clinical Psychology, English, Mathematics, Statistics, Allied Health, Other Health, Built Environment, Computing, Visual and Performing Arts, Professional Pathway Psychology or Professional Pathway Social Work||
(a) Education, Clinical Psychology, English, Mathematics or Statistics $3,950
(b) Allied Health, Other Health, Built Environment or Computing $7,950
(c) Visual and Performing Arts, Professional Pathway Psychology or Professional Pathway Social Work $6,804.
|Nursing, Indigenous and Foreign Languages, Engineering, Surveying, Environmental Studies, Science||
(a) Nursing, Indigenous Language or Foreign Languages $3,950
(b) Engineering, Surveying, Environmental Studies or Science $7,950.
|Agriculture, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Pathology||
(a) Agriculture $3,950
(b) Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science $11,300
New student contribution band and ranges from 1 January 2021
|Student contribution band||2021 maximum student contribution amount
|Band 4: Law, accounting, administration, economics, commerce, communications, society and culture||$14,500|
|Band 3: Dentistry, medicine, veterinary science||$11,300|
|Band 2: Other health, allied health, built environment, computing, engineering, surveying, science, environmental studies, pathology, visual and performing arts, professional pathway psychology, professional pathway social work||$7,950|
|Band 1: Agriculture, English, mathematics, education, clinical psychology, Indigenous and foreign languages, nursing, statistics||$3,950|
You can estimate the student contribution amount you have to pay for each of your units of study.
You will need to know the student contribution amount for the unit in which you are enrolled, and the equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) of your unit (this will likely be in your enrolment information or ask your provider if you don't know). If you are a continuing Commonwealth supported student, you will also need to know whether the unit is in a grandfathered discipline.
Your student contribution amount for a unit of study is estimated by:
(Student contribution amount) x (EFTSL value of unit) = the amount you have to pay
Note: eligible Commonwealth supported students can defer this payment with a HECS-HELP loan.
Matthew is currently enrolled in a nursing degree as a Commonwealth supported student. Matthew is studying full-time and plans to graduate at the end of 2021.
From 1 January 2021, the student contribution amount for a unit in nursing will be $3,950 per EFTSL, $2,854 less than the current band rate in 2021.
For a unit in nursing Matthew enrols in that is 0.125 EFTSL, the estimated student contribution amount = $3,950 x 0.125 = $493.75.
Dongdi is currently enrolled in a law degree as a Commonwealth supported student. Dongdi is studying full-time and plans to graduate at the end of 2021.
From January 2021, the student contribution amount for a unit in law will increase from $11,355 per EFTSL to $14,500 per EFTSL, therefore law is a grandfathered field. Dongdi was enrolled in a law degree prior to January 2021 and therefore only needs to pay the lower student contribution for the duration of her degree.
For a unit in law Dongdi enrols in that is 0.125 EFTSL, the estimated student contribution amount = $11,355 x 0.125 = $1,419.38.
Khadija is a Year 12 student seeking to enrol in an Arts degree with a major in political science. Khadija is seeking to commence studies in semester 1, 2021.
Political science aligns with the society and culture field of education. From 1 January 2021, the student contribution for a full-time student studying society and culture is $14,500 per EFTSL. Before 1 January 2021, the student contribution for the same course would have been $6,804 per EFTSL. Khadija will not be enrolled in her course until after 1 January 2021. She will need to pay the higher student contribution amount for any society and culture units she enrols in.
For example, Khadija enrols in a unit in History as part of her Bachelor of Arts. History is a society and culture unit. Khadija’s estimated student contribution amount for this unit = $14,500 x 0.125 = $1,812.50.
**Grandfathered student: is a student who:
1. started a course of study prior to 1 January 2021 and who:
a. has not completed that course prior to 1 January 2021; and
b. is Commonwealth supported in relation to that course; and
c. enrols in a unit of study in that same course on or after 1 January 2021; or
2. completed a course of study before 1 January 2021 and who:
a. starts another course of study that is related to the course they have completed and leads to an honours degree; and
b. was Commonwealth supported in relation to the course they completed before 1 January 2021; and
c. enrols in a unit of study in the new course leading to an honours degree, on or after 1 January 2021; or
3. was undertaking an enabling course in 2020 and who:
a. starts another course of study leading to a higher education award on or after 1 January 2021; and
b. was Commonwealth supported in relation to the enabling course; and
c. enrols in a unit of study in the new course leading to a higher education award, on or after 1 January 2021; or
4. was undertaking an undergraduate certificate in 2020 and who:
a. starts another related course of study leading to a bachelor degree on or after 1 January 2021; and
b. was Commonwealth supported in relation to the undergraduate certificate course they are undertaking in 2020; and
c. enrols in a unit of study in the new course leading to a Bachelor degree, on or after 1 January 2021.