What is FEE-HELP?
FEE-HELP is an interest free loan that helps eligible fee paying students pay their tuition fees.
The accumulated debt is indexed according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). FEE-HELP applies to undergraduate study and postgraduate coursework and research study.
The following cohorts of students are eligible to apply for a FEE-HELP loan to cover the costs of tuition fees at Bond University:
- Australian citizens undertaking at least one subject in Australia
- Permanent humanitarian visa holders living in Australia for the duration of the program
- Permanent visa holders who are enrolled in bridging study for overseas-trained professionals and living in Australia for the duration of the program.
- Maintain a pass rate of more than 50 per cent
- New Zealand citizens who meet the eligibility requirements.
A Tax File Number is needed to access the Australian Government's Higher Education Loan Program. From January 2021, new higher education students will also need a Unique Student Identifier (USI) to be eligible. Applications for a USI are free and obtained through a short application process online.
If you have received an offer from Bond University and have your Student Identification Number (SID) you can submit a FEE-HELP application online using your eStudent account as follows:
- Login to eStudent via the Student Portal
- Select FEE-HELP form tab
- Enter details including your tax file number (TFN), Unique Student Identifier (USI) and submit the form online. If you have applied for a TFN but have not received it as yet, please upload you application summary and receipt from Australia Post as requested
- DO NOT print the form as it won’t be accepted
Application forms must be completed by Friday, Week 2 of the semester of commencement. A new form must be submitted if you change your program of study.
On 1 January 2020, the FEE-HELP loan limits became the HELP loan limits. Any existing FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans will count towards your HELP loan limit. Any HECS-HELP borrowed from 1 January 2020 onwards will also count towards your HELP loan limit.
On 1 January 2020, your FEE-HELP balance became your HELP balance.
In 2021 the combined HELP loan limit is $108,232 for most students. The limit for students in the ^Medical Program is $155,448.
If you want to check your HELP balance you will require your CHESSN number, which is located in the top right-hand corner of your CAN statement. You can then access your details at the MyHELPbalance portal.
If you’ve used FEE-HELP before (and HECS-HELP after 1 January 2020), it’s your responsibility to make sure you have enough HELP balance left for your new course. Students will be required to submit a CAN statement to Bond outlining all previous tuition fees deferred to FEE-HELP (and HECS-HELP deferred after 1 January 2020).
Each semester you are emailed a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN). This is emailed within 28 days of the Census date and you have 14 days to advise of any mistakes.
It is important that you keep a record of all CANs that are sent to you, to ensure that you do not exceed the HELP loan limit.
You will need to start repaying your HELP debt when your income reaches a certain level, which in 2020-21 is $46,620. The amount you have to repay (commencing at a rate of 1%) is calculated by the tax office each year. You should let your employer know you have a HELP debt and they can withhold money from your salary to cover your repayments.
Graduates’ rate of repayment increases as their annual income increases. There is a 10% repayment rate for those with an income greater than $136,740, so higher income earners can repay their loans faster.
Your HELP loan limit is not a lifetime limit. Repayments made after 1 July 2019 towards your accumulated HELP debt will credit your HELP balance and can be re-borrowed in the future, up to the current HELP limit.
The repayment rates for 2020-21 are available on the Study Assist website.
From 1 January 2019, the 25% FEE-HELP loan fee was abolished for domestic undergraduate students at Bond University. This only applies to units of study with a census date on or after 1 January 2019.
There is no interest charged on HELP loans. However, once your debt is more than 11 months old it is subject to indexation in line with the Consumer Price Index on 1 June each year.
If you have withdrawn from a subject or your studies after census date due to special circumstances beyond your control, you may be eligible for a refund of tuition fees deferred through FEE-HELP.
To apply for a refund, you can apply to withdraw without academic and financial penalty by submitting a Withdraw No Penalty application via your eStudent portal.
For your application to be successful, you will need to demonstrate that you were impacted by special circumstances that:
- were beyond your control, that is, not due to your action or inaction
- did not make their full impact upon you until on or after the relevant census date for that subject
- made it impracticable for you to complete the subject during that period
For further information on applying to withdraw without academic and financial penalty, please refer to the Withdrawal from subjects webpage.
^ The Medical Program is comprised of two sequential degrees – the Bachelor of Medical Studies (BMedSt) and the Doctor of Medicine (MD). All students selected for entry into the Medical Program will have to complete both the BMedSt and MD to be eligible for registration as a medical practitioner in any state or territory in Australia or New Zealand.