Eligibility for Commonwealth Supported Places and HELP loans

If you are in a Commonwealth Supported Place and/or are accessing a HELP loan, there are Australian Government eligibility criteria that you must meet to maintain this support. There are also limits to how much Commonwealth supported study you can undertake.

The Australian Government’s Study Assist website outlines the eligibility criteria for:

Requirements introduced from 1 January 2022

Legislative changes made by the Australian Government mean that Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) and completion rate requirements apply from 1 January 2022.

What means for you:

  • Students studying in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) will be entitled to undertake seven years of full-time study or part time equivalent of Commonwealth supported study at any Higher Education Institution. This is referred to as your Student Learning Entitlement. If you expend this entitlement, you will no longer be eligible for a CSP and may need to transfer to a Full-Fee Paying place for the remainder of your study.
  • Students commencing their course from 2022 onwards must meet new completion rate requirements to continue to receive Commonwealth assistance. Students who are assessed to have a ‘low completion rate’ will no longer be eligible for a CSP for that course.

Refer below for more information.

The University is currently developing processes to support these legislative changes and will update this page when more information becomes available.

Important: check your subject census dates

The subject’s census date is the last date you can withdraw from a subject without it being counted towards your SLE or completion rate.

Student Learning Entitlement

The SLE requirement applies to all students in a CSP who are undertaking subjects with a census date from 1 January 2022 onwards (subjects undertaken before this date don't count towards the SLE). It limits the amount of Commonwealth supported study at a Higher Education Institution that a student can undertake in a lifetime to seven years of full-time study (7 Equivalent Full Time Student Load or EFTSL).

  • How the SLE requirement works
    • From 1 January 2022, students studying in a CSP will start with a SLE balance of 7 EFTSL
    • Any subject with a census date from 1 January 2022 onwards that you are enrolled in past its census date will reduce your SLE balance. For example, if you're enrolled in four 12.5 point Semester 1, 2022 subjects after their census dates, your remaining SLE balance will be 6.5 EFTSL.
    • If you expend your SLE, you will no longer be eligible for a CSP. You may be able to transfer into a Full-Fee Paying Place for the remainder of your study, subject to meeting admission requirements, and the University's academic progress and maximum course duration requirements.
    • There may be some exceptions and instances when your SLE can be re-credited where special circumstances apply, or extended (details are to be determined).

    For more information refer to the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Support Places and HECS-HELP booklet for students.

Completion rate requirement

Students who commenced their course from 2022 onwards must meet Australian Government completion rates to maintain a CSP and/or HELP loan. 

  • How the completion rate requirement works
    • Students who commenced their course from 2022 onwards must successfully complete at least 50 per cent of units of study (ie subjects) and avoid a low completion rate in order to maintain Commonwealth assistance. The Australian Government defines a low completion rate as:
      • For bachelor level or higher course, a fail rate of more than 50 per cent of the units of study you have attempted, after you have attempted eight or more units.
      • For a higher education course lower than bachelor, a fail rate of more than 50 per cent after you have attempted four or more units.
    • The completion rate requirement is different from the University's academic progress requirements.

    How subjects count towards completion rates:

    • Any subject with a census date from 1 January 2022 onwards that you are enrolled in past its census date will be included in your completion rate calculation.
    • Subjects from which you withdraw after the subject census date count as a failed subject toward your completion rate.
    • If you can prove that ‘special circumstances’ led to you withdrawing from, or failing, a subject, you will be able to apply for that subject to not count toward your completion rate.  The Australian Government’s FAQs for students outlines the special circumstances, and the University will publish more information about this by early March 2022.

    What happens if you have a low completion rate:

    • If you are identified as having a low completion rate, you will be ineligible for a CSP or HELP loans for that course and the University will contact you to advise your options.
    • You may be able to improve your rate through completing study in a Full-Fee Paying place (HELP loans would not be available in this instance) and apply to be reinstated in your CSP once your completion rate is above 50 per cent.

    For more information, visit the Study Assist website and refer to the Australian Government’s HELP booklets for students.

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