As part of an initiative to support higher education students hit hardest by COVID-19, the government has announced an extension of the FEE-Help Loan Fee removal.
The ATO charges an additional loan fee of up to 25% of course fees to students using the FEE-HELP program. This is a significant cost for students to bear on top of their course fees. The government’s continued initiatives to help support higher education students during the challenges of COVID-19 is reflected in the extension of their removal of this loan fee.
A significant win for tertiary students, the new measure recognises the negative impacts of the levy on those seeking to up-skill during the pandemic.
First exempted in April 2020, the FEE-Help Loan Fee removal will now be extended until December 31st 2021. This means private provider students are able to complete much of their course without the additional fees added onto their debt by the ATO.
WHAT IS FEE-HELP?
Eligible students can get a FEE-HELP loan to pay all or part of their tuition fees.
To qualify for a FEE-HELP loan, you must:
- be an Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia
- be a New Zealand Special Category visa holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements
- be enrolled in a fee-paying place at a provider that offers FEE-HELP loans
- be enrolled in an eligible course at your provider by the census date
- submit the Request for FEE-HELP loan form to your provider by the census date
- maintain a pass rate of more than 50 per cent
- have an available HELP balance.
Further FEE-HELP loan fee exemptions for about 30,000 existing and prospective students will be continued until 31 December 2021.
If you are considering studying at a private provider, we recommend applying and starting as soon as you can to take advantage of the temporary removal of the additional loan fee! It may not last forever so apply while you can to minimise the debt you’ll owe at the end of your qualification. Your future self will thank you for it!
For more information, click here.