What is FEE-HELP?

FEE-HELP is an Australian Government loan scheme that assists eligible student’s to defer payment for all or part of their tuition fees through a loan. As AIB is an accredited Higher Education Provider, we are FEE-HELP approved for students who are Australian citizens or those who hold appropriate visas and in either case will study part of the course in Australia.

The Commonwealth Government initially pays the loan amount directly to AIB on the eligible student’s behalf, which can be repaid during or after study via the Australian tax system. Interest is not applied to FEE-HELP debts for approved postgraduate studies, including the AIB MBA course. However, an index amount is applied each year in line with the lower of either the Consumer Price Index (CPI).For further details, refer to Loan Indexation section of the Study Assist website.

Your eligibility for FEE-HELP is not affected by your income and assets. For more information about FEE-HELP and to check your eligibility, visit the Study Assist website. You can read about your Fee Help Loan obligations in the government’s  2024 Fee Help Booklet.

Applying for FEE-HELP

If you are planning to request a FEE-HELP loan, you will need:

  • a Tax File Number (TFN). If you don’t have a TFN yet, please apply online through the Australian Taxation Office website.
  • a Unique Student Identifier (USI)*. To find out if you already have a USI, click here: Find Your USI. To create a USI, click here: Create USI
  • a Request for FEE-HELP loan form, which will be provided by AIB during your enrolment process. If you have any questions about filling this out, your assigned Course Advisor will walk you through this.
  • to fill out and submit your FEE-HELP loan form before the census date

When applying for a FEE-HELP loan at AIB, it is necessary to ensure that all personal details, including full name, date of birth, email, phone number, TFN and USI, exactly match those that are held with the Australian Taxation Office and USI Registry System.

If you are applying for FEE-HELP, you should familiarise yourself with key dates such as Census Dates for each study term, and EFTSL values of units, which you can find listed in our FEE-HELP information document. This information is applicable for new and existing students. You can also head to the Study Assist website for more information about FEE-HELP and to check your eligibility.

You will then be emailed a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) within 28 days of your enrolled subjects Census date. These will automatically be emailed to you once the subject fee has been reported to the ATO.

*From 1st January 2021, it is compulsory for all new higher education students to obtain a USI in order to be eligible for Government financial assistance i.e. FEE-HELP.

A new student is anyone commencing a new course of study from 1 January 2021, and the census date for their first unit of study is on or after 1 January 2021.  Depending on the circumstances, this includes students who are changing their course or their course specialisation, completing one course and then progressing into another, those returning from a study break or deferral, or transferring from one provider to another.

Repayment of FEE-HELP

You will only start to repay your FEE-HELP debt once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold.  You can repay your HELP debt directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in two ways.

  1. Compulsory Repayments:

Compulsory FEE-HELP loan repayments are made through the Australian income tax system. If your income exceeds the ATO’s minimum threshold, they will calculate your repayment and include it in your notice of assessment, even for income earned before you started studying. And as your income increases, so does your repayment rate, which is based solely on your income.

Your employer can withhold additional tax from your pay to cover your estimated FEE-HELP debt. This should cover your repayment, but only based on the income they pay you. If you have other income sources, you may have additional repayments. Inform your payroll officer or tax agent that you have a FEE-HELP loan to set up automatic payments by completing a Tax File Declaration. If you don’t fill out this form, you will owe the total amount on your tax return at the end of the financial year. You’ll find additional information on repaying your FEE-HELP debt on the Study Assist and ATO websites.

At the end of each financial year, the amount you have owing will automatically be indexed in line with the lower of either the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Wage Price Index (CWI). For information on specific repayment thresholds, visit the Loan Repayments on the Study Assist Website. For a general guide, use AIB’s FEE-HELP calculator tool to estimate your potential FEE-HELP repayments.

  1. Voluntary Repayments

At any time, you can also make voluntary repayments towards your FEE-HELP loan, which can be done through BPAY or credit card, and you’ll need your payment reference number to ensure the payment is credited to the correct account. For more information on how to make voluntary payments, refer to Voluntary Repayments on the Study Assist Website.


Payment Policies and Procedures

This section will take you through the important points of each payment method and will also point you to important documents or information relating to your payment type. There are several policies and procedures relating to fees and payment options which you should refer to. These are:

A list of the fees payable for AIB courses (tuition and non-tuition fees) are outlined at the beginning of the Finance and Payment Options section of this Handbook.

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For any subject, the census date is the final day to make an upfront payment, apply for a HELP loan, accept a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) offer, or formally withdraw and is the date from students start to incur FEE-HELP debt for that subject. The Census Date is a minimum of 20% of the way through a subject. Each institution sets their own census date, you can find the census date for each AIB term on the Master Timetable which are all in Australian Central Standard/Daylight Time (Adelaide Time Zone).

To ensure you have the very latest information and balance, we recommend you head to the Australian Government’s myHELPbalance website.

Calculate your FEE-HELP repayments

You can calculate the impact of any FEE-HELP repayments on your finances, with our personalised MBA FEE-HELP Calculator. The calculator will show your total fee debt, your weekly take-home pay and how long your repayments will last. The income threshold and repayment rate is also available within the Loan repayment section of the Study Assist website.

The HELP loan limit is the maximum amount the Australian government will allow you to borrow to cover the costs of your tuition fees. This loan limit includes all FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans and HECS-HELP. It’s important to be aware that this information changes regularly so it’s best to head directly to the Study Assist website for more information on the combined HELP loan limit.

What happens when I am nearing or have reached my HELP loan limit; what does this mean for my studies?

To ensure you don’t exceed the limit, when you’re nearing the maximum loan amount, you will not be able to use FEE-HELP to fund your AIB studies and you’ll be required to use an alternative payment method. If this occurs, a member of our Enrolment or Finance teams will reach out to facilitate your change of payment method.

You might also be interested in…

  1. Can I change my payment method or the way I pay for my subjects?
  2. Are there any enrolment rules which will affect my subject choice or order in which I can study subjects?

If you use FEE-HELP to pay for your tuition fees, a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) will be sent to you once your subject has passed the census date and the subject fee has been incurred. This letter confirms that the subject fee has been reported to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

You can use our MBA FEE-HELP calculator to get a feel for how FEE-HELP repayments might impact on your finances. Alternatively check out the Study Assist website.

You might also be interested in…

  1. Withdrawing from your subject. What you need to know.
  2. How do I contact Student Central?