Commonwealth Assistance

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About Commonwealth Assistance

You may be eligible for government assistance to help you with the costs of studying at UNSW.  

  • Find out more about Commonwealth Assistance. You may be eligible for a Centrelink payment to help with living expenses while you are studying e.g. Austudy, Abstudy, Youth Allowance, Pensioner Education Supplement, or Student Start-up Loan. 
  • Confirm your identity with Centrelink for Youth Allowance or Austudy.


If you have a Commonwealth Supported Place, HECS-HELP supports you with a loan that will cover any unpaid portion of your Student Contribution charge. 

  • Read about HECS-HELP and how it works 
  • To apply for HECS-HELP, complete the ‘Request for Commonwealth Support and HECS-HELP’ form, which is part of the online acceptance and enrolment process. You can also get the form from The Nucleus: Student Hub. You must submit the form by the census date. 
  • Your unpaid portion of your student contribution charges will automatically be deferred to HECS-HELP after the census date of your enrolment, as long as you have met the eligibility criteia.
  • Most domestic postgraduate students pay tuition fees, however Postgraduate Commonwealth support is available for some programs. 
  • Find answers to common HECS-HELP questions in the Fees FAQ.  


If you do not have a Commonwealth Supported Place, FEE-HELP is a loan you can use (if eligible) to pay all or part of your tuition fees.  

  • Read about FEE-HELP and how it works. 
  • To apply for FEE-HELP, complete the online FEE-HELP application form via myUNSW (My Student Profile tab > My Student Services > Financials > Commonwealth Govt. Forms). You will need your Tax File Number (TFN). 


SA-HELP is a separate loan to help you pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). If you are eligible for HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP, you are eligible for SA-HELP. 


OS-HELP is a government loan to help you pay for study and expenses overseas if you have a Commonwealth Supported Place and meet the residency requirements. You can get OS-HELP even if you are also getting HECS-HELP. OS-HELP will be added to your total HELP debt.

Other financial assistance

You may also be eligible for financial support and assistance from other sources.