Students enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) are known as ‘Commonwealth supported students’.

If you're a Commonwealth supported student your fees are partly subsidised by the Australian Government. This means the Government pays a portion of your fees directly to VU and you don't have to repay this portion. You pay the remainder of the fees as a ‘student contribution’ amount.

Important notice: Higher Education reforms

The Australian Government has announced a range of reforms to improve the higher education sector. These reforms will deliver a more sustainable sector, more choices for students and increase transparency and accountability in higher education.

Visit the StudyAssist website for more information about how these changes may affect you.

More detail about the reform measures is also available via the Department of Education and Training Higher Education Reforms website.

Eligibility for a CSP

To be eligible for a CSP you must:

  • be an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, or the holder of a permanent visa
  • meet the relevant citizenship and residency requirements
  • enrol in each unit by the census date (some units may not be enrolled after the third week of commencement of the course, subject to College discretion)
  • read the relevant edition of the HECS-HELP, Commonwealth supported places information booklet
  • submit a valid Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form by the census date (or earlier administrative date)
  • finalise payment arrangements for your student contributions by the census date.

Postgraduate students: Please be aware that being eligible does not guarantee that you will be offered a CSP in your chosen course.

Find out more about CSP eligibility on the Study Assist website.

Getting HELP with your fees

Eligible students enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place may be able to get help paying their student contribution through the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP), administered by the Government.

There are several different HELP loans available to assist you with the cost of your course.

Higher Education Commonwealth Support (HECS-HELP)

If you are enrolled in a CSP, you can either pay your student contribution up-front, or choose to defer your student contribution via HECS-HELP. In this case, the Government pays the outstanding student contribution amount directly to Victoria University on your behalf.

If you access a HECS-HELP loan, you will repay the loan through the tax system once you start earning above the minimum repayment threshold. Voluntary repayments can be made at any time directly to the ATO, regardless of income.

Read more about HECS-HELP on the Study Assist website.

Overseas study (OS-HELP)

OS-HELP is a loan to help eligible Commonwealth supported students who study overseas for a semester. It can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses.

Students may receive one loan per six-month study period and can access a total of two OS‑HELP loans over their lifetime.

Read more about OS-HELP on the Study Assist website.

Student services & amenities (SA-HELP)

SA‑HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay for all or part of their student services and amenities fee.

Read more about SA-HELP on the Study Assist website.

Calculate your student contribution

Different study areas are grouped into one of three 'bands' by the Government. The bands set the maximum amount that can be charged for units on a full-time study load.

When calculating your student contribution, the amount you pay will depend on the:

  • band that each unit fits into (as they are not always the same, such as when enrolling in electives);
  • weight of the unit (EFTSL); and
  • year (since the band amounts are indexed annually).

EFTSL stands for "Equivalent Full-Time Student Load" and is a measure of the study load for one year of a student undertaking a course on a full-time basis. 1 EFTSL = 1 year of full-time study. A single unit normally has an EFTSL of 0.125.

The following table shows the 2018 Student Contribution Bands and amounts.

Student contribution band 2018 Student contribution range (per EFTSL)
Band 1
humanities, behavioural science, social studies, education, clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, nursing
$0 - $6,444
Band 2
mathematics, statistics, computing, built environment, allied health, other health, science, engineering, surveying, agriculture
$0 - $9,185
Band 3
law, accounting, administration, economics, commerce, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science
$0 - $10,754

How to calculate your student contribution amount

Your student contribution amount for a unit of study is calculated as:

EFTSL value x band range = your student contribution for that unit.


Your provider has set the unit 'History A01' with an EFTSL value of 0.125 and classified it in Band 1 (your provider has also decided to charge the maximum rate of $6444 for 1 EFTSL of Band 1 units).

The student contribution for History A01 is $805. This is the formula used: 0.124 x $6444 = $805 (the amount is rounded down to the nearest dollar).

View a list of all  higher education units for domestic students, including EFTSL and student contribution amount.

You can also search for individual unit fees in MYVU Portal.

Further assistance & advice

There are many ways we can help if you need support paying your fees, including with a fee extension, student loan or scholarship.

We also provide free and confidential advice if you experience personal, financial or study-related difficulties.

Contact us

Ask questions & find answers through Ask VU.

Phone: +61 3 9919 6100
Visit: VUHQ (Student Service Centre)