Students in any University of Divinity course who are Australian citizens, or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, can have their tuition fees met by a loan from the Commonwealth Government. The scheme – brought in under the Higher Education Support Act (HESA, 2003) – is called the Higher Education Loan Program: FEE–HELP for short.
NB: All students who accessed PELS (Postgraduate Education Loans Scheme) in 2004 are also eligible for FEE–HELP, even if they are not Australian citizens.
To apply for a FEE–HELP loan, you must fill in the Government form at the time of enrolment and give it to the Academic Dean or Postgraduate Coordinator. These forms must be processed by YTU and sent to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor before the stated Census Dates (Semester One: 15th March 2016, Semester Two: 16th August 2016). Forms and FEE–HELP information are available from the YTU office. Your fees will be paid to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor by the Commonwealth Government, and YTU will receive payment for your classes and library use.
Before you apply for a loan, please note carefully, the following:
- For undergraduate courses (BTheol, AdvDipMin, DipMin) the Government adds a 25% loan fee to your tax liability (e.g., a unit costing $1386 will incur a tax liability of $1732.50 per unit). For postgraduate courses (GradCert, GradDips, Masters, Doctorates) only the amount borrowed is subject to repayment. Only take out a loan for complete units for which you are enrolled (e.g., request a loan for one, two or three units but not fractions).
- You must have a Tax File Number to apply for a FEE–HELP loan.
- Your loan is repaid through the tax system. When your income reaches $54,126 (in 2016 Australian dollars, indexed upward each June) you pay a proportion back with your tax. The higher your income, the higher the repayment proportion, starting at 4.0%.If you make a voluntary repayment of $500 or more, you will receive a bonus of 5%.This means your account will be credited with an additional 5% of the value of your payment. The bonus is 5% of the payment amount, not 5% of the total debt. Voluntary repayments are in addition to the compulsory repayments made through your tax return. Your FEE–HELP tax liability goes up by CPI on 1st June each year. If someone with a FEE–HELP debt dies, only the repayment due in that tax year is billed; the rest is cancelled.
- The Government requires that, before you sign the FEE–HELP form, you must read the FEE–HELP Information booklet so that you are aware of your obligations under the scheme. If you participate in FEE–HELP, your details will be listed in DEEWR’S Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS), and you will receive a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN), which remains unique to you for life.
The administration at the University and YTU offices take your right to privacy seriously, and only use information you provide for the purpose for which you give it to us. The second page of the FEE–HELP form includes your Tax File Number, which will be seen by only two people in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor: your college office will keep a copy of the first page, which does not include your TFN.
For further information:
- Read the FEE–HELP Information Booklet
- Visit the Study assist website at: www.studyassist.gov.au
- Call the FEE–HELP enquiry line on 1800 020 108.