Commonwealth Supported Places

Commonwealth Supported Places

All local students commencing Bachelor courses from 2017 will be classified in Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP).

Fees for Commonwealth Supported Places

What is a Commonwealth Supported place (CSP)?

  1. All local students commencing Bachelor courses from 2017 will be classified in Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP).
  2. There are also a limited number of postgraduate courses which are Commonwealth supported. 

As a Commonwealth supported student the Australian government will pay part of your fees directly to our University and the remaining amount is paid by you. This amount is called your student contribution. Your invoice will show the student contribution amount, payable by you.

You are eligible to be Commonwealth supported for a unit of study if you:

  • have received an offer of a Commonwealth Supported place for your course of study; and
  • enrol in the unit on or before the census date and remain enrolled at the end of the census date; and
  • the unit of study contributes to the requirements of a course of study in which the person is enrolled with the provider or another provider; and
  • submit a completed Request for Commonwealth Support and HECS-HELP form (CAF Form); and
  • have met the residency and citizenship requirements.

Can a student be Commonwealth supported for units they undertake which are additional to the award course requirements?
If a student can complete their award course of study, having satisfied all course requirements, without having to undertake the additional units, then the additional units are not eligible for HELP. This is because the additional units do not contribute towards the course of study.  Students may undertake additional units on a non-award basis and would need to make other arrangements to pay tuition costs.

Residency requirements for CSP

  • An Australian Citizen, for students who commenced their course of study prior to 1 January 2013; or
  • An Australian citizen who will undertake in Australia at least one unit of study contributing to their course of study, for students who commenced their course of study on or after 1 January 2013
  • Permanent Resident AND be a resident in Australia for the duration of your subject.
  • New Zealand citizen AND be a resident in Australia for the duration of your subject.

If you are not residing in Australia (as indicated above) you are not eligible for a Commonwealth Supported place. This includes if you are studying at an overseas campus affiliated with Macquarie University. You will be assessed as a Domestic Fee Paying student.

Eligibility for New Zealand Citizens

From 1 January 2016 some New Zealand citizens are eligible to access the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) which allows students to defer the cost of their tuition fees.

Due to legislation changes, there will no longer be any 10% upfront discount for Commonwealth supported/assisted students from 1 January 2017.

Who is eligible?

If you meet all the criteria below, you may be eligible to access HELP:

  • Be a New Zealand citizen who holds a Special Category Visa (SCV).
  • Have first entered Australia as a child under 18 years of age, and, at that time, you did not have a spouse or de facto partner,
  • Have first started to be generally living and resident in Australia at least 10 years before you apply,
  • Have been resident in Australia for 18 out of the last 24 months, and
  • Have been resident in Australia for 8 out of the last 10 years

Please note: if you are, or become, an Australian permanent resident you will not be eligible for this HELP assistance by the Government.

How do I know if I am a SCV New Zealand Visa holder?

If you are unsure whether you are a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder, you will be able to check this on the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system. You can also check with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

If necessary, you can also obtain copies of your international movement records from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship by lodging a Request for a International Movement Records form.

What do I need to do?

If you believe you meet all the SCV criteria, and you would like to request HELP assistance, you will need to do all of the following:

1. Provide proof of your SCV status. You can do this by sending your visa details including your Full Name, Date of Birth, Passport Number and Country of Passport to us by email at

2. Provide proof that you resided in Australia for at least the last 8 years. Examples of proof include:

  • Your International Movement Records
  • Australian academic transcripts (including VET transcripts) dated when you were a minor
  • School reports or certificates
  • Enrolment papers from when you were a minor
  • Australian proof of age card from when you were a minor
  • Australian student ID card or concession card
  • Stamped passport
  • Payslips or payment summaries from when you were a minor
  • Certificate of application for a Tax File Number, Tax File Number advice or notification of assessment of income tax dated from when you were a minor.

3. Request to complete a paper copy of the relevant HELP form. This is available from Student Connect, 18 Wally's Walk, Building C7A, MUSE Level 2 or by sending us an email at with your address and we can post the relevant form to you.

Please note: you must have an approved HELP form submitted to the University by the relevant census date to be eligible to defer your fees for a particular session. If you are unable to provide proof of your SCV status, and/or submit your approved HELP form in time to apply to defer your fees, you will be required to pay your fees upfront and in full to the University for that session.

When will this take effect?

This change for some New Zealand citizens took effect from 1 January 2016.

Where can I get further information and assistance?

You can find out more or get some help by visiting Student Connect at 18 Wally's Walk, Building C7A, MUSE Level 2,  ask a question online or call  us on 02 9850 6410.

You can also read more about this legislation change from the Department of Education website.

Financial support available

HECS-HELP: available to assist with the cost of units of study.

SA-HELP : available to assist with the cost of the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)

You will need to provide your Tax File Number (TFN).

You are eligible for a HECS-HELP loan with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) if you are enrolled in a unit of study as a Commonwealth supported student; and meet the citizenship or residency requirements. That is, you must be

  1. an Australian citizen AND studying at least one subject contributing to your course within Australia
  2. the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa who will be resident in Australia for the duration of the unit
  3. an eligible Special Category Visa (SCV) New Zealand citizen

HECS-HELP entitles a student to:

  • Defer any amount of unpaid fees as at the census date to the Australian Taxation Office for collection under the taxation system. This is dependent on the student having supplied a Tax File Number to the University by the relevant census date.

HECS-HELP is for unit(s) of study only and cannot be used to defer other costs.

Permanent Residents and New Zealand citizens (non eligible SCV holders) are not eligible for HELP loans and are required to make full upfront payments to the University by the Payment Due Dates. 

Students who are liable for the Student Amenities and Services Fee (SSAF) can apply to defer their fees however they require a SA-HELP form which is different to the HECS-HELP form.

Deferring your fees

Log in to eStudent, click on following tabs:

My Offer  >  Submit Commonwealth Assistance  >  HECS-HELP eCAF  >  followed by a new SA-HELP (optional).

Removal of upfront discount and repayment bonus from 2017

Recent changes to Government legislation which may affect you. These changes relate to:

  • The upfront discount of 10% for Commonwealth Supported Students who pay their tuition fees upfront.
  • The voluntary repayment bonus of 5% for students who make upfront payments of $500 or more for any HELP debt to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

From 1 January 2017 these discounts will be removed.

For more information regarding these changes, please see the Government’s StudyAssist website.

When will this take effect?

The upfront discounts will be removed from 1 January 2017 (ie for units of study with a census date on or after 1 January 2017).

What does this mean for me?

After 1 January 2017 you will not be entitled to a discount.

If you are an Australian Citizen, Humanitarian Visa Holder or eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa Holder, you will still be able to defer your fees to the ATO provided you have completed a valid and approved HELP form for your course and you have provided your Tax File Number by the relevant census date.

Alternatively you can continue paying your fees 100% upfront to the University.

How are my repayments for my HELP debt affected?

For information on making repayments to the ATO, and how the consumer price index relates to your payments please see Loan Repayment page on the StudyAssist website.

Voluntary repayment bonus

In 2017, if you pay $500 your repayment will reduce by just $500.

If you wish to pay your fees upfront, please do so by the relevant session payment due date to avoid a $200 late payment fee. You will be able to view this on eStudent once you enrol in any unit.

Students who commenced in 2009 or earlier (Pre-2010) in Education subjects

If you commenced your course of study before 01 January 2010 and were a Commonwealth supported student for a subject in that course, you may continue to be eligible for the reduced student contribution amount of $5,081 (national priority rate) for Education and Nursing subjects.

You are considered to be Pre-2010 for a unit of study if:

  •  you commenced a course of study before 1 January 2010 and were commonwealth supported in relation to that unit; and
  • you did not complete the course before 31 December 2009, or if you did complete the course it was the related course for an honours course of study you are now undertaking.

When is a person not a pre-2010 student?

A student can be a pre-2010 student only if, among other requirements, they were a Commonwealth supported student for a unit of study undertaken as part of a course of study before 1 January 2010. A person is a Commonwealth supported student in a unit only if they remain enrolled at the end of the census date for the unit. Therefore a person is not a pre‑2010 student if they deferred their enrolment or withdrew following enrolment from all units before the end of the first census date for a unit in their course of study, unless they meet the pre-2010 requirements for a different course of study.

A person who studied as a Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) student prior to 1 January 2005, but who has not undertaken any study between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2009 that would make them a Commonwealth supported student, will not be a pre-2010 student

If you believe you are in this cohort and would like to be assessed as eligible, you must advise the University before your first enrolment in unit(s) of study, in order for your correct fees to be triggered. To do this, send an email to: with pre-2010 Commonwealth Support in the subject heading.

Paying fees

Step 1 - Know the due date

If you are required to pay the Student Contribution Amount to the University (New Zealand citizen or Permanent Resident (non-humanitarian visa holder) or you are a HECS-HELP student wishing to pay some or all of your contribution to the University then:

  1. Any payment made to the University after the "Payment Due Date" will attract a $200 late payment fee imposed by the University. Please note: this date is different to the Academic Census Date.
  2. Failure to make payment to the University by the census date may result in cancellation of enrolment in unpaid units - this will not occur if HECS-HELP students have supplied their Tax File Number to the University by the relevant Census Date.

For students enrolled in session based units the "Payment Due Date" is the Friday before the session begins. The "Payment Due Date" is about 4 weeks before the census date for these sessions.  See Payment due dates for a list of Due Dates and Census Dates for non-standard session based courses.

Your specific Due Date will be listed on your Statement of Outstanding Charges which you can print out once you enrol into units.

Step 2 - Pay my fees

Each session, once you’ve enrolled into unit(s), you can check your fees in eStudent, selecting the “My Finances” menu. Please note: Invoices are not sent to students, all payment details are found in your eStudent.

Please refer to the following information for the relevant due dates.

As well as being able to view your statement of fees in eStudent, you can also email your Statement of Outstanding Charges to your official student email address by:

  • Log in to eStudent
  • Select > “My Finances” tab
  • Select > “Email my Statement of Outstanding Charges”.

Please arrange for full payment of your tuition fees and student services and amenities fee (if applicable) by the relevant payment due date.

A $200 late payment fee will be incurred on all payments made after your payment due date. This includes Commonwealth Supported Students making voluntary payments (if eligible to defer fees).

Payment options
  1. Pay your fees upfront directly to the University by the due date using one of the methods detailed below.
  2. If you are an eligible student, defer your fees to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through the Higher Education Loan Programme scheme (HELP). Eligible students are:
  • Australian Citizens, or
  • Permanent Humanitarian visa holders, or
  • New Zealand citizens who have been assessed as meeting the above eligibility criteria.

To be eligible to defer your fees you must complete the following by the relevant Census Date. For Session 1, 2017 this is 26 March  2017 and for Session 2 this is 26 August 2017:

  • Lodge a HECS-HELP application form (with tax file number) to defer your tuition fees only if you are in a Commonwealth Supported place AND
  • If you have an outstanding Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) you may also like to defer this to the ATO by completing a separate SA-HELP application.

The SSAF you are required to pay may vary depending on your student status and study load. The SSAF is adjusted daily in your account. You will be liable for any changes that you make to your student status and study load at the census date. 

Please Note: the SSAF does not trigger into your account until roughly 2 days after enrolment in units. Don’t forget to check your > My Finances account at this time to check how much SSAF you may owe.

All eligible students who wish to defer fees can complete the relevant online Commonwealth Assistance Forms (eCAFs) on eStudent.

For steps on “How do I complete an eCAF form” or check your New Zealand eligibility, please refer to:

Note: If you have already submitted the relevant approved HELP eCAFs, this will cover your program of study as long as the program has not changed. The fee charges will be transferred from your student account approximately two weeks after each census date.

How to pay

You can pay your fees directly to the University using one of the methods below. Please note that if you have recently made a payment, your account will be updated within 3 business days.


Use Visa, MasterCard via the University's new online payment facility in eStudent  >  My Finances. Computer facilities are available on campus.


Biller Code: 50443
Reference number: Your 17-digit reference number is printed on your Statement Of Outstanding Charges. Contact your participating bank to make a payment directly from your cheque, savings account or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express).


UnionPay card is accepted at the Cashier's Office in the Lincoln Building C8A and Western Union.


Use Visa, MasterCard or American Express by telephone on 1300 301 043  (for the cost of a local call within Australia). This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please have ready your 17-digit Reference Number (printed on your Statement Of Outstanding Charges), your credit card number and a pen ready to record your receipt and date paid.


Paying Course Fees from Outside of Australia (Western Union)


Make cheques or money orders payable to Macquarie University and mail to:

Revenue Services
16 Wally's Walk, Building C8A
Macquarie University   NSW 2109

Please write your student ID on the reverse of your cheque/money order and allow sufficient time for mail delivery. The University accepts no responsibility for delays in the mail.

 You may pay your student account at:

Cashiers Office: Level 1, 16 Wally's Walk,  Building C8A, Macquarie University,

Monday to Friday Normal Hours:  9.00 am to 4.00 pm

Peak Time:   9.00 am to 5.00 pm

You may pay using EFTPOS, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, cheques, money order.

Further information on HECS-HELP places

For more information regarding HECS-HELP and Commonwealth Supported Places please refer to the Study Assist Webpage published by the Department of Education.

Additional financial support

The Department of Human Services (formerly known as Centrelink) offers many financial support options to students such as Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY. More information can be found on their website.

Income support for Masters degrees

In 2008, Youth Allowance and Austudy assistance was extended to eligible students undertaking masters by coursework study in approved courses.

The Macquarie University courses approved for full-time domestic students are:

  • Doctor of Physiotherapy
  • Juris Doctor
  • Master of Accounting (Professional)
  • Master of Actuarial Practice
  • Master of Biotechnology
  • Master of Biotechnology and Business
  • Master of Chiropractic
  • Master of Clinical Audiology
  • Master of Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Master of Clinical Psychology
  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Environmental Planning
  • Master of Information Technology
  • Master of Organisational Psychology
  • Master of Professional Psychology
  • Master of Radiopharmaceutical Science
  • Master of Special Education
  • Master of Speech and Language Pathology
  • Master of Surgery
  • Master of Teaching (Birth to Five Years)

The Department of Education conducts an annual application round to approve courses under this program. To be eligible, the Masters by coursework courses must be:

  • required for entry to a profession; or
  • the fastest pathway to professional entry; or
  • the only pathway provided by the higher education institution following a restructure of existing course delivery.

For information about their eligibility, Masters by coursework students should contact Department of Human Services (Centrelink) or look at this webpage.

Macquarie does not have any postgraduate Diploma or Certificate level courses approved for benefits.

Our courses are re-assessed for eligibility in June - July. This is handled by our Governance team. If you would like to discuss this further or the possibility that this course could be approved for benefits, please refer to our Governance team by sending an email to and including "PG courses for Centrelink- Governance Team" in the subject line.

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