Commonwealth Assistance

The Australian Government has announced a range of measures that will come into effect from 2021 under the Job Ready Graduates Package. The measures include changes to student contribution rates, FEE-HELP loan fees, Tertiary Access payments (TAP) and more.

Commonwealth Assistance refers to the funding of subsidised tuition and loan schemes eligible students can access, to assist in paying their tuition, student amenities fee and overseas study costs.

Commonwealth Support refers to the specific tuition type you will be charged during your program at university. If you do not have a Commonwealth supported place (CSP), you are considered Fee Paying and not eligible for subsidised tuition. You should refer to your letter of offer for confirmation of your tuition type.

Access to Commonwealth Assistance is only available to domestic students. Full details of Government schemes are available on the Study Assist website. The pages below provide information on how to apply for and manage the different Government schemes that you may be eligible for at UNSW.

Commonwealth Supported Places and HECS-HELP

Important information for Commonwealth supported students.

Commonwealth Supported Programs (Postgraduate)

Limited Commonwealth supported places are available in some postgraduate programs.


Government loan scheme for eligible domestic fee-paying students to defer payment of their tuition fees.


Government loan scheme for eligible students to defer payment of the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).


Government loan scheme to assist eligible students with cost of overseas study.

Higher Education Relief Package

To support workers displaced by the COVID-19 crisis, the cost to study short, online Graduate Certificate programs at UNSW in identified national priority areas has been significantly discounted.

Tax File Number (TFN) Verification process

From 2017, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has introduced a TFN verification process for all students who have submitted a TFN and requested a HELP loan.

To be eligible for a HELP loan, the ATO must be able to verify that the TFN and personal details submitted on your Commonwealth Assistance Form, belong to you, the student. For the ATO to be able to verify this information, the following details must be correct and up to date with both UNSW and the ATO:

  • Full name (including any middle names)
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Tax file number

UNSW will contact you if the ATO advises us they are unable to match the information you have submitted to UNSW, for the purposes of obtaining HELP.

If we contact you, it is extremely important that you do the following:

  • Confirm that your information (including all personal details and addresses) held with UNSW are complete and correct - MyUNSW Login
  • Confirm that your information at the ATO matches with the information you have provided to UNSW - ATO Login or call 13 28 61
  • Advise Student Financials that you have: updated any personal details and/or your TFN, where applicable and the information now matches -

If your TFN is unable to be verified by the ATO due to either an incorrect TFN or mismatching personal information, the ATO will not be able to store your HELP debt accurately and as such you will not be eligible for a HELP loan.

If your TFN has not passed the ATO verification by the census date, your HELP loan will be reversed and your enrolment may be cancelled.

See also