On 19 October 2020, the Job-ready Graduates Package passed in parliament. As a result, from 1 January 2021, there will be some changes to the fees affecting students in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP).

Background

In a CSP, the Australian Government subsidises the cost of a student's course. Student's pay the remainder, known as the student contribution amount.

Each year, the maximum student contribution amount a university can charge for a unit is set by the Australian Government based on its discipline area. Prior to 2021, these maximum amounts were usually increased each year by approximately 1-2% on average.

Changes

From 1 January 2021, there will be significant changes to the student contribution amount universities can charge students enrolled in a CSP for 2021. These changes include a reduction or increase in the student contribution amounts depending on the discipline area relevant to each unit.

Where the fee for a unit has decreased from 2020 to 2021, all students enrolled in a CSP will be charged the reduced student contribution amount.

Where the fee for a unit has increased from 2020 to 2021, the amount a student will be charged will be dependent on whether they are a 'continuing student' or 'new student' in 2021.

Continuing students commenced before 1 January 2021

Where a fee for a unit has significantly increased from 2020 to 2021, continuing CSP students will continue paying the same amount as they would have, had the Job-ready Graduates Package not been implemented. This is referred to as the 'grandfathered rates'.

For the purposes of how much a CSP student can be charged in 2021, a student is classified as continuing if they:

  • Enrolled and passed the census date for at least one unit prior to 1 January 2021; and
  • Are continuing in the same course from 2020 to 2021 in a CSP; or
  • Are one of the following:
    • undertook an Undergraduate Certificate leading to a higher education award and are commencing a bachelor's course that relates to the Undergraduate Certificate; or
    • completed a course of study prior to 1 January 2021 and, are commencing an honours course relating to the previously completed course

2021 student contribution fees by discipline area for continuing students:

Discipline Cluster1 Student Contribution per year2
Law, Accounting, Commerce, Administration, Economics $11,352
($1,419/unit)
Health, Information Technology, Creative Arts, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Computing, and Science $7,944
($993/unit)
Undergraduate Psychology, Humanities, Arts, Behavioural Sciences, Social Studies, Society and Culture, Visual & Performing Arts, Communications $6,800
($850/unit)
Education, Nursing, Languages, Postgraduate Clinical Psychology, Mathematics, Agriculture $3,944
($493/unit)

1 This table combines units in funding clusters with the same value.
2 A standard year is calculated on 8 units or a total of 80 cp. Not all units come from the same discipline cluster for every degree.

To view the specific unit cost/s for continuing CSP students in 2021, visit Units and costs for domestic students.

New students commenced on or after 1 January 2021

A student commencing a new course in 2021 is subject to the new 2021 rates which are referred to as the 'non-grandfathered rates'.

For the purposes of how much a CSP student can be charged in 2021, a student is classified as new if they:

  • Do not meet the criteria as a continuing student; and
  • Are commencing a new course on or after 1 January 2021 in a CSP

This includes, but is not limited to the following scenarios:

  • ACU students transferring from one course in 2020 to another in 2021 as a CSP (including dual degree to single degree and single degree to dual degree);
  • Students who were offered a CSP prior to 1 January 2021 but did not commence their course until on or after 1 January 2021;
  • Students transferring from one institution to another in a CSP

2021 student contribution fees by discipline area for new students:

Discipline Cluster1 Student Contribution per year2
Management and Commerce, Arts, Humanities (excluding languages), Law, Economics and Communications

Undergraduate Psychology4
$14,496
($1,812/unit)
Health, Information Technology, Creative Arts, Engineering, Environmental Studies and Science

Undergraduate Psychology3
$7,944
($993/unit)
Education, Nursing, Languages, Postgraduate Clinical Psychology, Mathematics, Agriculture $3,944
($493/unit)

1 This table combines units in funding clusters with the same value.
2 A standard year is calculated on 8 units or a total of 80 cp. Not all units come from the same discipline cluster for every degree.
3 Applies to new students in 2021 enrolled in one of the following undergraduate psychology courses: Bachelor of Psychological Science/Bachelor of Commerce; Bachelor of Psychological Science/Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science; Bachelor of Psychological Science/Bachelor of Laws; Bachelor of Psychological Science/Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours); Bachelor of Psychology (Honours); or Bachelor of Psychological Science
4 Applies to new students in 2021 who are not enrolled in one of the undergraduate psychology courses listed in note 3

To view the specific unit cost/s for continuing CSP students in 2021, visit Units and costs for domestic students.

The HECS-HELP up-front payment discount provides an incentive for eligible students, to pay all or part of their student contribution up-front and receive a 10% discount. To be eligible for the discount, a student must be enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place and are a:

  • Australian citizen; or
  • Permanent humanitarian visa holders
  • New Zealand citizen with a Special Category Visa (SCV) and meet the residency requirements

If a student is eligible and has selected to defer their fees to the ATO using HECS-HELP, they can make upfront payment/s on or prior to census date totalling $500 or more to receive a discount of 10% of the total up-front payment/s made. After deducting your payment/s and discount, your remaining HECS-HELP balance will be deferred to the ATO.

If a student is eligible for HECS-HELP but has selected to pay all their fees upfront to ACU, they will receive an invoice reflecting the 10% discount and the remaining 90% amount to be paid upfront by the payment due date.

If a student has deferred their fees to the ATO and decide to pay all their fees upfront to ACU on or prior to census date for a study period, they should complete the HECS-HELP form in Student Connect and select the option to pay fees upfront. A revised invoice will be issued the following day reflecting the discounted amount owing.

The discount only applies for units enrolled in Summer Term 2021 onwards. All upfront payments must be made on or before census date for the relevant study period.

As part of the Job-ready Graduates Package, changes have been made to the cost a new student will be charged for undergraduate psychology units of study depending on the course they are studying. These are units starting with PSYC1, PSYC2, PSYC3 and PSYC4.

Where a new student is enrolled in a course that makes it compulsory to study undergraduate psychology units for the purposes of professional registration as a psychologist by the Psychology Board of Australian, the charge for these undergraduate psychology units will be $993 per 10 credit points in 2021.

  • Bachelor of Psychological Science
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science/Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science/Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science/Bachelor of Laws
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science/Bachelor of Arts

All other new students not enrolled in one of the above courses will be charged $1,812 per 10 credit points in 2021 for undergraduate psychology units of study.

All continuing students will pay $850 per 10 credit points for undergraduate psychology units of study.

As part of the Job-ready Graduates Package, changes have been made to the cost a new student will be charged for youth work units of study depending on the course they are studying. These are units starting with YSED.

Where a new student is enrolled in a course that makes it compulsory to study youth work units for the purposes of accreditation by the Youth Workers’ Association (YWA), the charge for these youth work units will be $993 per 10 credit points in 2021.

  • Bachelor of Youth Work
  • Diploma in Youth Work

All other new students not enrolled in one of the above courses will be charged $1,812 per 10 credit points in 2021 for youth work units of study.

All continuing students will pay $850 per 10 credit points for youth work units of study.

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