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OS-HELP

OS-HELP provides financial assistance to eligible Commonwealth supported students who undertake part of their program overseas, to cover expenses such as:

  • airfares
  • accommodation
  • other travel or settling expenses.

If eligible, you can receive two OS-HELP loans over your lifetime. Loans of up to an approved Government limit (indexed annually) are available for up to two non-overlapping six month study periods.

The OS-HELP debt is incurred on the day you are paid your loan amount and is added to any existing HECS or HELP debt. A 20% loan fee applies to all OS-HELP loans with a debt incurral date up to and including 31/12/2009. Debts incurred on and after 1/1/2010 will not incur a loan fee.

Who is eligible for OS-HELP?

To be eligible for an OS-HELP loan, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen or holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa
  • not received an OS-HELP loan on more than one other occasion
  • be enrolled in an undergraduate or Commonwealth Supported postgraduate program of study with USQ
  • have already completed at least one EFTSL, of study that counts towards their program of study, as a Commonwealth supported student
  • be enrolled in full-time study with an overseas higher education institution, and be outside Australia while undertaking that study
  • have, on return from study overseas, units to the value of at least 0.125 EFTSL to complete the requirements of their program
  • be able to provide documentary evidence that their overseas study will count for credit towards their USQ program
  • meet the Tax File Number requirements
  • complete and lodge an OS-HELP Debt Confirmation form with USQ
  • have been selected by USQ to receive an OS-HELP loan
  • not received any other OS-HELP loan for a period that overlaps or coincides with the six month period
  • Where a student's full-time study overseas does not convert to 0.500 EFTSL of credit in their USQ program, the amount the student may apply for is reduced on a pro-rata basis

How to apply

To apply for an OS-HELP loan, request the following forms from the Fees office:

  • an application form
  • a copy of the Department of Education publication OS-HELP Statement of terms and conditions, and 
  • an OS-HELP Debt Confirmation form.

The following documentation must also be included when submitting your application:

  • confirmation of enrolment from the overseas Higher Education provider including a list of subjects
  • the weighting or load value, and 
  • the start and end date of the study period.

Submitting your application

Applications must be submitted no later than 30 days before the commencement of study, and within six months prior to the commencement of the study period, to the following address:

Fees Coordinator
Fees and Remissions
Student Support and Retention
University of Southern Queensland
Toowoomba Qld 4350

Application approval

You will be notified in writing of the outcome of your loan application within 14 days of USQ receiving the written application complete with required documentation.
If the application is approved, payment will be made by

  • electronic funds transfer
  • cheque sent to the student by registered mail, or 
  • cheque collected from Student Support located in B block, Toowoomba campus.

USQ will issue a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) no later than 28 days after the date on which the OS-HELP debt was incurred.

Appeals

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your application, you may lodge an appeal with the Manager, Student Support and Retention. Appeals must be submitted in writing within 14 days of the date printed on the letter advising of the outcome of the application.

Further information

Further information about OS-HELP is available from the Study Assist website.