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Commonwealth supported students

 A Commonwealth supported place is where the Australian Government makes a contribution towards the cost of your higher education and you as a student pay a student contribution amount, which varies depending on the courses undertaken.

Your student contribution amount

Your student contribution amount and the amount you actually pay will vary depending on what courses (subjects) you take, the applicable Commonwealth fee band, and what year you commenced study. The amounts shown in the table are estimates based on full-time study.


Band Unit Classification 2015 maximum student contribution amount (/full time year)
National Priorities Pre-2010 commencing Education and Nursing students only $ 4,920
 1 Humanities, Behavioural Science, Social Studies, Clinical Psychology, Foreign Languages, Visual and Performing Arts, Nursing, Education $ 6,152
 2 Computing, Built Environment, other Health,  Allied Health, Engineering, Surveying, Agriculture, Maths, Statistics, Science $ 8,768
 3 Law, Accounting, Commerce, Business Administration, Economics $10,264

Your student contribution amount also depends on when you commenced your university study:

  • Students who commence from 1 January 2010: students who commence an award program for 1 January 2010 and onwards are subject to the same Student Contribution as students who commenced their study prior to that date with the exception of students in Education and Nursing which will be charged at the Band 1 rate.
  • Student who commenced prior to 1 January 2010 in a Nursing or Education program will continue to pay the National Priority rate.
  • Students who commenced from 1 January 2009 in a Mathematics, Statistics or Natural and Physical sciences program and previously paid the National Priority rate will be charged at Band 2 from 1 January 2013 onwards

Am I eligible to defer my student contribution?

The options available to you when paying your student contribution, depend on your citizenship or residency status:

Australian citizens and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa

If you fall into this category you are eligible for Government assistance called HECS-HELP. You can either:

  • defer payment of your student contribution and pay it later through the Australian Tax Office once your yearly wage reaches a government determined level
  • pay up-front
  • make a partial up-front payment and defer the balance to HECS-HELP

New Zealand citizens and holders of an Australian Permanent Residency visa living in Australia

If you are a New Zealand citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent resident visa (with the exception of permanent humanitarian visa holders) you will be required to pay your student contribution up-front as you will not qualify for a HECS-HELP loan. Up-front payments will not attract a discount. Failure to make your upfront payment by the census date will result in cancellation of your enrolment.

Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and holders of an Australian Permanent Residency visa living outside Australia

If you are an Australian citizen, New Zealand citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent residency visa and live outside Australia you are not eligible for a Commonwealth Supported place and must pay full fee tuition/direct fees. 

Commonwealth assistance notice

After the census date each semester, USQ will provide Commonwealth Supported students with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN), which will include details such as your Student Learning Entitlement usage, student contribution amount, HELP assistance , and your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN).

You can view and print your Commonwealth Assistance Notice online (eCAN) at UConnect > Student Centre > Finances.