What is a Commonwealth supported place?

A Commonwealth supported place is a subsidised enrolment at university. The Australian Government subsidises a Commonwealth supported place by paying part of the fees for the place directly to the university and the student pays the remainder of the fees through a 'student contribution' amount.

Commonwealth supported places are only available to domestic students. These places are available in all undergraduate courses at UWA and some postgraduate courses.

To be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen or the holder of a permanent visa;
  • meet the citizenship and residency requirements;
  • enrol in each unit by the census date;
  • submit a valid Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form to UWA by the census date; and
  • finalise your payment arrangements for your student contributions by the census date.

Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders who are enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place can use the HECS-HELP scheme to help them pay their student contributions.

New Zealand citizens and permanent visa holders enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place must pay their student contribution upfront to UWA by the census date. If their student contribution amount is left unpaid after the census date then UWA will cancel a student's Commonwealth supported place.

If you are not enrolled as a Commonwealth supported student, you will be enrolled as a fee paying student. This means the Government does not subsidise your education and you will need to pay the tuition fees set by UWA. Some fee paying students are eligible for a FEE-HELP loan to pay their tuition fees.

The Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP)

The Government administers the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) which consists of five HELP loans schemes to assist students with the cost of their fees. The right loan for you will depend on your circumstances, eligibility and where you want to study. For further information please visit StudyAssist : HELP Loans.

The Australian Government sets limits on combined HELP loan amount – the cap on what you can borrow from the Australian Government to cover the costs of your tuition fees. Students eligible for HELP can only defer tuition fees up to their combined HELP limit. Students are responsible for managing their HELP usage and must pay upfront any tuition fees that exceed their available HELP balance. Refer to StudyAssist for further details regarding HELP.

What is EFTSL?

Equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) is a measure of the study load for a year of a student undertaking a course on a full-time basis.

The EFTSL value assigned to each unit of study taken in a course represents the workload in the unit as a proportion of the standard annual workload normally undertaken by a full-time student in that course. These calculations are normally based on the credit point values for coursework degrees. Therefore, a 6 point unit taken in a course for which 48 points constitutes a standard annual workload would be assigned 6/48 = 0.125 EFTSL. The same unit taken in a degree with 50 points in a standard year would be assigned 6/50 = 0.12 EFTSL.

How are fees calculated?