The Government has re introduced the HECS-HELP upfront payment discount, which will encourage students to pay for their student contribution amounts up front, either fully or partially, and decrease their HELP debt.
From 1 January 2021, a student is entitled to the HECS HELP discount for one or more units of study with the same census date if:
• The student is entitled to HECS-HELP assistance for those units of study; and
• The student made an up front payment on the unit of study; and
• the sum of upfront payments on those units of study is:
o $500 or more (HESA section 96-2), or
o 90 per cent of the total student contribution amount payable (HESA section 96-3).
The new student contribution bands introduced mean that standard units in student contribution Band 1 cost less than $500. If the total student contribution amount payable by a student against a census date is less than $500, the student will still be eligible for the HECS HELP discount if they make an up front payment of 90 per cent of that amount.
If a student is eligible for the HECS HELP discount, and the student makes an up front payment of more than 90 per cent of the student contribution amount, then the provider must refund the student any excess up-front payment over 90 per cent of the student contribution amount. Providers will receive the HECS HELP discount payment as part of the usual HECS HELP payment processes.