Can I afford to study?

You can look at further study as a safe investment. In an increasingly competitive society, employers often favour those who have some sort of qualification.

What are the costs?

The overall cost depends on the course you are taking. Most undergraduate degrees cost between $15,000 and $33,000. Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses at TAFE or Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) can range from approximately $500 to $22,000.

Fact: 80 per cent of university graduates find employment within four months of completing their degree.

— Graduate Careers Australia

When and how you pay

Course fees are quoted for a year of study, however payments are divided into two semesters.  When you commence studying, you will be charged for your first semester.

The deadline for finalising your enrolment and payment arrangements is known as the census date. Census dates are set by each institution for each study period, so you can pay your fees as you progress studying.

Loan repayments for HELP debts are managed by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Once your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold you will begin to repay your HELP debt.

Consider all the costs

Some institutions charge a processing fee when you send in your application; if you are applying through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), the charge is between $29 and $216 depending on when you apply and whether or not you are a current Year 12 student.

Most higher education providers also charge a student services and amenities fee (SSAF) for non-academic purposes – it pays for services such as counselling, recreational activities, career advice, childcare, health services, student advocacy and legal services.