Latest news Navigation
- Latest news
- Your options for mature age study
- Everything you need to know about mid-year entry
- How to do well in your course (and still have fun)
- Tips for using a higher education pathway
- How to cope with the transition to tertiary study
- Top tips for getting top marks
- Dealing with your institution's admin office
- Your guide to O-Week
- What to do if you didn't get into your first preference
- To defer or not to defer?
- The benefits of the Asian Century for tertiary students
- How to approach the change of preference period
- How to choose your student accommodation
- Why take a gap year?
- What to do once you graduate
- Tips for exams
- Average fees in The Good Universities Guide 2013
- Choosing a research degree
- What is a direct application?
- How to deal with loss of motivation in Year 12
- Vocational or higher education?
- Tips for choosing course preferences
- The pros and cons of immediate postgraduate study
- How to choose a course if you're not sure what you want to do
- Returning to study as a mature age student
- Why choose a double degree?
- Preparing for university open days
- How to keep to a budget while at uni
- How to get the most out of your course
- An update on Victoria's TAFE cuts
- Five uni myths debunked
- News for apprentices and trainees
- Why you should consider mid-year entry
- The facts about private providers
- Australian graduate employment prospects
- Why you should (or shouldn't) drop a subject
- Australian universities perform well in global rankings
- Getting the most out of student services
- How to beat the post-holiday blues
- HECS to increase for maths and science degrees
- Uni offers — first preference is not the only option
- Change of preference tips
- How to prepare for a job interview
- The benefits of a gap year
- How to avoid committing plagiarism
- The top five study apps for university students
- Financial assistance for regional students moving away from home
- The benefits of student exchange
- Living on campus
- Australian universities excel in Shanghai Jiao Tong rankings
- Five tips if you're planning to drop out of your course
- HECS repayment discounts reduced
- Five tips for tackling open days
- Demand-driven funding to benefit students
- Incentives to study maths and science
- New media technologies at university
- Five benefits of completing an internship
- What's going on with VSU
HECS repayment discounts reduced
This year’s Federal Budget has bought some bad news for students: discount incentives for those repaying their HECS debts will be reduced from the first of January, 2012.
The changes proposed by the government include:
- a reduction in the HECS-HELP discount applied to up-front student contributions of $500 or more before the census date from 20 per cent to ten per cent
- a reduction in the HELP voluntary repayment bonus applied to voluntary payments of $500 or more from ten per cent to five per cent.
The government estimates that the reductions will provide $479.5 million in savings over four years, which will be ‘redirected to support other government priorities’, including the new demand-driven funding of undergraduate places.
The good news for students and recent graduates is that there is still time to take advantage of the current discounts and bonuses. In the coming months you still have an opportunity to pay next semester’s HECS student contribution up-front or voluntarily repay as much of your HELP debt as you can.
Voluntary repayments can be made directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) electronically, over the phone or by mail. Click here for more information on the ATO website.
If you intend to repay your total debt with a voluntary repayment you should do so prior to lodging your income tax return. If your tax return is completed before your voluntary payment is credited, a compulsory repayment may be raised on your income tax notice of assessment and you may not receive the bonus on the voluntary repayment.
Prior to making a payment you should also check with the ATO to see whether you are eligible for a HECS-HELP Benefit. You will most likely qualify if you are a recent mathematics, science, education, early childhood education, nursing or midwifery graduate. Your Benefit should be processed prior to making any voluntary repayments. Click here for more information.
Any outstanding amounts are repayed annually — minus the discounts — through compulsory repayments when you lodge your tax return as soon as your income exceeds the minimum threshold ($47,196 in 2011–2012). The amount that you need to repay varies according to your annual income and these amounts are indexed every year. Click here to see a chart with the 2011–2012 repayment rates.