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HECS/HELP students

Are You Eligible for HECS/HELP Benefit?


Mar 6, 2016


University graduates from some fields of study may be eligible for a reduction in HECS/HELP repayments, writes Nitschke Nancarrow’s Kym Nitschke.

Firstly, have you graduated from one of the following fields after the respective dates?

– Maths and Science (graduated after 30 June 2008)

– Nursing (including midwifery) and Education (graduated after 30 June 2009)

– Early Childhood (graduated after 30 June 2009)

If you are currently working in one of these fields, then you may be eligible for a HECS/HELP benefit. To be clear, the HECS/HELP benefit is NOT a cash refund. Rather, it is a reduction in the HECS/HELP repayment that you owe for the income year you are applying for.

The maximum reduction you could be eligible for is determined as follows:

Income year Early childhood education teachers Maths or science graduates Education and nursing (including midwifery) graduates
2015–16 $1,918.39 $1,798.48 $1,798.48
2014–15 $1,878.93 $1,761.49 $1,761.49
2013–14 $1,831.32 $1,716.85 $1,716.85
2012–13 $1,795.41 $1,683.19 $1,683.19
2011–12 $1,744.81 $1,635.75 $1,635.75
2010–11 $1,693.99 $1,588.11 $1,588.11
2009–10 $1,662.40 $1,558.50 $1,558.50
2008–09 $1,600 $1,500 Not applicable

Applying for HECS/HELP Benefits

You have two years from the end of the income year for which you are applying to lodge your application. For example, applying for the 2014-2015 income year means that your application must reach the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by 30 June 2017. You may be eligible for more than one type of benefit. If that is the case you will need to lodge multiple applications.

You can apply for the HECS/HELP Benefit with one of two forms. One form covers the early childhood education area of study. The other covers study in the fields of maths, science, education, and nursing (which includes midwifery).

To find out of you are eligible complete the relevant form:

Eligibility Checklist for maths, science, education, nursing (including midwifery) graduates

Eligibility checklist for early childhood education teachers

This benefit is designed to encourage graduates to stay in the field of work in which they studied. The reduction in repayments and debt provides the freedom and incentive for new graduates to support their chosen field. If you meet the graduate criteria, it could be worth putting in an application for the HECS/HELP Benefit.

An experienced accountant can help you obtain all the benefits that you may be entitled to, and also provide important tax advice as you begin your chosen career. We’re happy to help. Contact Nitschke Nancarrow now.

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