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Commonwealth supported places (CSPs)

A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is a place at a university or higher education provider where the government pays part of your fees. This part is a subsidy, not a loan, and you don't have to pay it back.

This subsidy does not cover the entire cost of your study. Students must pay the rest, called the 'student contribution amount'.

Most CSPs are for undergraduate study. Only some providers offer CSPs at the postgraduate level.

Postgraduate students should check with their provider to see if it offers CSPs for their course.

Being eligible for a CSP does not mean that a student will be offered a CSP as each provider and each course can have its own extra entry requirements.


Your provider will assess your eligibility for a CSP against the criteria below. If you have any questions, please contact your provider.

To get a CSP, you must be one of the following:

  • an Australian citizen, who be resident in Australia for at least one unit of study contributing to their course of study
  • a New Zealand citizen, who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit(s) of study
  • a permanent visa holder, who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit(s) of study.

How can I get a CSP?

As well as the above living and citizenship requirements, to get a CSP you must:

  1. Check if the course you want to study is a CSP (call and ask your provider or check their website).
  2. Apply for the course. Applications are made either:
    • through a Tertiary Admissions Centre (TAC); or
    • directly to the provider.
  3. Follow the instructions to 'accept your offer' in the letter that your provider will send you. The letter will tell you if the place you have been offered is a CSP or not.
  4. Complete the online form given to you by your provider by the census date.

How can I pay my fees?

You must pay your student contribution amount (i.e. what you owe for your studies), by the census date.

Some students can get a HECS-HELP loan to pay their student contribution amount.

Other students will need to organise to pay this amount upfront.

What happens if I'm not in a CSP?

In some courses, there aren't any CSPs and other courses might only have some CSPs (not all courses and providers offer the same).

If you are not offered a CSP, you will be enrolled in a full fee-paying place where the government does not pay the subsidy and you pay the full amount for your fees.

Check if you can get a FEE-HELP loan to pay your full fee-paying fees, or look into whether you could get a CSP for your course at another provider.


Read how Jeremy got a HECS-HELP loan for his nursing degree.