Studying a tertiary course means you will incur a range of fees and expenses. These might include course costs, living away from home expenses, or paying for course materials or equipment.

The tertiary institutions and the Australian Government offer financial assistance to help students with the cost of study.

Important note

Changes to government legislation can affect the information on these pages. We take care to make sure that the information presented here is as accurate as possible.

TAFE SA courses

Course fees vary depending on the course you are studying. Rates can be affected by eligibility for government subsidies. Visit the TAFE SA website for more information about TAFE SA fees and payments.

Funding of higher education places

If you are a domestic student, your higher education provider will offer you either:

  • a Commonwealth supported place
  • a full-fee paying place

To be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place you must be:

  • an Australian citizen, who will live and study in Australia for some of the course, or
  • a New Zealand citizen, who will live and study in Australia for the whole course, or
  • a permanent visa holder, who will live and study in Australia for the whole course

Most domestic undergraduate students in South Australia and the Northern Territory will be Commonwealth supported.

Commonwealth supported places are not available to international students.

Only some postgraduate courses are Commonwealth supported for domestic students. Most are on a full-fee paying basis. Use course search to check if your course is Commonwealth supported or fee-paying. If you are unsure, contact the university offering the course for more information.

Commonwealth supported students

The Australian Government subsidises Commonwealth supported places. This means the Government contributes part of the cost of your higher education. Students contribute the rest through their student contribution amount.

Each higher education provider sets its own student contribution amounts for each unit of study, within limits set by the Australian Government. Student contributions may vary between higher education providers and courses. For up-to-date information, check the institutions’ websites.

Student contribution bands for commencing Commonwealth supported students (from January 2021)
Band Student contribution in 2021 (per EFTSL)
Band 1
(Agriculture, English, mathematics, education, clinical psychology, Indigenous and foreign languages, nursing, statistics)
$0 to $3,3950
Band 2
(Other health, allied health, built environment, computing, engineering, surveying, science, environmental studies, pathology, visual and performing arts, professional pathway psychology, professional pathway social work)
$0 to $7,950
Band 3
(Dentistry, medicine, veterinary science)
$0 to $11,300
Band 4
(Law, accounting, administration, economics, commerce, communications, society and culture)
$0 to $14,500

Course costs will depend on the individual subjects you choose in your course. These maximum student contributions were for full-time students for a full year. The maximum is indexed each year according to movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Continuing students should check whether the unit is in a grandfathered discipline.

Eligible students can defer payment of their student contribution with a HECS-HELP loan.

More information on student contributions is available from Study Assist.

Job-ready Graduates Package

Under the Job-ready Graduates Package, students studying in a Commonwealth supported place before 1 January 2021 will have their student contribution amounts 'grandfathered'. For study areas where student contributions have increased, a grandfathered student will have the 'old' rates applied. Student contribution amounts for current and prior years are available from Study Assist.

Fee-paying students

The Australian Government does not contribute to course costs for fee-paying students. These students pay a tuition fee.

Each higher education provider sets its own tuition fees for each course, so the tuition fees will vary between providers and courses. The Government sets a minimum for tuition fees. For domestic students, tuition fees will be equal to or more than the student contributions paid by Commonwealth supported students in the same course.

Student loans

HELP and VET Student Loans can help cover your study costs

Find out more

Financial assistance for students

Find out about financial help available for eligible students

Learn more