Budget 2017: University fees to rise by 7.2%
Students will have to start repaying HELP debts sooner.
As unveiled before budget night itself, fees for all university courses are due to rise by 1.8% each year from 2018 to 2022, with a final 0.3% rise taking it to a total 7.5% increase. Students will pay 46% of the cost of their degrees, up from the current 42%; government funding will drop from 58% to 54%.
The threshold income at which HELP fee repayments for university courses will have to start once a student is employed will drop to $42,000. It is currently $55,000. Our full table shows the proposed new thresholds and the costs of typical courses. The threshold will be updated in line with CPI, rather than in line with wage growth as happens currently.
Who will this affect?
Anyone with an existing HELP debt, or starting a new university course in 2018, will see higher fees and have to start repayments sooner (and potentially at higher levels).
When will the changes happen?
The changes to the thresholds are proposed to be introduced on 1 July 2018. Fee rises are projected to start from the beginning of 2018. Both changes will need to be legislated by Parliament, and previous attempts to raise university fees have not managed to pass through the Senate, where the current Coalition government does not have a majority.
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