Fees and financial support

We understand talking about financial assistance can seem a bit daunting but please don't worry - we can help! This page is here to guide you through what fees you have to pay and how to pay or defer them. There is also information on the Indigenous Support in Accommodation page in the financial assistance section.

We can walk through any Centrelink questions you may have and explore the scholarships you or your family member might be eligible for. At the bottom of this page we've put together some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that a lot of families have. If you still have questions - that's ok - just contact us!

Don't want to pay upfront? No problem!

As an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person undertaking an undergraduate degree or diploma, the Australian Government has guaranteed you a Commonwealth supported place. This means that the Australian Government will pay part of your subject fees directly to your preferred university when you are accepted into your chosen course of study. The remaining amount is paid by you, which you can defer through HECS-HELP Loan.

You can make voluntary repayments of your HECS-HELP loan at any time to the Australian Taxation Office. Otherwise, repayments will automatically be deducted once you begin earning an income above the compulsory repayment threshold.

You can also defer your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee) through HECS-HELP. See below information regarding the different types of fees you or your loved one may encounter as a university student.


Tuition Fees

Your tuition fees will depend on what band/subject discipline each of your subjects sit in and the credit point value of the subject. To get an estimate of fees, click on the Course Page. This will take you to all the courses available at JCU. When you select the course you're enrolling in, it will give you an overview of the course including the fees.

Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee)

The Australian Government introduced SSA Fees to provide and improve university support services and facilities for all students both on and off campus. JCU students must pay this fee (except for a small number of exempt students). Students will get a sanction and your grades withheld if you don’t pay these fees by the due date.

Incidental Fees

Some courses require additional expenses or incidental fees, such as buying uniforms or safety equipment, or participating in specific course activities. These compulsory purchases are an additional cost when completing those courses and are not covered by your tuition fees.

For information on what type of items need to be considered when enrolling in particular courses, click on JCU's Incidental Fees page.

Financial Support

JCU has webpages covering fees and financial support and financial support options which you are also welcome to look into. These cover specific information on:

Information on this page that you're currently viewing has been tailored for Indigenous students. However, we've included JCU's other pages because you could be eligible for assistance that's relevant to all Australian citizens.

Centrelink for Students

Click on the below links to go to the corresponding Australian Government webpages. They will take you through what you need to know as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander student or family member interested in accessing financial assistance options. These pages cover topics like full time and part time options, undergraduate and postgraduate study, assistance with residential costs while living away from home, various loans and how to check if you're eligible:

As always, if you get stuck, please contact us - you're not alone and we have helped guide many people in similar situations as you.


Many of our students are successful in their applications for scholarships. Scholarships can greatly reduce financial pressures, allowing you or your family member to focus on educational pursuits. This gives you more time to study to get the best grades, making you more competitive in the job market. You'll also be able to afford necessary materials like textbooks and laptops. Scholarships help reduce your debt, easing future financial worries.

For scholarships available to both Indigenous students and all JCU students, visit our Scholarships page. Make sure you double check your eligibility when applying for multiple scholarships and/or applying for scholarships whilst receiving Centrelink assistance. It's important to be aware of the conditions of what you are and aren't eligible for.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

All Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students are supported by the Australian Government. From 2024, you'll have a guaranteed spot at your chosen university once you're accepted into the course you want to study. The Australian Government will cover part of your subject fees, and you can pay the rest later through a HECS-HELP Loan.

A HECS-HELP loan is a way for Australian students to defer paying their university fees. Students repay this loan later through the tax system once they start earning above a certain income threshold. This helps students manage the cost of their education without upfront payments.

There may be other fees you have to be mindful of, such as SSA Fees and incidental fees.

JCU's page, defer your fees, takes you through the steps you need to follow. Before you start you will need your Tax File Number (TFN) and Unique Student Identifier (USI). These will allow you to submit a Commonwealth Assistance Form. JCU's page, submitting and viewing Commonwealth assistance forms goes through what forms you need to complete and how to submit them.

This can all seem overwhelming, so if you get stuck, please just let us know and we will work with you through these processes.

Moving to a new area brings so much excitement, and it's crucial that you feel comfortable and settled wherever you choose to live. We have put together a page that goes through details of what you need to consider when you move away to study. JCU also has dedicated resources to ensure that moving to our campuses is a highlight of your university journey.

Explore our Indigenous Support in Accommodation page for details on financial assistance and study support. Click on the links for information for the Bebegu Yumba Townsville and Nguma-bada Cairns campuses.

Our students are our priority and we are here to support and guide you. We can help you with your studies and educational pursuits, but our Indigenous Student and Academic Support Advisors also check in with you about your living and financial arrangements, resources that you may need and helping you maintain your health and wellbeing.

We have put together a page, student support staff and services, that focuses on what all our Indigenous students (both internal and online) need to thrive throughout their university life. It covers who we are, our free tutoring program and other support services JCU offers all its students. Whether you're a student or a family member, don't hesitate to reach out - this is what we're here for!

Applying for a scholarship is easy and very worthwhile! Receiving a scholarship allows the student to pursue higher educational goals with reduced financial strain and hardship. Our scholarships page covers what a scholarship can do for you and what it means for one of our students who was successful in her application. It also takes you to scholarships available.

Keep in mind, there are scholarships specifically for Indigenous students but you're also welcome to apply for those that are relevant to all Australian students. When you find the scholarship you are interested in, just follow the prompts. You also need to be aware of what you are and aren't eligible for when applying for multiple scholarships and/or receiving Centrelink assistance. And as always, if you get stuck, we can help you with your application and submission.

While you will be Commonwealth supported, you need to be aware of potential fees like SSA Fees and incidental costs. SSA Fees go towards student support services and resources which you will require regardless of whether you're on campus or not. If the course you are doing has requirements (e.g., purchasing specific clothing), this is part of your studies and you'll have to pay for these.

You can explore your options to defer your payments through HECS-HELP Loan and Commonwealth assistance. We encourage you to reach out if you get stuck because you are supported throughout your studies whether you're on campus or not. We have put together a page specifically for our students who are studying externally and online. This goes through what you need to know about learning in this environment and what resources you have access to.

Absolutely! At the IERC we have a few employment options that are covered on our expand your social life and build your resume page. These include becoming an Indigenous student ambassador where you work with IERC staff to encourage prospective students, locally and nationally, through our various events and programs. We also have an Indigenous Peer Assisted Learning (IPAL) tutoring program that gives JCU's Indigenous students one-on-one tailored sessions to build their confidence and learning throughout their university journey. Being a tutor is a paid position that provides a free service for students. You can be part of this program as both a student and a tutor.

You can also check out the JCU careers and employability page that goes through all you need to know about setting up resumes in line with your discipline, looking for a job, getting ready for interviews and planning your career.