Policy Academic Governance OS-HELP Loans Procedure

OS-HELP Loans Procedure

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The purpose of this procedure is to support the Student Fee Payments and Refund Policy by detailing the requirements for application, selection and payment of OS-HELP assistance offered by James Cook University (the University) and in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) and the OS-HELP Guidelines 2013 (the Guidelines).


This procedure applies to eligible Commonwealth supported students at JCU Australia campuses including JCU Brisbane undertaking part of their course of study overseas, as defined by HESA and the Guidelines.


Except where otherwise indicated in this procedure, the definitions used in this procedure are found in HESA, the Guidelines or  the Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy or the Policy Glossary.

Asia - Refers to the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.


1. Applications

1.1 A student must submit an online OS-HELP Loan Application and provide supporting evidence of:

1.1.1 Australian Citizenship, such as a birth certificate, Passport, or Citizenship Certificate Permanent Humanitarian Visa or New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) and current International Movement Record.

1.1.2 overseas study or placement in the form of: a letter of offer or acceptance from overseas study institution; and and a letter from JCU college staff member, which includes duration of attendance and contact hours of the overseas study; or approved JCU credit transfer form.

1.2 Applications can be submitted at any time throughout the year unless Clause 2.1 applies.

2. Closing dates and offer limits

2.1 The Director, Student Services will review the need for a closing date for OS-HELP applications annually, based on the number of OS-HELP loans available.  If determined that a closing date is required, this will be published.

2.2 If no closing date has been established for the current year eligible applicants will be offered an OS-HELP loan on a ‘first in, first served’ basis until the total number of OS-HELP loans the University has available for allocation in that year have been consumed.

2.3 If a closing date has been established for the current year and the number of eligible applicants is greater than the number of OS-HELP loans available, eligible applicants will be ranked on the basis of their current course GPA and offered in that order until all loans are subsumed.

3. Assessment

3.1 Applications will be assessed by the Student Finance and Scholarship Team based on the eligibility criteria outlined in HESA including the following. The student:

3.1.1 is an Australian citizen; or a permanent humanitarian visa holder; or an eligible former permanent humanitarian visa holder

3.1.2 is a New Zealand Special Visa (SCV) holder who meets the residency requirements and who will be resident in Australia at the time of applying

3.1.3 has not received an OS-HELP loan on more than one other occasion

3.1.4 is enrolled with the University in a Commonwealth supported place

3.1.5 has completed one EFTSL of study (usually one year of full-time study) whilst a resident in Australia prior to the overseas study

3.1.6 will be studying full-time (1 EFTSL) overseas and this study will count towards the student’s JCU course requirements for which the student is enrolled in

3.1.7 has at least 0.125 EFTSL of the course left to complete once the student has finished overseas study

3.1.8 has a valid tax file number (TFN) at the time of applying

3.1.9 has a Unique Student Identifier (USI)

3.2 If the eligibility criteria has not been met in full at the time of assessing the application, an offer may be made conditional upon meeting all eligibility criteria before the overseas study is to commence.

4. Offer

4.1 The Student Finance and Scholarship Team will notify applicants the outcome of their applications via their JCU email account within 20 University working days of receiving the application or within 20 University working days of the application closing date, whichever is later.

4.2 Successful applicants will receive an Offer which will advise:

4.2.1 the assistance to which they are entitled; and

4.2.2 the conditions of receiving OS-HELP assistance.

4.2.3 the steps to accept the offer including the submission of an OS-HELP debt confirmation form confirmation of having read the OS-HELP Statement of Terms and Conditions

4.2.4 the offer lapse date which is 15 University working days from the date of offer.

4.3 If a student fails to accept an offer prior to the lapse date, the student will be required to submit a new application.

5. Payments

5.1 Payment of the OS-HELP assistance will be made within 15 University working days of the University receiving a valid OS-HELP debt confirmation form or within 15 University working days of the student’s compliance with any conditions specified in the OS-HELP offer letter, whichever is the later.

5.2 The approved loan amount will be paid at the value current at the time an application is submitted.

5.3 The University will issue a Commonwealth Assistance Notice to the student receiving OS-HELP assistance within 20 University working days of the date of payment.

6. Withdrawn applications

6.1 To withdraw an application or decline an offer of OS-HELP assistance the student must send their advice in writing to studentfinance@jcu.edu.au.

6.2 If the student’s advice under clause 6.1 is received:

6.2.1 before payment is made - the Student Finance and Scholarship Team will withdraw the student’s application;

6.2.2 after payment is made, and therefore the debt incurred - the student must repay the debt through the ATO.

Related policy instruments

Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy

JCU Financial Delegations Register


OS-HELP Statement of Terms and Conditions booklet

OS-HELP Loan Application Form

Study Assist – OS-HELP Loans and Overseas Study


NOTE:  Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance

Policy Sub domain

Student Experience

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Update for USI requirements.

Movement of some clauses regarding business rules to Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy.

Removal of referencing to Review and Appeals as covered under policy.

Update to style, format and language for consistency across the Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy suite.

Manager, Student Finance and Scholarships




Procedure established in conjunction with establishment of the Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy and disestablishment of the OS-HELP Loans Policy

Manager, Student Finance and Examinations


OShelp; loan; Asia

Contact person

Manager, Student Finance and Scholarships