Policy OS-HELP Loans Procedure

OS-HELP Loans Procedure


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Intent

To provide clear guidelines for Commonwealth supported students regarding the procedures for application, selection and payment of OS-HELP loans offered by James Cook University, in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the OS-HELP Guidelines 2013 (the Guidelines).

Scope

This procedure applies to eligible Commonwealth supported students undertaking part of their course of study overseas, as defined by Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Guidelines.

This procedure does not apply to tuition fee paying students or international students.

Definitions

The definition of terms used in this policy are as outlined in HESA, the Guidelines or found in 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.

EFTSL: Equivalent full-time student load for one full year of study.

HESA: Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Procedure

1.   Provision of OS-HELP Loans to the University

1.1   The number of OS-HELP loans available through James Cook University is determined annually by the government department responsible for Higher Education in accordance with HESA.

1.2   The maximum loan amounts for OS-HELP loans are determined by the government department responsible for Higher Education, indexed annually and published on the JCU OS-HELP webpage.

1.3   The minimum OS-HELP loan amount offered by James Cook University is $2,000.

1.4   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 it is deemed a closing date is required, this date will be advertised on the online OS-HELP Loan Application.

2.   Application process

2.1   A student must complete and submit an online OS-HELP Loan Application including proof of citizenship in the form of:

2.1.1 an Australian birth certificate or Australian Passport; or

2.1.2 Certificate of Australian Citizenship; or

2.1.3 Permanent Humanitarian Visa; or

2.1.4 New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) and current International movement Record.

and proof of overseas study or placement in the form of:

2.1.5. a letter of offer or acceptance from overseas study institution; and

2.1.6. a letter from JCU college staff member, which includes duration of attendance and contact hours of the overseas study; or

2.1.7. approved JCU credit transfer form.

2.2   Applications submitted after the student has completed the applicable study will not be accepted.

2.3   To clarify, a student may be outside Australia when an OS-HELP Loan Application is submitted.

3.   Selection process

3.1   To be eligible for an OS-HELP loan, or supplementary amount for Asian language studies in preparation for undertaking study in Asia, an applicant must meet the provisions for entitlement to OS-HELP assistance as outlined in Chapter 3 Part 4 Division 118 of HESA.

3.2   Prior study requirements for an OS-HELP loan are that:

3.2.1.the student has successfully completed at least one EFTSL of study whilst a resident in Australia prior to the overseas study;

3.2.2.the one EFTSL of study counts toward the Award requirements for the course for which the overseas study will be credited; and

3.2.3.the student was a Commonwealth supported student in relation to the one EFTSL.

3.3   If the prior study is not successfully completed at the time of assessing the application an offer may be made conditional upon successful completion, with payment withheld until the student has met the requirement outlined in clause 3.2.1.

3.4   If no closing date has been established for the current year, the OS-HELP Selection Officer, as nominated by the Director Student Services, will assess the eligibility of each applicant in accordance with the Guidelines established under HESA.  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.

3.5   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 the University has for allocation in that year, eligible applicants will be ranked by the OS-HELP Selection Officer on the basis of academic merit (based on the overall GPA achieved in the current course) and OS-HELP loans will be offered in order of merit.

4.   Offer process

4.1   The OS-HELP Selection Officer will notify successful and unsuccessful applicants in writing of the outcome of their application 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   The OS-HELP Selection Officer will notify successful applicants in writing of the assistance to which they are entitled and the conditions of receiving OS-HELP assistance as per the OS-HELP statement of terms and conditions published by the Department of Education and Training.

4.3   An offer for an OS-HELP loan, and if applicable a supplementary amount for Asian language studies, will remain current for 15 University working days from the date of offer.

4.4   To accept an offer of an OS-HELP loan, and if applicable a supplementary amount for Asian language studies, the student must complete an OS-HELP debt confirmation form.

5.   Payment process

5.1   Payment of the OS-HELP loan, and if applicable a supplementary amount for Asian language studies, will be made within 15 University working days of the University receiving a valid OS-HELP debt confirmation formor within 15 University working days of the student’s compliance with any conditions specified in the OS-HELP offer letter, whichever is the latter.

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 an OS-HELP loan within 20 University working days of the date of payment.

6.   Withdrawn applications process

6.1   To withdraw an application or decline an offer of an OS-HELP loan or supplementary amount for Asian language studies the student must advise 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 OS-HELP Selection Officer 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.

7.   Review of decision process

7.1   A student who is not satisfied with a decision made in relation to this procedure, may request a review within 20 University working days of receiving notification of the decision to the OS-HELP Review Officer.

7.2   The grounds for requesting a review are limited to new information that could not reasonably have been provided at the time of the original decision, and that would have affected the decision or any penalty imposed.

7.3   All review requests must be:

7.3.1. made in writing; and

7.3.2.be accompanied by a copy of the letter the student has received from the OS-HELP Selection Officer; and

7.3.3.include details of the grounds for review together with supporting documentation.

7.4   A Student Finance Officer will notify the student in writing, within 20 University working days of receiving the application of:

7.4.1 The decision and reasons therefore; and

7.4.2 The student’s right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and of the contact details and address of the nearest AAT registry.

Related policy instruments

Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy

Other related documents and legislation

JCU Financial Delegations Register (Staff only)

OS-HELP Statement of Terms and Conditions booklet

OS-HELP Loan Application Form

Study Assist – OS-HELP Loans and Overseas Study

Higher Education Support Act 2003

Administration

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

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students

Version no

19-1

Date for next Major Review

05/08/2022

Revision History

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

19-1

05/08/2019

06/08/2019

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

Keywords

OShelp; loan; Asia