Policy Student Services OS-HELP Loans Policy

OS-HELP Loans Policy

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This policy is to be read in conjunction with the Higher Education Support Act 2003 [hereafter the Act] and the Guidelines for OS-HELP [hereafter the Guidelines]. This policy determines the administration by James Cook University of OS-HELP loans in accordance with the Guidelines established under the Act.


This policy applies to eligible students as defined by the Act and the Guidelines who are Commonwealth supported students undertaking part of their course of study overseas.


The definition of terms used in this policy are as outlined in the Act, the Guidelines, and the Glossary of Terms for Policies in the Student and Teaching and Course Management chapters of the Policy Library

Policy and Procedures

The OS-HELP loans will be administered in accordance with the Guidelines for OS-HELP made under the Act.

1. Number of Loans

The number of OS-HELP loans available through James Cook University is determined annually by the Department of Education in accordance with the Act.

2. Eligibility

To be eligible for an OS-HELP loan an applicant must:

  • meet the provisions for entitlement to OS-HELP assistance in Chapter 3 Part 4 Division 118-1 and 118-2 of the Act;

  • not have been subject to more than one penalty for academic misconduct under the University’s Student Academic Misconduct Procedures;

  • not have been found guilty of inappropriate conduct under the Student Conduct Policy.

3. OS-HELP Loan Amount

James Cook University’s minimum OS-HELP loan amount is $2,000.  The maximum loan amount is determined by the Department of Education and indexed annually.

4. Application, Selection and Offer Process

4.1 Application Process

To apply for an OS-HELP loan, a student must complete and provide to the University an OS-HELP Loan Application Form and required supporting documentation as indicated on the application form.

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 Application Form.

4.2 Selection Process

The Director Student Services will nominate a member of staff to act as OS-HELP Selection Officer, as detailed in Schedule A of this policy.  Schedule A shall be updated by the Director, Student Services as required.

If no closing date has been established for the current year, the OS-HELP Selection Officer will assess the eligibility of each applicant in accordance with the Guidelines established under the Act.  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.

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 overall GPA achieved in current course) and OS-HELP loans will be offered in order of merit.

4.3 Offer Process

The OS-HELP Selection Officer will notify successful and unsuccessful applicants in writing of the outcome of their application within 20 business days of receiving the application or within 20 business days of the application closing date, whichever is later.

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.

An offer for an OS-HELP loan will remain current for 15 business days from the date of offer.

To accept an offer of an OS-HELP loan the student must complete an OS-HELP debt confirmation form.

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

The University will issue a Commonwealth Assistance Notice to the student receiving an OS-HELP loan within 20 business days of the date of payment.

5. Appeal Process

Where a student is not satisfied with a decision made in relation to the policy, they have the right to lodge an appeal. (see Student Appeals Policy)

6. Related documents and legislation

Higher Education Support Act 2003

OS-HELP Guidelines 2013

OS-HELP Statement of Terms and Conditions (PDF, 384 KB)

OS-HELP Loan Application Form

Study Assist – OS-HELP Loans and Study Overseas

Schedule A – Nomination of OS-HELP Selection Officer

4.2 Nomination of OS-HELP Selection Officer: Manager, Enrolments and Fees


Approval Details

Policy sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students

Approval authority:

Academic Board

Date for next review:


Modification History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date


18-201/11/201805/12/2018Minor amendment to reflect establishment of Student Appeals PolicyChair of Academic Board
18-109/03/201830/04/2018Minor amendment to align with organisational structureQuality, Standards and Policy Officer




Policy Sponsor and Approval Authority amended to reflect approved Policy and Delegations Framework.





Amendments, approved by the Vice Chancellor, include reducing the eligibility requirement to have a GPA of 4.0 and updating for changed legislative requirements effective 1/1/2014. Refer to SFACAC Item 14/2, 26/06/2014.





Roles amended to reflect organisation re-structure





Minor amendments - DEEWR replaced with DIISRTE and some spaces added after full stops.









Approved by Finance Committee





Approved by Senior Management Group

There are no related procedures.

There are no other related documents.