Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee)

Students Fees and Financial Support Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee)

The Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee) was introduced by the Australian government to improve university services and facilities for students both on and off campus.

James Cook University (JCU) students must pay this fee (except for a small number of exempt students).

The income from the fee is used to provide a range of student support services and facilities that students can access.

SSA Fee rates 2017

The SSA Fee is charged on the basis of study load. In 2017, the charge is $44.10 per 3 credit points, to a maximum of $294 per calendar year, other than students on an inbound Study Abroad Program (refer to clause 2.2.2 of the SSA Fee Policy)

This means each time you enrol in a subject you will be charged $44.10 for a 3-credit-point subject or $88.20 for a 6-credit-point subject until you reach $294 in one calendar year.

Credit point value/enrolment and SSA Fee charge:

  • 3 credit points – $44.10
  • 6 credit points – $88.20
  • 9 credit points – $132.30
  • 12 credit points – $176.40
  • 15 credit points – $220.50
  • 18 credit points – $264.60
  • 21 credit points – $294.00
  • 24 credit points – $294.00

Research students

To find out how the SSA Fee is calculated for HDR candidates, go to Student Services and Amenities Fee 2017 – research students.The fee is calculated on all subject enrolments as at the census date of each study period or trimester. The SSA Fee is indexed annually.

You can view 2016 SSA fee rates.

Who has to pay?

All JCU students are required to pay the SSA Fee except for the following groups:

  1. Students who are admitted to a course at either Beijing University of Technology or Republic of the Fiji Islands represented by the Fiji Ministry of Health;
  2. Secondary school students participating in the enhanced study program;
  3. Students on outbound exchange with universities external to JCU;
  4. Students admitted to JCU College who are not enrolled in one or more subjects at James Cook University;
  5. International students who are continuing in a course of study which they commenced prior to 1 January 2013;
  6. Students whose home campus is Singapore and who are participating in the Intercampus Mobility Program on an Australian campus;
  7. Other student(s) as determined in clause 5 of the SSA Fee Policy ;
  8. Students enrolled in the Rural Generalist Program; and
  9. Students enrolled in the JCU Online Courses.

When do I pay?

Like your subject fees, you must pay your SSA Fee by the payment due date of each subject or, if eligible, defer payment with SA HELP.

Your fee statement/tax invoice (accessed via eStudent) provides information on the subjects you are enrolled in, subject fee amounts, SSA Fee amounts, payment due dates and how to pay.

How do I pay?

You pay your SSA Fee using the same payment methods as your subject fees, via eStudent.

Pay your fees

Deferring payment (SA-HELP)

If you are an Australian citizen, permanent humanitarian visa holder, or New Zealand citizen (who meets certain criteria), and you meet residency requirements, you are eligible to defer payment of your SSA Fee (either in full or by part-payment) with an SA-HELP loan.

You only need to complete this form once for your entire course. All other students will need to pay the fee directly to JCU.

Defer your fees


If you withdraw from a subject(s) prior to the census date then you will be eligible for a refund of any payments made towards the applicable SSA Fee. You apply for a refund by completing this Application for Refund  (PDF, 67 KB)form.

Consultation with students

JCU is committed to seeking input from students regarding priorities for expenditure of the SSA Fee revenue and has a formal process of consultation regarding the use of the SSA Fee revenue.

JCU consults with elected student representatives and student organisations regarding the use of the SSA Fee revenue. Each year JCU publishes proposed priorities for expenditure and invites student feedback.

Feedback Invited - 2018 Proposed SSAF Expenditure Plan

The Student Services and Amenities Fee was introduced by the Australian government to improve university services and facilities for students both on and off campus.  All JCU students are required to pay this fee (except for a small number of exempt students).  More information around the payment and conditions of the fee are available on the SSA Fee page or email  Proceeds from the SSA Fee may only be spent on activities and facilities that comply with the stipulations of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Each year the Chair of JCU’s Student Services and Amenities Fee Income Allocation Working Group consults with JCU student representatives, through the JCU Student Association Council regarding priorities for expenditure of the proceeds of the SSA Fee income.  The broader student body is consulted through various channels such as the SSAF Survey, Student Advisory Forums, pop up Student Kiosks and various workshops and committees.

After careful consideration and based on the priorities identified from your feedback the preliminary results of the proposed 2018 SSAF Expenditure Plan are available.

Your feedback is now invited on proposed expenditure.

How to provide feedback

The consultation period for the use of the 2018 SSA fee is open from Monday 16 October 2017 and closes at 5.00 pm on Monday 30 October 2017.

We encourage you to have your say by sending feedback to the

2017 SSA Fee expenditure plan

Thank you to those students who completed the 2017 Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee) survey. Your feedback has been taken into account and SSAF categories identified in priority (PDF, 63 KB). Importantly the results will continue to inform future spending priorities into 2018.

Approved 2017 SSA Fee Expenditure Plan

After consideration of results from the student survey and completion of the consultation period with students, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding recently approved the proposed 2017 JCU Student Services and Amenities Fee Expenditure Plan (PDF, 96 KB).

Expenditure plans for previous years

SSAF Reports - what was actually spent

How is the fee used?

You can see examples of SSA Fee-funded projects here. There are legislated categories that universities can use the SSA Fee.

This includes:

  • providing:
    • food or drink to students on campus
    • libraries and reading rooms (other than those provided for academic purposes) for students
    • legal services to students
  • supporting
    • a sporting or other recreational activity by students
    • the administration of a club in which most members are students
    • debating by students
    • artistic activity by students
    • production and distribution to students of media produced by students
  • helping:
    • students secure accommodation
    • students obtain employment or advice on careers
    • students with their financial affairs
    • students obtain insurance against personal accidents
    • students develop skills for study, by means other than undertaking courses of study in which they are enrolled
    • meet the needs of overseas students for welfare, accommodation and employment
  • caring for children of students
  • promoting health or welfare of students
  • advising students about rules at JCU (however described)
  • advocating students' interests in matters arising in JCU’s rules (however described);
  • giving students information to help them in their orientation

More information

For more information call the Student Centre on 1800 246 446 or email us at

Related information

SSA Fee Policy
Study Assist website
Student Services and Amenities Act 2011