Commonwealth supported places

A Commonwealth supported place is a higher education place for which the Australian Government provides funding to the University towards the cost of your education. The Australian Government allocates a number of Commonwealth supported places to Universities each year.

You are a Commonwealth supported student if you meet the eligibility requirements and you are enrolled in a program that is Commonwealth supported. If you are enrolled in a course as a Commonwealth supported student you will generally be required to contribute to the cost of your education through a student contribution. Your University sets the student contribution amount that you are required to pay for each course, which must not exceed an amount set by the Australian Government. If you are eligible, you may be able to use a HECS-HELP loan to help pay your student contribution.

If you are not enrolled in a course as a Commonwealth supported student, you will be required to pay the tuition fee your University has set. You may be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan. For more information, see the Australian Government's Study Assist website.

What are the benefits of being a Commonwealth supported student?

The main benefits of being a Commonwealth supported student are:

  • the Australian Government contributes substantially to the cost of your education
  • the Australian Government limits the student contribution that your University can charge you
  • you may be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan to pay your student contribution
  • you may be eligible for the HECS-HELP discount* if you pay your student contribution up front
  • you may be eligible for a UniSA study grant. For further information please go to UniSA's study grant page
  • you may be eligible for an OS-HELP loan to assist you to undertake study overseas.
    For more information about the OS-HELP scheme visit the Study Assist website.

*10% discount only available for 2016 enrolments and prior. The government has discontinued the discount from 2017 onwards. Please see for more information.

Can I choose not to be Commonwealth supported?

Yes. To do so, you must inform the University in writing, on or before the census date that you do not wish to be Commonwealth supported in relation to your program. However, you need to be aware that, subject to fairness requirements under Higher Education Support Act 2003, your University is under no obligation to offer you a fee paying place for the program. You also need to keep in mind the benefits associated with being Commonwealth supported.

What is a CHESSN?

As a Commonwealth supported student, you will be allocated a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN). The CHESSN is a unique identifier that will remain with you. It will help Universities and the Australian Government provide you with information about your Student Learning Entitlement (SLE), HECS-HELP assistance, and some other forms of Commonwealth assistance for higher education that you may have used.

You can use your CHESSN to access myUniAssist from the Study Assist website. myUniAssist provides information about how much Commonwealth assistance you have used.

How do I get a CHESSN?

SATAC or UniSA will allocate you a CHESSN as part of the admission application process.

Where can I find my CHESSN?

You will be notified of your CHESSN in your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) which is available to you via the my Finances section of myUniSA.