Commonwealth supported place (CSP)

A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is a higher education place for which the Australian Government susidises the cost of your education. The Australian Government allocates a number of Commonwealth supported places to Universities each year. The Australian Government subsidises a CSP by paying part of the fees for the place directly to the university. Students are also required to contribute towards their study and they pay the remainder of the fee known as the 'student contribution amount' for each course they are enrolled in. Universities set the student contribution amounts (within limits set by the Australian Government).

You are a Commonwealth supported student if you meet the eligibility requirements for a commonwealth supported place and you are enrolled in a program that is Commonwealth supported. 

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 the 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 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.

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 even if you more higher education providers. It will help the Australian Government provide you with information about your HELP debt from HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, SA-HELP and OS-HELP loans you may have taken out.

For more information visit the Government's StudyAssist site.

You can use your CHESSN to access the myHELPbalance website. This will also help you monitor your loan usage and help you keep track of your HELP balance. If you don’t have enough HELP balance remaining for your studies, you may be required to pay upfront fees.

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.