Study Now Pay Later

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Online student's joy at being able to study now pay later.You can study now and pay later for accredited courses. These include nearly every course listed on this site.

  • Loans to cover course tuition fees are available via Australian Government programs.
  • To get funding, essentially you have to be an Australian citizen.

"Study now" often means studying when the next academic semester begins. But there are also online courses that you can start any time.

Study Now

Most accredited online courses follow an academic calendar. That means you may have to wait to start studying. Students begin and finish together as a group.

  • University courses start around early March of each year.
  • Latecomers can often enroll during the mid-year intake, with classes often starting in July.
  • Online universities also have a summer semester, commencing after the November exams.

Courses with many start points

Some course providers offer greater flexibility by having many start times during the year.

A good example of high-frequency starting is SCU Online. With 6 intakes per year, the most you have to wait to begin studying is 2 months.

Study right now: self-paced courses

Self-paced courses allow you to study now, no matter what time of year it is. Each student works through course content at his or her own pace. There is no need to wait for instructors and other students.

Pay Later

Government loan schemes allow Australian students to study without having to pay tuition fees up front. You study now and pay later – once your income reaches a certain level.

Loans are available for university degrees and for training courses accredited with ASQA. Here we give a quick rundown of pay-later programs. For official information (which is more detailed and precise), see Study Assist.

Under each of the HELP schemes, you get a low-interest loan to pay tuition fees. You pay back the loan through the taxation system once your income goes above a threshold, which is $54,126 for 2015-16.


You can apply for VET FEE-HELP if you want to study online for a diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma with an approved VET provider. Some Cert IV courses are also being included in the program.

To be eligible for a loan, you must be:

  • an Australian citizen (or a permanent humanitarian visa holder living here) and
  • enrolled by the census date.

Note that VET FEE-HELP loans can attract a 20% loan fee.

Undergraduate (Bachelor) Degrees

Students enrolling in undergraduate university courses can apply for HECS-HELP.

To be eligible for a loan, you must:

  • be studying in a Commonwealth supported place*
  • be an Australian citizen (or permanent humanitarian visa holder)
  • enroll with a provider by the census date, and
  • study some of the course in Australia.

* Commonwealth supported places are available to domestic undergraduate students. You get a substantial discount on tuition fees and are only liable for the student contribution amount. Places are available at all public universities (and some private higher education providers for priority study areas).

Postgraduate Courses

You may be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan to pay tuition fees if you are doing:

  • postgraduate university study (including higher degrees by research)
  • enabling courses, or
  • bridging study (for overseas-trained professionals).