Commonwealth Supported Students

A Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) is one that is subsidised by the Commonwealth and applicable only to Domestic students. This means that the Australian Government pays part of your fees towards your program, therefore reducing your program fees, and the remaining amount is paid by you, this is considered your Student Contribution.

At Western all Undergraduate Award programs and a selection of Postgraduate Award programs offer Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) to Domestic Students. These places are competitive and only offered at point of admission.

The Australian Government determines the amount of subsidy it will contribute to an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Award Program according to its National Priorities and by the Field of Education to which a subject of study, under that Award program, is classified.

The Fields of Education are grouped into Student Contribution Band levels, 1 through to 4, and outlined here at Student Contribution Bands.

What’s New

On 19 October 2020, the Job-ready Graduates Package – Higher Education Reforms were passed in parliament.

Changes delivered under this package impact the subsidy toward Commonwealth Supported Places according to newly defined funding clusters that correlate to the Australian Government’s National Priorities.

The new Student Contribution Bands are effective 1 January 2021.

CSP Students who commenced their Award program (and passed through a Census date) in 2020 or earlier may be eligible to Grandfathered fees. Refer to our Student Contribution Bands page for more information on CSP Grandfathered Fees.

Please note, that from 1 January 2023, there will no longer be a 10% discount for upfront payment for HECS-Help eligible students. This discount was available in 2021 and 2022 however the Australian Government has not extended this to 2023.

The Job-ready Graduates Package also includes, from 2022 onwards, the implementation of a completion rate requirement. Please see below for further information.

JRGP Completion rate requirements

The Australian Government introduced the Job ready Graduate package (JRGP) in 2021. The legislation changes the requirements you need to meet to receive Government support, including access to a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and the Higher Educations Loan Program (ie HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP).

A new requirement that is being implemented in 2022 as part of the JRGP is the low completion rate.

What is a low completion rate?

A low completion rate is when you have a fail rate of more than 50% of the subjects you have attempted, after you have attempted either;

  • 8 (eight) or more subjects in a bachelor level or higher program, or,
  • 4 (four) or more subjects in a higher education program lower than a bachelor program).

These changes only apply to commencing students from 1 January 2022 and continuing students who have transferred to a new program from 1 January 2022.

These changes also apply only to you if you are receiving Commonwealth Assistance through enrolling in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and/or receiving HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP.

This requirement does not apply to fee-paying international students.

Who does low completion apply to?

The low completion rate criteria applies to:

  • All students accessing Commonwealth Supported Places (ie all undergraduate domestic students at Western) including those eligible for HECS-HELP; and/or
  • Domestic Fee Paying students accessing FEE-HELP; and
  • Those who commence or transfer into in a new program from 1 January 2022 (i.e. it does not apply to students who enrolled in their current program prior to 1 January 2022).

The low completion rate applies within a program, meaning that if a student transfers to a new program their low completion rate will reset for the new program only. If a student is enrolled in two programs and has a low completion rate in one of them, their other program is not affected. 
Where a student withdraws from a subject on or before census date, the subject will not count towards the student’s completion rate.

What is the purpose of the low completion requirement?

The purpose of this legislation is to prevent students from incurring a large amount of HELP debt that they will need to repay in the future, for studies they are either unsuited for or are not progressing well in.

What happens if I have a low completion rate?

If you are enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) you will lose access to your Commonwealth Supported Place and HECS-HELP if you have a low completion rate. You will be discontinued from the program (including all subjects you are registered in), meaning you can no longer study in that program.  If you are enrolled in a full Fee- paying place and have a low completion rate, you will be able to continue in the program but you will not be able to access FEE-HELP for that program. You also have the option of applying to study a different Full Fee paying program at Western and access FEE-HELP for the new program.

How will I know I have a low completion rate?

A low completion rate can only be calculated once you have completed the minimum subjects required. You can calculate your completion rate by looking at the subjects you’ve completed (from 2022 onwards). If you have failed more than half of those subjects you will be considered to have a low completion rate. We will notify you via your student email if you are identified as having a low completion rate.

What are my options if I have a low completion rate?

If you have a low completion rate and have been discontinued from your Commonwealth Supported Place you can apply to study a different program at Western, or at another institution. If you apply to study a different program, your previous completion rate will not carry over to the new program and you will able to access Commonwealth assistance for your new program.

If you have a low completion rate as a full fee paying student you can either continue in the program and pay upfront (i.e. you won’t be able to defer to FEE-HELP) or you can apply to study a different program. If you apply to study a different program and you receive an offer, your previous completion rate will not carry over to the new program and you will be able to access Commonwealth assistance for your new program.

Note: You cannot just change stream, major or specialisation within the same program. You must apply for a new program with a new program code.

If you experienced extenuating circumstances that impacted your studies and led to the low completion rate for your subjects in the prior 12 months, you may be eligible to apply for withdrawal without academic penalty. Student who are successful in their withdrawal without academic penalty will receive a W grade for the relevant subjects. W grades are not counted in the calculation of low completion rate.

If you wish to have your extenuating circumstances considered in order to remain in your CSP and/or be HELP eligible you must be approved for a W grade at least 1 week prior to the start of term.

When will I be assessed for low completion?

Low completion rates will be assessed at the end of each term after results have been released.

What grades will count towards my completion rate?

Subjects completed from 2022 onwards will count towards the completion rate calculation.

If 50% or more of your grades are any of the following you will be considered to have a low completion rate.






Fail non submission


Compulsory fail




Practicum fail


Withdrawn- financial and academic penalty

WIWithdrawn - no academic penalty

*After you have attempted

  • 8 (eight) or more subjects in a bachelor level or higher program, or, 
  • 4 (four) or more subjects in a higher education program lower than a bachelor program.

What if I improve my results? Can I return to the original program of study?

If you improve your completion rate in your new program you can request to have your completion reviewed and request to be returned to your previous program of study.

Job Ready Graduates Changes to Student Contributions- Professional Pathways in Psychology and Social Science

The Australian Government has introduced new “professional pathways” for psychology and social work (including youth work, counselling and community work) degrees, from 2021.

What is a professional pathway degree?

Professional pathway degrees are those degrees in psychology and social work that are accredited by an accrediting body and lead to professional employment.

A Professional Pathway Psychology degree is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC)

A Professional Pathway Social Work degree is accredited by the:

Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)

Youth Workers’ Association (YWA)

Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and/or the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA)

Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA)

The professional pathway will mean the student contribution for subjects in Behavioural Science (within degrees in psychology) or Human Welfare Studies and Services (within degrees in social work, youth work, counselling and community work) will be $7,950 per EFTSL ($993 per subject) in 2021. If not for the Pathways they would have been $14,500 ($1812 per subject). 

The rates of relevant subjects in professional pathway degrees are only applicable to commencing students from 2021. Continuing students in these degrees will be grandfathered, meaning they continue to pay the pre-2021 subject rates, $6,804 per EFTSL ($850 per subject).

Bachelor of Arts with Key Program in Psychology DOES NOT qualify as a Pathway since students can choose other paths through the degree.

What are the Western Sydney professional pathway degrees?

Bachelor of Psychological Studies (Honours) 1860
Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) 1865
Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology and Criminology) 1886
Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) 1711
Bachelor of Psychological and Social Sciences 1910
Bachelor of Psychological Science and Criminology 1906
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) / Bachelor of Laws 2843
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) 2844
Bachelor of Criminal and Community Justice/Bachelor of Social Work 1713
Bachelor of Social Work 1666
Master of Social Work (Qualifying) 1792

For more information on these reforms and more, please visit the Job-ready Graduates Package – Higher Education Reforms (opens in a new window) page.

Step 1: Find out your Student Contribution

The easiest way to find out how much your Student Contribution will be is to look up your electronic Statement of Account (eSOA) in the Fee Records section of  My Student Records (MySR). Your eSOA details the subjects you are enrolled in, how much you need to pay, the due date and methods of payment. Please make sure all details on your eSOA are correct before census date.

Please note that if you change your enrolment by adding or dropping subjects after you have paid, but before the term census date, you may have to pay additional fees. Depending on the contribution bands of the changed subjects, you may also become eligible for a refund (payable after census) or find your fees are unchanged.

Find out more about your Statement of Account

How can I work out my Student contribution in advance?

To work out how much your Student Contribution will be before you receive your eSOA, you will first need to find out the Student Contribution band your subjects fit into based on their general discipline area.

You can then use the Student Contribution calculator to work out the total amount of your contribution.

Find out more about Student Contribution bands

Find out more about Student Contribution calculations

Step 2: Find out about HELP options

The Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) is a range of loans introduced by the Australian Government from 2005 to provide fee payment assistance to eligible students. Loans are for Australian citizens studying in Australia or overseas. Permanent residents who hold a humanitarian visa are also eligible if studying in Australia.

If eligible you may be able to defer all or part of your Student Contribution through the HECS-HELP loan program. You may also be eligible for OS-HELP if undertaking studies overseas.

New Zealand citizens and holders of an Australian permanent resident visa (other than an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) are generally not entitled to HECS-HELP assistance. If you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident your Student Contribution amount must be paid in full by the census date.

However, the Australian Government has passed new legislation that changes the way some New Zealand citizens, who hold a Special Category Visa (SCV), studying in Australia will pay their fees. More information is available on the Changes to fees for New Zealand Citizens webpage.

Find out more about HECS-HELP

Find out more about OS-HELP

Step 3: Manage your finances

Fee deadlines

Deadlines for dealing with your fees are based on University census dates. You need to have paid your fees by this date each term. If you want to defer all or part of your fees, you need to have provided your Tax File Number (TFN) as part of your HECS-HELP application by this date.

Find out more about census dates

Payment options

The University offers a number of ways to make payment including credit card and BPay.

Find out more about paying your fees

Step 4: Check your eCAN

Your electronic Commonwealth Assistance Notice (eCAN) is an official record of your fees and enrolment. You need to check this to make sure all details are correct. Your eCAN will be available in My Student Records (MySR) within 28 days of the approved census date.

Find out more about Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)

Undergraduate Medicine Fees

International students becoming a Permanent Resident or Australian Citizen

If you are an International Student who gains Australian Permanent Residency status or Australian Citizenship while studying the MD, you will still be required to pay full fees as outlined below.

Commonwealth Supported Positions are limited in each intake year of the MD and no further positions can be granted to students who gain their Permanent Residency or Australian Citizenship.

2023 Tuition Fee Rates

4641 Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery

  • $6,118.00 per 10 credit points
  • $48,944.00 per 80 credit points

4758 Doctor of Medicine

  • $6,880.00 Per 10 credit points
  • $55,040.00 per 80 credit points

Post-2009 undergraduate medicine fees

All domestic students who started the Doctor of Medicine (previously Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery) program in 2009 or later will be Commonwealth Supported Students. HECS-HELP may be available to eligible students.

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