What is the student services and amenities fee?

On 11 October 2011, the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Bill 2010 was passed by the Australian Government.  This legislation allows universities to charge a compulsory student services and amenities fee.

Under the legislation the fee may be used for prescribed student support services and amenities which are of a non-academic nature.  Student consultation takes place when considering how the income will be used to enhance these services and amenities.

Flinders University structured its student services and amenities fee in a way that is fairest for all students.  Fees are charged in proportion to enrolment and will be capped at a maximum rate in any calendar year.  In 2014 the fee will be capped at $281.  Some cohorts of students are charged less or are exempt due to the nature and/or location of their studies (eg students studying in external mode or at specified remote locations will pay a reduced fee).  To view the 2014 fee schedule click here.

Australian citizens and students holding a permanent humanitarian visa are eligible to apply for a SA-HELP (Services and Amenities HELP) loan, which will allow the fee to be payable via the taxation system as per the current arrangements for HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP.  All other students will need to pay the fee directly to Flinders University.

Who pays the student services and amenities fee?

As a general principle all domestic students, irrespective of course or course level, are expected to pay the fee.  To take into account the location of topic delivery, compliance with prior legislation or existing contractual obligations, some topics or cohorts of students will receive a reduction in or an exemption from the fee.

International students have these fees included in their tuition fees and are therefore not charged any additional fee for student services and amenities.

Please see the Fee schedule for more details.

What payment options do I have?

Details of your student services and amenities fee are provided on your Fee Account, available via the Student Information System.  All current payment methods are valid for the payment of this fee.

Can I defer payment to my HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan?

No. However, if eligible you can apply for a SA-HELP loan. The SA-HELP loan scheme operates in a similar way to HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP where deferred student services and amenities fees are repaid once a student's income reaches the government minimum repayment threshold ($51,309 in 2013-2014).

Eligible students are Australian citizens and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa.  Students wishing to access this loan will need to complete a Request for SA-HELP Assistance formonline prior to the census date by logging on to the Student Information System and following the prompt fromthe My Commonwealth Assistance tab.  This form needs to be submitted in addition to any HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP form you may have already lodged.

Who will decide what the student services and amenities fee will be used for?

Australian Government legislation specifies the range of services and amenities that the fee can be expended on.  The University consults with elected students and has published a list of priority areas

 

I don't use any of the services on campus so why do I have to pay?

Flinders University currently funds a large number of services for students on our campuses.  The student services and amenities fee will be used to continue to support these services and to add further services and/or improve those that are currently available.

It is recognised that students who are remotely located or studying externally may have limited access to some services.  For that reason, a reduced fee applies for these students.

How is the fee calculated?

Students are charged a pro-rata fee based on their enrolment load.  More information on how the fee will be calculated can be found on the Fee schedule.

Is the fee subject to GST?

The student services and amenities fee does not attract GST.

I am a Flinders student studying some topics at another university as a cross-institutional student.  Will I have to pay both universities?

This will depend on the student services and amenities fees policy of the other university.  Whilst you may be eligible to obtain a SA-HELP loan at your home university (Flinders), under the legislation a SA-HELP loan is not available for cross-institutional students at their host provider.

I am studying at Flinders University as a cross-institutional student.  Will I have to pay Flinders a student services and amenities fee?

Yes, you will be charged in accordance with Flinders University policy.  As a cross-institutional student you are not eligible to defer your student services and amenities fee to a SA-HELP loan.  This fee must be paid up-front.

Examples of student services and amenities fees 

Example 1 - a student studying 36 units (1 EFTSL) split evenly between Semester 1 and Semester 2 (i.e. enrolled in four 4.5 unit topics in each semester)

The student will be charged $281 * 4.5/36 = $35.12 for each topic, or a total of $140.48 for each semester.  Note that the total is slightly less than $281 for the year because of rounding down to the nearest cent.

Example 2 - a student studying 40.5 units (22.5 units in Semester 1, and 18 units in Semester 2)

The student will be charged $175.60 in Semester 1 (this is made up of 5 * $35.12), and in Semester 2 the student will be charged $140.48 (4 * $35.12).  However as this would bring the total charge for the year over the maximum amount of $281, the fee will be reduced by $35.08.  The total charge will be $281.00 ($175.60 + $140.48 - $35.08).

Example 3 - a student studying at Alice Springs and studying 36 units (1 EFTSL) split evenly between Semester 1 and Semester 2 (i.e. enrolled in four 4.5 unit topics in both Semesters 1 and 2)

Student will be charged $70.24 in each semester.  This is made up of 4 * $17.56 (the 50% reduced rate for remote locations).