Financial and other assistance

Your qualification is an investment in your future. We understand that studying at university can be financially challenging so we have put together the following information which will help better manage your finances while studying.

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There are a number of schemes which help pay for your university fees if you are eligible.

Commonwealth supported places

A Commonwealth supported place is where the Australian government subsides your enrolment at university. All undergraduate and some post graduate degrees at CDU have commonwealth supported places for eligible students. The government pays directly to the university for part of the fees whilst you pay the remainder of the fees which is know as the 'student contribution'. If you are an eligible student, loans are available to pay for your 'student contribution' (see HECS HELP).

For further information, including eligibility, go to Commonwealth Supported Places.


HECS-HELP is a loan scheme available to eligible students to help pay your student fees (student contribution).   Fees are deferred and remain as a debt against your tax file number until you are employed and your salary reaches a threshold ($51,309 in 2013/14 financial year).  You then begin to repay this debt through your salary system or at the end of each financial year. You may choose to pay some of your fees upfront and defer the remainder.  

Go to HECS-HELP for more information.


FEE-HELP is similar to HECS-HELP but is available to eligible post-graduate students enrolled in full fee courses.

Go to FEE-HELP for more information.


SA-HELP is a loan scheme available to eligible students to pay for all or part of your student services and amenities fee.  If you choose to defer these fees, the repayment of the loan is the same as the HECS-HELP loan scheme.


VET Student Loans

VET Student Loans is similar to HECS-HELP but is available to eligible students VET students enrolled in a Diploma, an Advanced Diploma, a (VET) Graduate Certificate or a (VET) Graduate Diploma. 

Go to VET Student Loans  

VET Pathway

One way of reducing your course fees is to follow a VET pathway into a higher education course.  For example, if a student completed a Diploma of Business in 2014 at CDU the fee for this course would be $5000.  Upon successful completion they could receive up to 80 credit points (1 year) of credit towards a Bachelor of Commerce. The student contribution cost for the first year of the Bachelor of Commerce (for a Commonwealth supported student in 2014) is $9010. Therefore, by taking the VET pathway into the Bachelor of Commerce the student makes a saving of $4010. CDU also offers direct admission into some of our degrees for students who have completed the relevant VET pathway. This means you do not have to pay the SATAC application fee saving you (in 2014) between $57 to $159 (depending on when you applied).

Centrelink also provide allowances to eligible students to help with living costs while you are studying.

Youth Allowance

You may be eligible for Youth Allowance from the government if you are under 24 years of age and meet the criteria including undertaking an approved course, whether you are independent or dependent, meet income and assets tests and residency requirements.

Go to Youth Allowance


You may be eligible for Austudy from the government if you:

  • are aged 25 years or more
  • are studying full-time in an approved course at an approved educational institution, or understand a full-time Australian Apprenticeship
  • meet a personal income and assets test
  • meet residence requirements.

Go to Austudy


To remain eligible for Austudy and Youth Allowance you must ensure that you meet the fulltime study requirements as defined by Centrelink, for example, if you are a tertiary student in a Higher Education Commonwealth supported course you are considered a full time student if you are:

  • doing at least 75% of the Equivalent Full Time Study Load (EFTSL), over a year, where the normal period of enrolment is a year or equivalent period
  • enrolled on a semester or trimester basis and you maintain an EFTSL of at least 75% for that period. For example 0.357 for each semester or 0.25 for each trimester.

Go to Study loads for Austudy and Youth Allowance


You may be eligible for ABSTUDY from government if you are:

  • an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian
  • able to meet residence requirements
  • enrolled in an approved course or undertaking a full-time Australian Apprenticeship
  • not receiving any other government assistance to study or complete your apprenticeship.



Private notices for secondhand books may be posted on CDU school notice boards/general email lists.

Some Scholarships can also be used to purchase textbooks.

Scholarships are available to a wide group of people.  It may surprise you that a number of scholarships are not awarded each year simply because no-one applies for them!

CDU and external bodies and organisations offer a large number of scholarships to both Higher Education and VET students.

As a student you are entitled to discounted services both on campus and through many local businesses. 

Child care

The CDU Childcare Centre  is located at Green 3 on Casuarina Campus and offers discounted rates to students.


The Gym@CDU is fully equipped and staffed and offers a range of services and classes.  It is located at Green 4 on Casuarina Campus and offers discounted rates to students.

Hair/Beauty Salons   

CDU have hair and beauty salons in both Darwin and Alice Springs.  These are first-class training facilities where you can obtain services at very competitive prices. 

Medical Services


  • Royal Darwin Hospital: 08 8922 8888
  • Darwin Private Hospital: 08 8920 6011
  • Katherine Hospital: 08 8973 9211
  • Tennant Creek Hospital: 08 8962 4399
  • Alice Springs Hospital: 08 8951 7777

Check out the Yellow Pages for further listings of medical centres and surgeries.

The CDU Psychology Clinic is located at Yellow 1.2.30 on Casuarina Campus and provides high quality low cost psychology services.

Training restaurants 

CDU have two restaurants where wait staff, bar staff and cookery apprentices are trained.  The Karawa restaurant is located at Palmerston and the Desert Lantern restaurant is located in Alice Springs.  Both offer excellent food and service at very competitive prices.

Career Hub

CDU’s CareerHub helps you build your resume as well as listing job vacancies, provides details about career related events including employer presentations, workshops, seminars and the careers fair.   If you register with CareerHub you will receive weekly emails advising you of current job vacancies.

Jobs at CDU

You may also be able to find some work on campus at CDU.  Check out the current vacancies and/or put your name on the Employment Register and on the CDU Vacancies email list.

Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) Certificate

Why not consider doing your Responsible Service in Alcohol certificate through the CDU Palmerston campus? This will help you qualify for positions in bars and hotels.  For further information contact the VET Tourism & Hospitality team on 8946 7525 or email

Away from Base funding

Away from Base funding is provided by the Department of Industry to assist eligible Australian Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander students to participate in the necessary academic components of an approved course, where that course requires students to travel from their permanent home or study location to undertake their studies. AFB funding covers fares, meals and accommodation only.


Scholarships are available to a wide group of people, check out the scholarships page to see if you meet the entry requirements.


There are a range of scholarships available to International Students.


A number of courses offered by CDU have work experience placements and internships which help international students prepare for the workplace.