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citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Old Aug 8th 2007, 10:04 am
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Default citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Hi,
We need some advice please. We emigrated in Oct 2005 on permanent resident visa. Daughter is now finishing year 12. University is looking very expensive. I am trying to understand HECS and fees. Plus it would seem that permanent residency counts for very little as you must be a citizen to access HECS.

Anyone experienced this?

Why HECS, is that cheaper than paying up front (we can stick the fees on the mortgage), the universities list two prices and UAI scores, i.e. HECS or non commonwealth funded?

How do we go about citizenship, we are eligible this Oct. Can you apply in advance, if so how do you go about it? If we have a 6 months wait from Oct this will take us past the uni enrollment date and could effect which category that we can apply under.

All very complicated and new. Any help appreciated.

Thanks

Alex and Tara
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Old Aug 8th 2007, 10:16 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by ali south View Post
Hi,
We need some advice please. We emigrated in Oct 2005 on permanent resident visa. Daughter is now finishing year 12. University is looking very expensive. I am trying to understand HECS and fees. Plus it would seem that permanent residency counts for very little as you must be a citizen to access HECS.

Anyone experienced this?

Why HECS, is that cheaper than paying up front (we can stick the fees on the mortgage), the universities list two prices and UAI scores, i.e. HECS or non commonwealth funded?

How do we go about citizenship, we are eligible this Oct. Can you apply in advance, if so how do you go about it? If we have a 6 months wait from Oct this will take us past the uni enrollment date and could effect which category that we can apply under.

All very complicated and new. Any help appreciated.

Thanks

Alex and Tara
Hi
In exactly the same boat with a daughter in year 12 and wanting to go to Uni next year.
We are not legible for citizenship until December so it is really cutting it fine for us!
As far as I know, HECS is a low/no interest loan and the cheapest way of affording Uni. As a PR, it means nothing, you have to pay the full fees ($30k?) up front so a HECS loan is ideal if you don't want that extra debt!

I spoke to people at HECS and officials re: citizenship and this is what they told me:

Get your daughter to apply for the Uni and get the approvals subject to OP etc. Using that letter, you can apply for citizenship early with a covering letter explaining why you need to.
Now they will not let you become citizens BEFORE your 2-year period but they can get everything in order so that you can take the citizenship test etc as close as possible to your 2-year anniversary.

Other stress-free options to consider are convince your daughter to take a year off! Or, you can pay for 6-months fees (whatever) and apply for HECS later on to cover the balance.

Anyone else who can help out here would be good as it is intense as my daughter still hasn't selected a college or even a course yet!

Andrew
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Old Aug 8th 2007, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

There can be up to three different fees for Uni courses in NSW.

The fee for a commonwealth supported place is a standard fee within four bands (I think) - what they call National Priorities (teaching/nursing approx $4k p.a.) is the cheapest, followed by Arts ($5k) etc, then accounting, economics, science etc ($7k), then Law, Medicine/Vet science ($8k) etc which are the most expensive.

Some unis offer Fee-paying places on some courses which cost more than a commonweath-supported place. This is usually the first cost listed in UAC guide (I've only got last years so I don't know how current it is). They also have a lower UAI than the commonwealth-supported places. (You are effectively buying your place).

Then you get the International fees for overseas students which are more expensive again and the second cost listed in the UAC.

If you only have PR my understanding is you cannot get HECS, which is only a student loan, so you will have to pay up-front. But you can still qualify for a commonwealth-supported place OR a fee-paying place. You won't have to pay the extortionate International fees as you will be a domestic student.

Hope that makes sense!

Last edited by NickyC; Aug 8th 2007 at 1:21 pm.
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Old Aug 8th 2007, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
There can be up to three different fees for Uni courses in NSW.

The fee for a commonwealth supported place is a standard fee within four bands (I think) - what they call National Priorities (teaching/nursing approx $4k p.a.) is the cheapest, followed by Arts ($5k) etc, then accounting, economics, science etc ($7k), then Law, Medicine/Vet science ($8k) etc which are the most expensive.

Some unis offer Fee-paying places on some courses which cost more than a commonweath-supported place. This is usually the first cost listed in UAC guide (I've only got last years so I don't know how current it is). They also have a lower UAI than the commonwealth-supported places. (You are effectively buying your place).

Then you get the International fees for overseas students which are more expensive again and the second cost listed in the UAC.

If you only have PR my understanding is you cannot get HECS, which is only a student loan, so you will have to pay up-front. But you can still qualify for a commonwealth-supported place OR a fee-paying place. You won't have to pay the extortionate International fees as you will be a domestic student.

Hope that makes sense!
thanks, so HECS is still the same fee but on a student loan basis??
Are there many commonwealth supported places? Is it hard to gain a spot. My daughter wants to do a teaching degree or Bachelor of arts.
Many thanks
Tara
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Old Aug 8th 2007, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by andrew63 View Post
Hi
As far as I know, HECS is a low/no interest loan and the cheapest way of affording Uni. As a PR, it means nothing, you have to pay the full fees ($30k?) up front so a HECS loan is ideal if you don't want that extra debt!


Andrew
I have a son in 2nd year engineering. As PR we have to pay his domestic fees up front but only a semester at a time, i.e., twice a year, so you don't have to pay $30k. A semester for us is about $3,600. He is getting his paperwork together now for citizenship but it can take a long time between qualifying having filled in the forms and the actual ceremony. As I understand it you can't be a citizen until after the ceremony. Then he can apply for HECS. there is help out there in the way of bursaries and scholarships. Scholarships tend to be for really hard up students but bursaries are available for high achievers in professions in demand. My son was lucky enough to get a bursary from the power engineering industry which is worth a couple of k a year.
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Old Aug 9th 2007, 12:47 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by ali south View Post
thanks, so HECS is still the same fee but on a student loan basis??
Are there many commonwealth supported places? Is it hard to gain a spot. My daughter wants to do a teaching degree or Bachelor of arts.
Many thanks
Tara
Yes, HECS is the same fee. Though actually you do pay more if you use HECS - if you pay up front you get a 20% discount.

The great majority of uni places are commonwealth-supported and it's only the big city universities that even offer fee-paying places for domestic students. They get a lot of criticism for doing it because it's seen as a money-making exercise at the expense of better candidates. It's not hard to get a commonwealth-supported place - as long as your HSC result/UAI is high enough for the course you want to do. Fee-paying places are for less-bright kids who don't make the proper UAI cutoff but whose parents are rich - they are in the minority.

If your daughter wants to teach, then you should only be up for fees of $3000-3500 per year (cheapest CSP band less 20% for paying up-front). My younger son is doing Arts at UNSW and we pay up-front about $4000 a year for him. I don't think it's expensive - it's far less than the school fees we used to pay.

Apologies - just realised that PRs do not get the 20% discount for paying up-front so you'd pay the full $4k per year for teaching, $5k per year for Arts on a commonwealth-supported place.

Last edited by NickyC; Aug 9th 2007 at 2:04 am.
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Old Aug 9th 2007, 1:40 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by ali south View Post
Hi,
We need some advice please. We emigrated in Oct 2005 on permanent resident visa. Daughter is now finishing year 12. University is looking very expensive. I am trying to understand HECS and fees. Plus it would seem that permanent residency counts for very little as you must be a citizen to access HECS.

Anyone experienced this?

Why HECS, is that cheaper than paying up front (we can stick the fees on the mortgage), the universities list two prices and UAI scores, i.e. HECS or non commonwealth funded?

How do we go about citizenship, we are eligible this Oct. Can you apply in advance, if so how do you go about it? If we have a 6 months wait from Oct this will take us past the uni enrollment date and could effect which category that we can apply under.
Without citizenship, your daughter will pay domestic fees (not international) but will not be eligible for HECS fee deferral/discount, which makes a difference of 25%.

She should investigate what happens if she becomes a citizen part-way through her degree.

You can't apply for citizenship before you have the 2 years, sorry.
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Old Aug 9th 2007, 1:58 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Without citizenship, your daughter will pay domestic fees (not international) but will not be eligible for HECS fee deferral/discount, which makes a difference of 25%.

She should investigate what happens if she becomes a citizen part-way through her degree.

You can't apply for citizenship before you have the 2 years, sorry.
Correct - but you do have sufficient grounds to be prioritised.

Andrew
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Old Aug 9th 2007, 2:53 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Debsy got her citizenship on Aus Day this year and started at Uni with HECS in February. She had no problem getting it all sorted.
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Old Aug 18th 2007, 4:57 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
Yes, HECS is the same fee. Though actually you do pay more if you use HECS - if you pay up front you get a 20% discount.

The great majority of uni places are commonwealth-supported and it's only the big city universities that even offer fee-paying places for domestic students. They get a lot of criticism for doing it because it's seen as a money-making exercise at the expense of better candidates. It's not hard to get a commonwealth-supported place - as long as your HSC result/UAI is high enough for the course you want to do. Fee-paying places are for less-bright kids who don't make the proper UAI cutoff but whose parents are rich - they are in the minority.

If your daughter wants to teach, then you should only be up for fees of $3000-3500 per year (cheapest CSP band less 20% for paying up-front). My younger son is doing Arts at UNSW and we pay up-front about $4000 a year for him. I don't think it's expensive - it's far less than the school fees we used to pay.

Apologies - just realised that PRs do not get the 20% discount for paying up-front so you'd pay the full $4k per year for teaching, $5k per year for Arts on a commonwealth-supported place.
so what is your son majoring in, is it anything to do with anational priority subjects?
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Old Aug 18th 2007, 5:28 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by moneypen20 View Post
Debsy got her citizenship on Aus Day this year and started at Uni with HECS in February. She had no problem getting it all sorted.
Yes Pen is right. I applied for a place at Uni through QTAC and I completed the paperwork as a PR. Once I had received my citizienship certificate (February by this time), I took it to the Uni and they changed my details which then enabled me to defer to HECS. I was told that I would be OK as long as they had the details before the census date. For info re. census dates here is a link: http://www.goingtouni.gov.au/Main/Fe...ensusDates.htm

If you have to pay the fees, I think you may be able to get a discount for paying up front.
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Old Aug 18th 2007, 9:04 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Without citizenship, your daughter will pay domestic fees (not international) but will not be eligible for HECS fee deferral/discount, which makes a difference of 25%.

She should investigate what happens if she becomes a citizen part-way through her degree.

You can't apply for citizenship before you have the 2 years, sorry.
The difference is 20%.

I am 2nd/3rd year, studying education. (2nd / 3rd year as I am managing to fasttrack my four year degree into 3.5 yrs by doing extra subjects).

1st year of my study, I paid full fees, as we weren't Aussie citizens. I had to pay in full upfront at $499 per core education subject.

This year, with citizenship, I can either defer my fees and pay them back when I graduate and am earning above the threshold, or pay them in full, upfront and receive a 20% discount.

An education core subject costs $499 per subject, with discount of 20% they charge me $399.

Bit sickening really that once you have citizenship, they'll knock 20% off the fees if you pay up front.

That means for my 1st year of study I paid upfront an extra $600 more than I really should have.

I'm still paying upfront, I'm still the same person, still studying the same course. Difference is I'm a citizen now. What a load of crap. There's no way i'd have started a degree and then left the country, so why not give the 20% discount to all who pay upfront.

Another bloody money spinner.:curse:
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Old Aug 18th 2007, 9:14 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by steandleigh View Post
The difference is 20%.

I am 2nd/3rd year, studying education. (2nd / 3rd year as I am managing to fasttrack my four year degree into 3.5 yrs by doing extra subjects).

1st year of my study, I paid full fees, as we weren't Aussie citizens. I had to pay in full upfront at $499 per core education subject.

This year, with citizenship, I can either defer my fees and pay them back when I graduate and am earning above the threshold, or pay them in full, upfront and receive a 20% discount.

An education core subject costs $499 per subject, with discount of 20% they charge me $399.

Bit sickening really that once you have citizenship, they'll knock 20% off the fees if you pay up front.

That means for my 1st year of study I paid upfront an extra $600 more than I really should have.

I'm still paying upfront, I'm still the same person, still studying the same course. Difference is I'm a citizen now. What a load of crap. There's no way i'd have started a degree and then left the country, so why not give the 20% discount to all who pay upfront.

Another bloody money spinner.:curse:
Thanks for your reply, so, if you don't mind me asking, how much are you paying each year in total and which uni do you attend?
All potentially very scary as I will have 2 kids going through together. 5k each is manageable but 19k each is not! (I think that is yje fee if you are a full paying student at Sydney Uni)
Daughter has now decided teaching is too narrow and wants to do BA and then one year qual in teaching. Current Principal said he would give her a job after uni too!
Thanks again
Tara
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Old Aug 19th 2007, 3:55 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by ali south View Post
so what is your son majoring in, is it anything to do with anational priority subjects?
He's only in his first year of Uni so is still keeping his options open, but will probably major in Politics or Philosophy. As it's an Arts degree it's not classed as National Priority. Costs $4k a year with the 20% discount - would be $5k if we used HECS or were only PR.
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Old Aug 20th 2007, 9:19 am
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Default Re: citizenship, kids soon to be in university and HECS (complicated questions)

Originally Posted by ali south View Post
Thanks for your reply, so, if you don't mind me asking, how much are you paying each year in total and which uni do you attend?
Tara
Hi tara,

I attend JCU in Cairns due to our location. Education costs $599 per core subject and around $615 per elective. An average year costs $4800ish, plus book list (which last year was $800 - that's required books plus other materials).

If you can pay upfront then you get 20% off your fees.

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