Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
See also / useful links:
- How much is my SSAF?
- When is my SSAF due?
- How can I pay my SSAF?
- How do I defer my SSAF?
- What if I forgot to pay or defer my SSAF by the due date?
- Am I required to complete an SA-HELP form?
- How to complete a 'Request for SA-Help Assistance' Form
- Why do I have two invoices?
- When do I have to complete my SA-HELP form by?
- Do I have to complete an SA-HELP form for each course I am in?
- When will the SSAF be charged?
- Why is Session 3 exempt from the fee?
- Why do SCU Online students pay less per study period than session-based students?
- Do I have to re-apply for SA-HELP each year?
- Do international students pay the SSAF?
- How is on-campus or off-campus determined?
- How is part-time and full-time determined?
- Is every student charged?
- Where can I find more detailed information about the SSAF?
How much is my SSAF?
The amount of Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) payable depends on whether you study on-campus or by distance education and how many units you are studying each session (study load). See the Fee Schedules for full details.
When is my SSAF due?
The due dates for Student Services and Amenities Fee can be found in My Enrolment, and on the relevant invoice. Alternatively, see the Due Dates for Student Fees page for information about due dates.
How can I pay my SSAF?
The 'Finance' section in My Enrolment provides payment options on the invoice of your enrolment debt, along with the description, fee amount and the due date. Payment options can also be found at Invoices and payments of tuition fees and charges.
How do I defer my SSAF?
Eligible students should defer their SSAF through the SA-HELP loan scheme, to be paid at a later date. Eligibility for SA HELP is restricted to Australian citizens, or Permanent Humanitarian visa holders enrolled in an award course.
If a student is ineligible for SA-HELP they are required to pay the SSAF up-front by the due date set by the University. All financial information including the fee charged, invoice details, and how to pay can be found in My Enrolment under Finances.
It should be noted that no refund or remission of the SSAF is available following withdrawal after census date.
What if I forgot to pay or defer my SSAF by the due date?
If the SSAF due date has passed you are able to pay the fee by direct payment to the University to ensure that you are not placed on a student sanction. Payment options are listed in My Enrolment under 'Finance' on your invoice.
A student on sanctions will not be able to view grades in My Enrolment, and not be able to graduate at the end of the degree.
Eligible students can still defer the SSAF by completing a SA-HELP form, which will take effect for the next session.
Am I required to complete an SA-HELP form?
Students who are eligible to defer the SSAF to the Australian Taxation office should do so by completing a Request for SA-HELP Assistance form prior to enrolling. You can still pay the fee up front, but you must do so before the due date. All other students are required to pay the fee directly up-front.
How to complete a 'Request for SA-Help Assistance' Form
- Ensure you have your tax file number available
- Login to My Enrolment
- Go to Commonwealth Assistance Forms and choose Add New against your current course*
- Complete form for 'Request for SA-Help Assistance'
- After you have successfully filled in all fields select Submit
- This form will automatically be approved. If filled in correctly you will see a green confirmation box.
* If you are admitted to more than one course, please ensure you complete a request for SA-HELP Assistance for all courses.
If you do not complete an SA-HELP form you will need to pay your SSAF directly to the University by the due date on your invoice.
Why do I have two invoices?
The SSAF is separately invoiced to your Tuition/HECS fees as they have different due dates, and you may choose to defer one and not the other. It is important that these fees are paid separately and against each individual invoice number. If the SSAF is paid against your tuition invoice, the SSAF will remain outstanding.
When do I have to complete my SA-HELP form by?
An SA-HELP form can be completed in My Enrolment up to and including the day the fee is due for that study period. If an SA-HELP form has been completed after this date you will be required to pay the fee for that study period directly to the University. The SA-HELP form will take effect from the next study period.
Do I have to complete an SA-HELP form for each course I am in?
Yes. Students are required to complete an SA-HELP form for each course of admission.
When will the SSAF be charged?
Southern Cross University will charge the Student Services and Amenities Fee once per study period excluding Session 3. SCU Online students will be charged the SSAF for each of the six study periods in which they're enrolled. Students admitted in session-based courses who enrol in intensive units within Study Period 5, 2017 or Study Period 1 and 6 from 2018 onwards will be exempt from SSAF.
Why is Session 3 exempt from the fee?
In recognition that not as many units are available for study in Session 3, the University will not charge a Student Services and Amenities Fee for this study period.
Why do SCU Online students pay less per study period than session-based students?
SCU Online students have six Study Periods per year. They are seven weeks' duration which is half the length of a Session thus their SSAF is half that of a part-time distance education student.
Do I have to re-apply for SA-HELP each year?
You only need to apply for SA-HELP once for a course. If you change your course or University you will be required to re-apply.
Do international students pay the SSAF?
International students studying in Australia are charged SSAF at the same rate as domestic students. Offshore international students will be exempt from the fee as their services are provided by our partner institutions in their home countries.
How is on-campus or off-campus determined?
Students who are studying one or more units in Session 1 or Session 2 at the following locations are considered on-campus:
- Coffs Harbour
- Gold Coast
- National Marine Science Centre
All other locations (including online students) are considered off-campus, and will be charged the off-campus rate with the exception of student studying with SCU Online (see Why do SCU Online students pay less per study period than session-based students). For example, if in the same Session you are studying one unit at the Gold Coast and two units by Distance Education, then you will be charged the full time on-campus fee amount.
How is part-time and full-time determined?
SSAF will be charged according to the study load of each student for the study period charged. A full-time study load is considered to be three or more single-weighted units per study period. Studying one or two units in a study period is considered part-time. Study load can be counted in EFTSL (Equivalent Full-Time Study Load). A full-time student will have at least 0.375 EFTSL in a study period and, anything below 0.375 in a study period is considered part-time. A study period is one Session (e.g. Session 1).
Below is a breakdown of EFTSL to unit credit point value at SCU:
- 6 credit points (half-weighted unit) = .0625 EFTSL
- 12 credit points (single-weighted unit - the majority of SCU units) = .125 EFTSL
- 24 credit points (double-weighted unit) = .250 EFTSL
Research students will be charged on the total equivalent study load across an Enrolment Period.
Is every student charged?
All enrolled students will be charged the SSAF unless they are in one of the following exemption categories:
- International offshore students
- Studying the Preparing for Success at SCU Program
- Studying the SCU Head-Start program
- Incoming Cross-institutional student
- English language courses students
- Studying internally at an offshore location
- Incarcerated students
- Studying a Doctor of Philosophy, Masters by Research, or Professional Doctorate Program
International students studying in Australia are charged SSAF at the same rate as domestic students.