When considering returning to study, often the biggest concern is the cost. While there is a lot to factor in when looking at study costs, the good news is that it is affordable! There are many schemes to help with the cost of further study, including Centrelink assistance. You may also be able to manage your study load to keep working part-time or even full-time. There is flexibility in how you structure your course load although this does depend on the program being undertaken.

Firstly, it is important to consider the costs associated with returning to study.  Some of these you are probably aware of but some you may not have considered. All are important when making practical, financial decisions.
The first consideration is course fees. Depending on the program or qualification you are undertaking, these fees will vary. You may be able to get assistance to pay for your fees, particularly through loans from the Commonwealth Government such as VET FEE-Help, FEE-Help or HECS-HELP. You start repaying these loans once  your income reaches a certain amount and there is also a limit on the amount you can actually borrow.
Universities and some other education providers will require you to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee for each course undertaken. This fee subsidises the various student support services, including recreational activities and amenities, offered by the education provider. This fee is capped at $290 (2016 figure) per-year which is the fee payable for a standard full-time study load of eight courses.
Depending on your program you may need to consider the additional cost of textbooks, art supplies, camera equipment, uniforms, particular software requirements or musical instruments as many of these will not be covered by your course fees. You may also need to undertake professional placements as part of your program and this can impact on your work schedule (for example you may be unable to work your normal hours during these placements). Additionally, they may be located far from your home or you may need to consider childcare or transportation to your placement sites. Students who study off-campus may need to come to campus for short periods for intensive workshops or residential schools in some courses. This may result in additional costs and will need to be considered. The cost of parking, transportation and childcare are also important to consider when attending classes on a regular basis. Finally you will need to account for regular living expenses like rent/mortgage, food, clothing, bills, medications etc. Making a plan and developing a budget is a very important exercise when looking at returning to study.
While the costs may seem daunting it is important to reflect on why you are considering returning to study. Education is an  investment. You will improve your opportunities for interesting and rewarding work and a higher income, and gain skills that can build confidence and enhance personal development. Over their working lives graduates on average earn 70% more than those without a post-school qualification.

Pathway Costs

The fee for senior secondary studies starts at $150 per semester. There may be costs for additional subjects and administration costs. These fees vary between education providers, and may be charged on an annual basis, so please check with your education provider for up to date cost information. 
The current fee for the STAT Test is $149 although this may change so please check with QTAC prior to taking the test.
You can change the date, time or venue of your test after you have made a booking but there will be a fee of $42.
Cert IV in Adult Tertiary Preparation:
The cost can vary depending on whether you are eligible for a concession but can range from $1,300 to $5,000, please check with your education provider for up to date cost information.
TAFE/VET Programs – Certificate III to Associate Degree:
The costs will vary depending on the type of qualification, the duration and whether you are eligible for concessions, fee exemptions or subsidies. As a general rule, costs can range from $3,000 to $20,000 and more. Please check with your education provider for up to date cost information for the qualification you are interested in.
University Preparatory Programs:
These are usually subsidised by the Commonwealth Government so are free for eligible students.
University Programs – Diploma to Bachelor Degree: 
The cost will vary depending on the program you are studying e.g. business, education, art etc. The Commonwealth Government sets the student contribution based on discipline bands for all public universities in Australia (these fees will change slightly each year). The table below shows the cost per year, based on a standard full time study load of eight courses.

2016 Student contribution bands and ranges for bachelor degree studies

Student contribution band2016 Student contribution range
(per EFTSL)
Band 3: Law, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science, accounting, administration, economics, commerce$0 - $10,440
Band 2: Computing, built environment, other health, allied health, engineering, surveying, agriculture, mathematics, statistics, science$0 - $8,917
Band 1: Humanities, behavioural science, social studies, education (see Notes), clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, nursing (see Notes)$0 – $6,256

Education Provider's Fees

Other Costs and Support


Fee Deferment Schemes

Help Paying My Fees