OS-Help

The Commonwealth Government allocates a number of OS-HELP loans to the University each year.  These are available to Commonwealth Supported Students in order to provide financial assistance to undertake part of their course of study overseas.

OS-HELP assistance may be used to cover expenses associated with overseas study for a period of six months. Expenses could include but are not restricted to study costs, airfares, accommodation and other travel or settling in expenses.

Students can apply for a maximum of two OS-HELP loans of six month duration each but these cannot overlap. However a student may apply for two consecutive OS-HELP loans. The student’s application for the second six-months will be assessed and offered in the six months prior to the second six-months of study.

A student may study for any length of time during this six-month period but the loan will be applied to the full six month period.

The details of recipients of OS-HELP loans are provided to the Department of Education and then to the Australian Taxation Office. Your OS-HELP loan will be added to your HECS-HELP liability (if applicable). You will repay this loan through the taxation system once your income is above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayments, ie when you start receiving a certain salary.

The OS-HELP loan amount which will be offered to each successful student will be equivalent to the amount per student supplied to the University by the Commonwealth Government for that year. Students may apply for a lesser amount.

Eligibility

To receive an OS-HELP loan you must:

  • be in receipt of a Commonwealth Supported Place;
  • be an Australian citizen or holder of a permanent humanitarian visa;
  • be enrolled in an undergraduate course of study;
  • have your study outside Australia count towards your Notre Dame course requirements;
  • have not received an OS-HELP loan on more than one other occasion;
  • have not received another OS-HELP loan from another provider for an overlapping 6 month study period;
  • have already completed at least 1 EFTSL of study in Australia as a Commonwealth Supported Student;
  • still have at least 0.125 EFTSL of further study necessary in order to complete your degree on your return from overseas study;
  • have a Tax File Number;
  • intend to be enrolled in full-time study with an overseas higher education institution and be outside Australia while undertaking that study.

How to Apply

Step 1 – see your Course Coordinator Students wishing to study overseas and apply for OS-HELP should firstly discuss their plans with their Course Coordinator.

If your Course Coordinator agrees with your proposal, please ask your Course Coordinator to send a memo to the Deputy Registrar or the Scholarships Officer, Student Administration, commenting on:

  • your suitability for overseas study and your academic progress;
  • how your overseas study will impact on your personal and academic development;
  • the suitability of the overseas higher education provider and of the units chosen.

Your Course Coordinator must also confirm that the units to be studied overseas can be credited towards your present course of study.

Step 2 – complete the forms To apply for OS-HELP please complete and lodge an OS-HELP Debt Confirmation Form with Student Administration and a Cross Institutional Enrolment Form giving details of the overseas institution, units to be studied, number of contact hours per week and the dates when you will commence and finish your study.  The forms are available at Student Administration. Once you have received the necessary signatures from your School submit these forms to Student Administration along with all requested supporting documents.

Step 3 – enrolling at the overseas institution It is your responsibility to comply with all the requirements of the overseas institution with regard to admission to the institution and enrolment into your units.

You will receive a letter of confirmation from the University confirming you are authorised to enrol at the overseas institution and you may require this in your admission process.

Step 4 – confirm your enrolment Post the original or a certified copy of your official confirmation of enrolment from your overseas institution to Student Administration at Notre Dame. At this point your units will be placed onto your student record.

Step 5 – confirm your grades Post the original or a certified copy of your official transcript showing your final marks and grades from your overseas institution. See below regarding the grade which will show on your Notre Dame transcript.

Assessment of Applications

OS-HELP loans are available to all eligible students and will be allocated to students based on merit taking into account any educational disadvantages a student may have experienced.

Students will be assessed on their academic progress and on the provision of a report from their Course Coordinator concerning their suitability for overseas study and how this will impact on their personal and academic development.

All other factors being equal students will be assessed on their GPA for allocation of OS-HELP.

Timeline

Deadline for receipt of applications: 

Students must apply for OS-HELP by the main semester census date of the semester prior to their proposed overseas study.

Notification of allocation of loans: Students will be informed in writing of the outcome of their application within 14 days of the main semester census date. This letter will include confirmation of the total amount of the loan and any conditions which may apply.

Acceptance of loan: Students will be expected to confirm their acceptance or decline the loan within 7 days of receipt of the notification letter. Acceptances not received within 7 days will be deemed to have been declined and will be offered to other eligible students in accordance with these policies. The acceptance form will request the details of your bank account so that the loan amount may be transferred to your account.

Loan payments:
Students will receive their loan in one payment only in the form of a transfer to the student’s bank account within 3-4 weeks of receipt of a student’s acceptance.

Record of payment:
Students will receive a Commonwealth Assistance Notice within 28 days of their OS-HELP payment. You should keep this for your taxation records.

Confirmation of enrolment:
During your overseas study please forward to the University your official confirmation of enrolment from the overseas institution which confirms the units you are studying.

Inability to continue with overseas study:
A student must inform Student Administration within one week of determining they are unable to continue with their overseas study.

If the OS-HELP loan has not been transferred to the student’s bank account then the offer of the OS-HELP loan is automatically withdrawn.

If the OS-HELP loan has been transferred to the student’s bank account then the student’s liability to repay that loan through the taxation system remains.

Confirmation of results
After completion of your overseas study please forward to the University your official confirmation of results. It is suggested you obtain an official transcript of your studies at the overseas institution for your records. Units studied elsewhere will be entered onto your University record. However the grade will either by NGP if you pass or Fail if you do not pass. If you wish to show prospective employers the grade and marks you received at another institution you must use that institution’s academic transcript.

Provision of false or misleading information: The personal information obtained in any forms or documents relating to OS-HELP is collected for the purpose of determining your entitlement to OS-HELP assistance. The University will be required to disclose such information contained in these documents to the Department of Education, Science and Training. The University may also be required to disclose your personal information as otherwise authorised or required by law. . If you provide false or misleading information in applications for OS-HELP this will be reported to the Dept of Education, Science and Training for further action.

Grievance Policy If you are dissatisfied with the decision regarding your application or feel that the correct procedure has not occurred, students may write a letter of appeal to the Executive Director, Academic and Student Services or his delegate. The Executive Director or his delegate will acknowledge receipt of your appeal and respond with a final determination within 14 days of receipt of your appeal. The decision of the Executive Director or his delegate will be binding and no further appeal will be possible.


For further information please contact Alyson Riddell at the Fees Office, by email to: Fremantle.Fees@nd.edu.au; or by telephone on: 08 9433 0523.