At SAE, we believe tertiary education is an investment in your future and one that requires careful consideration. Payment plans or access to FEE-HELP may be available to you.

SAE fee schedules


Tuition fees are processed after the census date of each trimester, based on the unit price listed in SAE’s current Fee Schedules.

2024 SAE Course Fee Schedule

Tuition Payment options


From 2024, eligible SAE students will be required to pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), to support a wide range of non-academic student services, facilities and student-focused initiatives.

This government-approved fee is levied on all eligible students to allow us to allocate specific funding for services and activities that support students’ physical, mental, social, career and cultural wellbeing. The Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) and the Student Services Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines (the Guidelines) outline how the funds are allocated, spent and reported.

SSAF-supported services will be available to all SAE students, regardless of how and where you study, and we encourage you to take full advantage of them to enrich your college experience.

2024 Student Services and Amenities Fees & Payment Options

2024 Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) Proposed Spend

For more information on the SSAF in Australia, visit the Australian Government SSAF website.

If you are an International student visit International Fees & Payments.

Tuition Payment Options

Review the courses below to find out more information regarding payment options available.

The following SAE Higher Education qualifications are eligible for full-fee funding assistance under FEE-HELP:
  • All Master course offerings.
  • All Bachelor course offerings.
  • All Associate Degree course offerings.
  • These Diploma course offerings:
    • Diploma of Game Development
    • Diploma of 3D Animation Production
    • Diploma of Creative Industries
    • Diploma of Music
    • Diploma of Audio Production
    • Diploma of Graphic Design
    • Diploma of Film
What is FEE-HELP?

FEE-HELP allows an eligible student to apply for an Australian Government loan and start making repayments (through tax) when they are earning more than $51,550 per year (as per the 2023/24 financial year). Approved students can begin study without having to pay up-front fees.

FEE-HELP is a personal debt obligation that can affect your credit rating and have wage and tax repayment implications.

* For detailed information about accessing FEE-HELP please refer to

Who is eligible for FEE-HELP?

You may be eligible for FEE-HELP if you:

  • meet the citizenship and residency requirements
  • are an Australian citizen who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to your course; OR
  • a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder who meets the long-term residency requirements and who studies the entire course while living in Australia; or
  • are a permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit; OR
  • are a permanent visa holder who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of the study;
  • are enrolled in an eligible unit of study by the census date for that unit, and have not exceeded the FEE-HELP limit.

The Higher Education Support Act 2003 has been amended to remove the requirement that students must pass 50 per cent of their units they study to remain eligible for Commonwealth assistance (studying in a CSP or access to a HELP loans). Students enrolled in units of study with census dates on or after 1 January 2024 will not need to meet the pass rate requirements.

How will changes to the government pass rate requirements impact me?

If you lost access to FEE-HELP in the past due to a low completion rate, your access will be reinstated from 1 January 2024.

Commonwealth assistance cannot be retrospectively applied and is only effective from 1 January 2024, so it does not apply to previous trimesters.

What do I do if I want to return to study?
If you would like to return to your studies, you need to:

    • request readmission
    • regain access to FEE-HELP by completing a Commonwealth Assistance Form (CAF) and;
    • attend a Return to Study meeting with your course Academic Advisor to discuss any changes to the course since you left. During this meeting, you will also be able to discuss your study load planning, including which units to enrol in, and the support SAE will provide to ensure your academic success.

We will provide you with information and assistance about these processes during readmission.

Can I return to my course if I have been excluded?
Being excluded means you can no longer continue your course for at least one trimester due to low progression. Excluded students are notified by email about the period of exclusion, and the conditions for returning.

If you are currently excluded, or have been excluded previously, you may be eligible to return once your period of exclusion is completed. (Link to policy)

How can I succeed if I return to study?
Most students with low progression will be placed on Academic Probation and will be contacted regularly by faculty and support staff. You will be provided with assistance from Academic Administrators, Learning Advisors and Student Support Advisors as required.

This support aims to help you improve your academic performance and succeed in your studies.

FEE-HELP is a loan from the Australian Government for eligible higher education students to pay tuition fees. Please read the FEE-HELP fact sheet to check your eligibility for a FEE-HELP loan.

*For more information on pass rate requirements please refer to the FEE-HELP Information booklet for your current year of study.

How to apply for FEE-HELP?

To apply for a FEE-HELP loan, you will need to submit an eCAF (electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form) before the census date. Your eCAF invitation will be emailed to you prior to commencement. If you do not submit this form before the census date you will not be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan.

Note: you’ll have six weeks from the census date of a unit to correct any errors in your enrolment that would prevent you from being eligible for FEE-HELP. To complete your eCAF you will need:

  • A tax file number (TFN). If you don’t have a TFN, you can submit a certificate of application for a TFN during the eCAF application process. This certificate is available from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) after an application for a TFN has been received. Please be sure to follow all the steps when applying for a TFN, applying online is just the first step. Contact the ATO on 13 28 61 for TFN information.
  • A USI – Unique Student Identifier is a reference number that creates an online record of your training and qualifications attained in Australia. To create a new USI or find your existing USI please visit the USI website. Click here for important information on the census and administrative dates, as well as further information on deadlines and withdrawals.
What course fees do FEE-HELP loans cover?

Eligible students studying Higher Education Diplomas, Associate, Bachelor, and Postgraduate Degree courses can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay their tuition fees for courses.

Combined HELP Loan Limit

The combined HELP (Higher Education Loan Program) loan limit is a cap on what you can borrow from the Australian Government to cover the costs of your tuition fees. The HELP loan limit includes all FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP. HECS-HELP debts with a census date prior to 1 January 2020 are not included in the HELP loan limit.

For 2024, the HELP loan limit is $121,844 for most students. Students can view their loan obligations by logging into myHELPbalance. You will need either your CHESSN (Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number) or USI (Unique Student Identifier) and Student ID number to log in.

Loan fee

Currently, if you get a FEE-HELP loan to pay for your undergraduate course, you will have to pay a 20 per cent loan fee* which is imposed by the Government. The loan fee does NOT apply to you if your course is postgraduate study.

(*The loan fee does not count towards your combined HELP limit).

Pay via our online payment portal

SAE accepts various payment options through the SAE Payment Portal, powered by our official payment partner – Flywire.

This portal allows you to:

  • Execute, track and confirm your payment online in a secure portal
  • Use familiar payment options from your home country, in 140+ currencies
  • Access a 24/7 multilingual customer support team for assistance
  • Save on bank fees and ensure the best exchange rates with Flywire’s best price guarantee.

How to make a payment to SAE

  • Go to SAE Payment Portal to begin your payment.
  • Select the country from where you are paying and your preferred payment method.
  • Enter your payment details and confirm your payment booking.
  • Receive instructions on how to complete the payment process, depending on your payment method.
  • Once payment is made you will have access to real-time payment tracking through email, in-app and text alerts

Watch these videos to find out more about Flywire

How Flywire works

How to make a payment using Flywire

How to make an International Bank Transfer using Flywire

Having trouble with Flywire?

Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 2 8311 4772
International Phone Numbers & FAQs:


SAE accepts full or partial upfront payment of your trimester tuition fees via our SAE Payment Portal. The amount payable will be included on your invoice each term and must be paid in full before the commencement of each trimester.

Failure to pay tuition fees by the due date will impact your ability to continue to study. Also, any unpaid tuition fees may affect international students’ confirmation of enrolment (CoE) and student visa status with the Department of Home Affairs.

Please note you will not be eligible to graduate until you have completed all required course components (see course structure information provided on the SAE website for your course) and have no outstanding debts with us.

Tuition Assurance protects the interests of current and intending students of SAE courses that lead to an accredited award in that it ensures students are given a suitable alternative course or have their course money refunded if the provider cannot provide the course for which the student has paid.

In January 2020, the Australian Government expanded the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) for international students to include similar tuition protections for domestic students accessing a FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP loan at a private education provider. For information about the tuition protection arrangements for FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP students, please visit

SAE conforms to the requirements of the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) established by the Australian Government for overseas students which is part of the ESOS (Education Service for Overseas Students) Assurance Fund established under section 45 of the ESOS Act 2000. Further information for international students, visit the Australian Government Tuition Protection Scheme (TPS) website.

You can apply for a refund of upfront tuition fees, or a re-credit of a FEE HELP in exceptional circumstances if:

  • You were unable to continue studying and withdrew from the unit(s) after the census date has passed, or
  • You were unable to successfully complete the requirements of the unit(s) to a minimum of a Pass (P).

This application is only relevant to units that have not been successfully completed, and have either a Fail, or Withdrawn grade (WK, WF or F). You cannot apply for re-credit or refund under special circumstances if you have successfully completed the unit.

Applications will not be approved where no special circumstances exist. A lack of knowledge or understanding of the FEE-HELP administrative requirements/deadlines is not considered to be a special circumstance beyond a person’s control.

It is expected if you are applying for special circumstances after withdrawing from a unit after census date that you have first explored all avenues prior to the decision to withdraw, such as applying for special consideration (that is, requesting deferred assessment, extensions etc.) or other support and assistance that SAE may be able to provide.

It is important to note that special circumstances may only be awarded where it was not possible to complete the unit(s) to a minimum of a pass level. Not completing your unit to your usual standards is not itself a reason for remission/refund.

What are Special Circumstances

Special circumstances are those that are considered to be unusual, uncommon, or abnormal.

To meet special circumstances, you need to demonstrate that your circumstances meet all of the eligibility criteria:

  • were beyond your control; and
  • did not make the full impact on you until on or after the census(s) of the unit; and
  • made it impracticable for you to complete the unit(s) and continue with your studies.
Special circumstances were beyond your control:

A situation occurs which a reasonable person would consider is not due to the person’s action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which the person is not responsible. This situation must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal. Lack of knowledge of the FEE-HELP system is not considered beyond a person’s control.

Special circumstances did not make their full impact on you until on or after the census date:

To meet these criteria the following circumstances must have occurred:

  • before the census date, but worsened after that day, or
  • before the census date, but the full effect or magnitude did not become apparent until after that date, or
  • on or after the census date.
Special circumstances made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements of the unit and continue with your studies:

To meet this criteria you will need to demonstrate it was impracticable for you to complete the requirements of the unit for the study period, because you were unable, for example:

  • undertake the necessary private study required, or attend sufficient lectures or tutorials, or other compulsory attendance requirements in order to meet the compulsory unit requirements, or
  • complete the required assessable work, or
  • sit the required examinations, or complete any other course requirements.

Failure to meet any progressive course requirements of the unit(s) prior to the special circumstances developing will not necessarily mean your special circumstances made it impracticable for you to complete the unit(s) requirements. That is, if you needed to pass all assessment items prior to your special circumstances (e.g. medical) occurred, you could not have passed the unit even if you had not fallen ill, therefore your application is likely to be declined.

Not completing your unit to your usual standard is not in itself a reason for fee remission in special circumstances.

You must be able to demonstrate you were unable to complete your studies in that unit at a minimum of a pass level.

Examples of special circumstances

Please click here to review examples of special circumstances and what they do not include.

How to Apply

To apply, you will need to complete the relevant forms.

On this form, you will need to provide a personal statement explaining your circumstances and how they meet the requirements of ‘special circumstances’ as detailed above. You will need to meet and address all three special circumstances detailed. This personal statement should include sufficient detail to allow us to make an informed decision about your application and circumstances.

You will also need to include relevant supporting documentation to support your application. Your application will be considered primarily on these supporting documents, so it is important your application includes these documents.

Depending on your reasons for applying you will need to provide varying independent supporting documentation. Please note: statements from family members are not considered independent and will not be accepted. Please read information on what types of documentation to include depending on your circumstance.

Please submit your completed application directly through to [email protected] or hand the completed documents to Student Services at your local campus.

Alternatively, you can post the completed application to:

c/o National Student Finance
SAE Creative Media Institute
373-391 Ewingsdale Road
Byron Bay, NSW, 2481

How your application will be assessed

SAE Institute will assess your application in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and associated guidelines. Your application will be considered on its merits and the supporting application must be of sufficient detail to the Student Fees Team to make an informed decision regarding your application.

We recognise that your application may include sensitive personal information. The information you provide is used only for the purpose of enabling a small central team of staff to make a decision about your application.

You will be notified of the outcome of your application within 28 days of the completed application being received by the Student Fees Team. The Fees Team may contact you to request additional supporting information if the application does not include sufficient information for the Fees Team to make a decision.

Time-frame for applications

You will need to apply for special circumstances within 12 months of the following dates:

  • The date you withdrew from the course if you withdrew from it, or
  • The end date of the relevant study period, if you didn’t withdraw.

Applications submitted more than 12 months after the relevant date will not be considered.

The Institute may consider waiving the application period, in accordance with HESA, if it is deemed not possible for the application to have been made within the 12 month period. Additional supporting documents will be required. Lack of knowledge of the debt is not considered reason itself as to why you could not submit an application.

What supporting documentation to include

It is most important to provide independent supporting documentation to support your application. It is not sufficient to provide only a personal statement outlining your special circumstances.

Please note, SAE Institute may contact any professional authority who has supported your application, to verify any information they have provided.

Your application, personal statement, and any supporting documents must be in English. An official translation in English must be included with your application for any supporting documentation issued in another language.

Please find the list of supporting documentation here.

Outcomes of the Application Process

You will be notified of the outcome of your application within 28 calendar days of the date the application was received by SAE Institute. The Notice of Decision will be sent to your student email and contain the following:

  • the outcome of your application;
  • reasons for the decision;
  • how to apply for a review (if the application is refused).
Approved Applications

If your fee remission is approved the process applied for the re-crediting or remission of the financial liability will depend on your fee type and the method of payment used.

FEE-HELP Loan Students: Students who incurred a FEE-HELP debt will have their debt removed (including any amounts incurred due to indexation) and their FEE-HELP balance re-credited. Students may check if the debt has been cancelled by logging into myUniAssist with your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN). You can find your CHESSN on your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN).

You will be provided with an amended Commonwealth Assistance Notice for the relevant study period.

Upfront Fee Paying Students: Students who have paid tuition fees upfront will have this amount credited to their student account. Where a student requires a refund of monies rather than a credit towards future study, the student will need to complete the Refund Application Form.

Rejected Applications and Appeals

If your application is rejected (i.e. we do not refund your FEE-HELP) and you’re not satisfied with the decision, you may apply for a review of the decision within 28 calendar days after you first received the decision on your application.

You will need to send your appeal c/o Director of Finance, to [email protected] and you will need to include the following information:

  • Your grounds for requesting a reconsideration of the decision; and
  • Any additional supporting documentation you may wish to include in support of your appeal

We will advise you in writing of the receipt of the appeal. Your request will be reviewed by an independent Senior Officer of the Institute.

You will usually be notified of a decision within 28 days (in most cases) of the result of your appeal.

If your appeal application outcome is reviewed and you’re still dissatisfied, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a further review of the decision (this does not apply to full fee-paying students or international students). This must be lodged with the AAT within 28 days of receiving the notice of the decision.

Please find the following fees applicable for fines, replacement testamur and Overseas Student Health Cover.

Replacement Testamur (costs vary based on delivery method:-

  • Regular Post within Australia – $65*
  • International Post outside Australia – $80*
  • Collect from Campus – $50*

Library Fines – Fines will vary based on the condition of the returned items and days overdue. Visit here for more details.

Overseas Student Health Cover – Refer to SAE International Course Guide

*Non-tuition (Administration) Fees are subject to change


The Student Services and Amenities Fee is a Commonwealth Government legislated fee charged by many higher education providers across Australia to help fund support services for students of a non-academic nature, including recreational activities, accommodation, community events, student publications, and career and employment advice.


The SSAF funding model is designed to achieve maximum benefit for the most students. It allows SAE to use the collective contributions to fund as many programs as possible to support different students with a variety of needs across the entire student cohort, such as:

  • Counselling services
  • Careers and leadership development and advice
  • Health and wellbeing services and promotion
  • Helping secure student accommodation
  • International Support
  • IT services
  • Financial support
  • Food and beverage provision at college events
  • Orientation
  • Student amenities
  • Student advocacy and legal services
  • Student communications
  • Student services, support, activities and events
  • Supporting sporting, recreational and cultural activities

All enrolled SAE students will pay the SSAF, however there are some exceptions:

  • Students on 100% scholarships
  • Navitas staff
  • Students who began studying before January 2012
  • Students in VET, non-award courses, and short courses (up to 16 weeks’ coursework)

Note: This exemption list may be amended in future trimesters.

The 2024 Student Services and Administration fee for SAE is up to $326 for full-time students. The fee will be charged per trimester at:

  • $108.00 for full-time students (FT = study load of 0.25 EFTSL and above)
  • $81.00 for part-time students (PT = a study load below 0.25 EFTSL)

Liability for the SSAF is based on enrolled study load as at each census date.

The SSAF will be a compulsory charge for all students enrolled in a higher education course.

The payment date or the date that the debt is incurred for SSAF is on census date, however cannot be earlier than the last date students are able to enrol in a course. Eligible students who wish to access SA-HELP must complete a ‘Request for SA-HELP’ form on or before the date payable. Contact Student Services for more information about accessing this form. SSAF can be invoiced before census date but liability is incurred as of census date.

The maximum annual SSAF that can be charged is determined by the Commonwealth Government. This is currently up to $326 for a full-time student. Students studying on a part time basis cannot be charged more than 75% of the maximum amount that the students studying on a full-time basis are charged. The fee may be indexed annually.

The SSAF can be paid via up front or by deferring the fee.

Option 1: Pay upfront

If you are a domestic student, we will send you an invoice each trimester that requires you to pay the fee by that trimester’s census date, with a refund provided to any student who withdraws prior to census date.

Option 2: Defer your fees through SA-HELP

Eligible students who are enrolled in an award course may choose to defer part, or all, of their fees through SA-HELP. All other students must pay their fees upfront, directly to SAE.

To defer the SSAF you need to complete a ‘Request for SA-HELP Loan’ form. Students who use SA-HELP will be required to pay their SSAF debt through the tax system when they earn above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment, in the same way that FEE-HELP works. Request for SA-HELP Loan forms are available from Student Services.

Remember, if you are eligible and are going to defer your SSAF, you need to do this before the required payment date.

When you haven’t paid or deferred your SSAF payment, you can expect to receive reminder notifications following the SSAF deadline at Census. The SSAF is a compulsory charge – if you have not paid your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) instalment invoice by the payment due date penalties will apply as outlined in the Tuition Fee and Refund Policy.

Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) Proposed Spend 2024

We have spoken to our students, and they have told us how they would most like to see their SSAF dollars spent.

All students will continue to have the opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process for future SSAF spending, including through democratically elected student representatives from Trimester 1, 2024.

We have published details of these priorities below.

A pie chart outlining the Student Services & Amenities Fee

Providing career advising services and industry engagement measures to help students and graduates understand career options and access employment opportunities. These services include individual support and workshops from careers advisors, creation and implementation of employment strategies, online master classes, in-person and online industry networking opportunities, and industry partnerships.

Additional one-on-one and group learning services, including peer programs, to help students develop and improve their core academic and study skills.

Increased dedicated support for students’ wellbeing, including additional professional counselling services, and advice and activities to foster wellbeing.

More support to enhance a range of community, cultural, social and creative student events, and funding for student-led initiatives and activities.

SSAF Help & Support

Frequently asked questions

Click the link below for full list of SSAF FAQs.

Services provided through the SSAF funding are made available to all SAE students, and it is up to each individual student to choose their level of engagement with these services and activities.

When you haven’t paid or deferred your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) payment, you can expect to receive reminder notifications following the SSAF payment deadline. SAE reserves the right to withhold your grades or restrict your enrolment in future sessions if you have any unpaid SSAF fees.

The SSAF model allows funding to areas which would not normally be allocated through operational costs or cannot be funded due to legislation or education guidelines It allows SAE to allocate funding to services, facilities and student-focused initiatives that would otherwise be unsupported or unable to go ahead.

Your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is not covered under FEE-HELP. However, eligible students may apply for SA-HELP to pay for all or part of the SSAF.

Contact Us

For more information about the SSAF call 1300 136 933, or email [email protected].

Have Your Say

We welcome and encourage feedback from students on our SSAF processes. Have your say by emailing us at [email protected].

Ready to Apply?

Fill in the form and an SAE advisor will be in touch to help you through the application process.