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.

2023 SAE Course Fee Schedule

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

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 $48,361 per year (as per the 2022/23 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.
  • maintain a 50% pass rate for your units*

*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 2023, the HELP loan limit is $113,028 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).

There are a few ways to pay for student fees and charges;

Australian payments:

Visa or MasterCard

Online payments can be made by Visa/MasterCard via the Student Portal.
To make a payment first log into the Student Portal.

  1. Click on the Finance Tile
  2. View Payment Options
  3. Follow the option of ‘Pay Now’ under Credit Card

Alternatively, payments can be made by credit card over the phone or in-person by contacting your local campus.


Most financial institutions allow you to pay via BPAY using phone or internet banking. For more information, visit

Please allow 2-3 business days for the payment to clear.

BPAY reference details are available on your tax invoice, please always refer to this document for the most up-to-date details for your Billpay code and customer reference number.

This payment will not incur a surcharge.

International payments (overseas payments):

You can pay your fees from your overseas bank account via Convera (see below).

Please note, if you pay from a bank account outside Australia, it can take more than 7 business days for your payment to clear. If your payment due date is soon, we recommend paying online via VISA or MasterCard.


SAE has partnered with Convera to offer you a simple and secure way to pay your fees online. Convera’s platform is trusted by 800+ institutions worldwide to enable payments in 140+ currencies across 200+ countries and territories.

To make a payment via Convera, please visit!

Please use your student ID and/or customer reference number (CRN) on your invoice or on your Letter of Offer.

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 Student 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 scholarships
  • Navitas staff
  • Students who began studying before January 2012
  • Students from VET and other non-award courses
  • International students already studying at SAE who enrolled before 1 October 2023

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.

SSAF Help & Support

Frequently asked questions

Click the link below for full list of SSAF FAQs.

When you attend university or an approved higher education provider, you can get a FEE-HELP* loan to pay all or part of your tuition fees.

A FEE-HELP loan does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or text books.

You can borrow up to the combined HELP loan limit to pay your tuition fees. This includes all FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans and any HECS-HELP loans incurred from 1 January 2020. For 2021, the HELP loan limit is $108,232.

* Terms and conditions apply. For more information regarding FEE-HELP please refer to

Students who are well organised find casual or part-time work most manageable.

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].

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