Financing your studies at SAE

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20 Dec 2016

financing your study HERO 1



Financing your studies at SAE

20 Dec 2016

Financing study can sometimes be a stressful issue to tackle when considering higher education. Whether you are a school leaver wanting to live in the city, or a career-changer wanting to realise your dream – investing in your studies is a big choice.

The Japanese call it "Kaizen", a process of continual improvement, but we like to think of it as a personal investment. We invest in our families, our friends, our homes, cars, holidays and playtime. Higher education is another investment that requires careful consideration.

We understand the decision is not to be made lightly, so we have devised this guide to offer some suggestions to get you thinking seriously about investing in your future career.

Picture your goal

Having a clear goal of what you would like to gain during your studies can help you commit to a plan. Would you like to gain industry-level knowledge, create a portfolio that you could not produce on your own and network with a variety of creative media professionals using world-class tools and equipment? Maybe you want more confidence in your skills to pursue your goals and promote yourself? Perhaps you would like to start your own company after studies and become well-known and respected in your creative vocation?

Creating clear and definitive goals will help keep in keeping you focused, and allow you to make choices that support your financial status.

An average university student in Australia will spend about $400 a week on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transport and telephone. Many of these students are at university full-time.

Average weekly cost of living

Rolling back

If you’re looking at making a career-change, you may need to plan out how this will actually - and this means getting your finances in order. Pay off that credit card; consider liquidating an asset like a car (for a scooter, push bike, public transport) or look at putting aside some savings. You may want to plan this a year in advance.

Status report

For those considering switching careers, returning to study can mean a shift in 'social status' – particularly among your peers. Being a student can be a humbling experience; sure, you may be unable to compete in financial terms, but you're taking that first step to living out your dreams, and that is a life goal many would admire.

Develop a budget


There are some fantastic apps and tools available online to help get your head around the costs involved with study vs life expenses.  Here are just a few:

SAE Courses

Mixing up delivery modes

At SAE Institute, you can fast-track your qualification.  If you choose to study full time you can complete a diploma in 12 months, or a bachelor degree in 2 years.

A typical year of SAE study consist of three Trimesters, instead of the typical 2 Semesters. Each of the three trimesters is roughly broken down into 13-weeks. Check out our Academic Calendar page to see more. Our programs are designed to fast-track the completion of your chosen qualification, to get you career-ready. Faster.

SAE Academic Calendar

Full Time study

A full time load includes 4 classes of face-to-face learning. Depending on your timetable, this can occur over 2-4 days. Many students often have 2 or 3 days of classes a week as a full time SAE student.

Your 'free' weekdays can be used to collaborate with students on group work, have access to studios and complete assignments or go out on loation. Many students juggle studying part time or casual jobs successfully around a full time study schedule.

Part Time study

If you require more time to balance work and study or other responsibilities, you can choose to reduce the number of units or classes in your Trimester.

By choosing to study less than 4 units, you can significantly reduce your on-campus contact time and project development time. This will adjust the completion date of the qualification, but for many students this option works perfectly into their life and commitments.

In 2015, 29% of students in higher education chose part-time study.*

Percentage of students studying Part Time at University in Australia

This trend highlights the needs out there for a work vs study balance so people can afford their living and study expenses. 

Develop a routine

You need to approach study as an extension of your job - putting in a solid day, arriving on campus at 9am and leaving later in the day will give you the advantage.

SAE campuses offer an incredible variety of facilities and you can make the most of your time by taking advantage of all these resources at your fingertips – including lecturers and networking with your students.

Project-based learning is a strong focus of SAE, so working outside of class time is necessary to build that body of work and gain professional skills and knowledge.

Scheduling your week efficiently to factor in time for personal, work and study is key to maintaining a healthy work/ life/study balance.

For more tips on Study Planning, check out our helpful Study Planner resource here:


If you have elected to study a Postgraduate, Bachelor, Associate Degree or Diploma, you could be eligible for FEE HELP from the Australian Government. If you qualify, the Aussie Government pays for your full tuition fees. You can get down to the business of studying faster – without any upfront costs. You will acquire a debt, which can be repaid through the Australian Taxation Office when you start earning over a certain amount.

FEE-HELP Infographic

Check out the Study Assist Australian Government page for more information:

VET Student Loans (Adelaide students only)

VET Student Loans is a Government loan scheme to provide students access to quality higher-level VET qualifications.

SAE's Diploma programs in Adelaide are approved under this system and applies to all eligible domestic students.

For more information on the VET Student Loan scheme, visit these links:

For more information, visit check out our Fees and Payment page.

Find out more information

If you would like to have a chat with a Course Advisor about financing your study and what loan schemes you may qualify for, free call SAE on 1 800 723 338.

Alternatively for Domestic students, email:

For International students, email: