What is a Commonwealth Supported Place?

If you’re looking at uni courses, one of the terms you’ve probably come across is Commonwealth Supported Place (or CSP). But what actually is a CSP, and what does it mean for you?


What are CSPs?


Every degree at every uni has a set amount of students they can let in. These are known as places. For a lot of degrees, places are uncapped (meaning anyone who applies and meets the requirements will get a place). For some, particularly things like medicine and nursing, places are capped to a certain number.

A Commonwealth Supported Place is just a certain type of place. If you are offered a CSP, it means that the government will subsidise some of the cost of your degree. This means it’s cheaper for you to go to uni (great, right?).

Whatever amount is left over after the government subsidy is known as your Student Contribution. You can either pay this amount upfront, or more commonly, defer it to a HECS-HELP loan.


How do I know if I’m eligible for a CSP?


Generally, any domestic student applying for an undergraduate course in Australia is eligible for a CSP. All you need is a Unique Student Identifier (USI).

International students are not eligible for CSPs. Many postgraduate courses also do not offer CSPs. If you’re not eligible for a CSP, you will need to pay the full course fee. You can still defer this to a loan known as FEE-HELP.


How do I know if a course offers CSPs?


You can see if a course offers CSPs by looking at the details on the university’s website, through a TAC, or on Course Seeker. For example, if we look at the Bachelor of Business from CQUni, we can see that they only offer CSPs to domestic students.

There isn’t anything special you need to do to apply for a CSP – just apply through a TAC or direct to the uni like you usually would.

As a general rule, almost all universities in Australia will offer CSPs to domestic students studying undergraduate courses. But be sure to carefully check the fee information on your chosen course to make sure.


Where can I find out more?


You can read more about Commonwealth Supported Places here.