Commonwealth assistance form (eCAF)

Find out about the different types of eCAFs and how to submit yours.

An electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) is an online form that all domestic students who have been offered Commonwealth assistance must complete in order to receive the assistance offered.

Commonwealth assistance may include a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), or help to pay for your study through a HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or SA-HELP loan, or a VET Student Loan (VSL). A seperate eCAF must be submitted for each type of assistance.

eCAF types

Request for a Commonwealth supported place and a HECS-HELP loan

Completion: compulsory for all students commencing studies in a CSP
Deadline: payment due date in your first semester of study

IMPORTANT: If you do not complete the CSP by your first semester census date you will not be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place and your enrolment will be cancelled as required under the Higher Education Support Act 2003. Find out more on our CSP eCAF page.

Request for SA-HELP loan

Completion: domestic HELP eligible students who want to defer payment of their Student Services & Amenities Fee (SSAF) via a SA-HELP loan
Deadline: payment due date of the semester you want to start your SA-HELP loan

If you do not submit the SA-HELP request by the semester payment due date you will be required to make upfront payment of your SSAF for that semester.

Request for FEE-HELP loan

Completion: domestic full fee-paying students who are HELP eligible and want to defer payment of their tuition fees via a FEE-HELP loan
Deadline: payment due date of the semester you want to start your FEE-HELP loan

If you do not submit the FEE-HELP request by the semester payment due date you will be required to make upfront payment of your tuition fees for that semester.

Request for VET Student Loan (VSL)

Completion: students enrolled in an approved course at diploma level or above who are eligible for and want to defer payment of their tuition fees via a VET Student Loan
Deadline: Census Date you want to start your VET Student Loan

How to submit your eCAF

After you accept your offer from Federation University you will be sent an email from the eCAF system with a passkey to access and submit your form via the government portal. In most cases it will take 10-15 minutes to receive the email invitation from the Government system.

Follow the steps below and complete a separate eCAF for each type of Commonwealth assistance you are eligible for. 

You’ll receive a separate passkey for each eCAF type. For example, if you are eligible for both HECS-HELP and SA-HELP, you’ll receive a separate passkey for each, unique to each eCAF.

Your eCAF invitation and passkey expires 12 weeks after it was issued so it's important to complete your eCAF as soon as possible after accepting your offer.

Step 1. Check your email to find your invitation and passkey

You’ll receive an invitation email from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment containing a passkey, link and steps to complete your electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form.

You’ll receive a separate passkey for each eCAF type. For example, if you are eligible for both HECS-HELP and SA-HELP, you’ll receive a separate passkey for each, unique to each eCAF.

If you’re unable to locate your email, you can:

  • Search your inbox for sender ecafsystem@education.gov.au
  • Check your Junk/Spam folder
  • Request a new eCAF email/s via the Enquiry and Application Portal

Step 2.  Login into the Government eCAF portal

You will need to use the unique passkey and your date of birth to log into the Government eCAF portal.

Step 3. Complete your eCAF

As eCAFs are legal documents the information you provide in your eCAF must match the details held by Federation University. You can view these details on your my Student Centre under 'Personal Information'.

Before you begin, please make sure you have the following details on hand:

Your Unique Student Identifier (USI)

You must supply your Unique Student Identifier (USI) to the University.  A USI is a reference number made up of a combination of ten numbers and letters and connects your enrolment information to your details. Providing your USI to your university is a government requirement.

Visit the Government USI website to check whether you already have a USI and if not you can apply for one. The process is simple and online, you will just need some form of ID.

Your tax file number (if applying for a HELP loan)

You must have a tax file number (TFN) before you can apply for a HELP loan. You need to provide a TFN if you wish to apply for a HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, SA-HELP or VET Student Loan, but not if you’re paying your fees upfront.

If you don’t have a TFN, you should complete your eCAF without one but apply for a TFN straight away. You will need to send your TFN or proof you’ve applied for one before census date or you won’t be eligible for a loan. It can take 28 days for a TFN to be issued depending on how you applied.

Read through the information carefully, answering any applicable questions and confirming the pre-populated information.

Once you have completed the form and checked the information is correct, select Submit to finalise your eCAF request.

Step 4. Confirm your eCAF submission has been received

Once you've submitted your eCAF via the government portal you’ll receive an email confirming your personal details, course and fee payment information.

If you can't see the confirmation email, check your junk mail or spam folder. You can also add ecafsystem@education.gov.au to your safe sender list to ensure the confirmation email arrives in your inbox.

FAQs

Yes, you still need to complete a Request for Commonwealth Supported Place and HECS-HELP loan eCAF if you are a new student enrolling into a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), regardless of whether you will be paying your Student Contribution upfront or via a HECS-HELP loan.

The eCAF confirms to the Australian Government that you would like to take up a government subsidy in the form of a Commonwealth Supported Place. This is where the Australian Government pays part of your fees. This part is a subsidy, not a loan, and you don't have to pay it back. The subsidy does not cover the entire cost of your study. The remaining portion is called the Student Contribution Amount, the payment of which you are liable.

By completing your eCAF you are accepting the Commonwealth Supported Place and acknowledging your financial liability for your Student Contribution. You may choose to pay your Student Contribution upfront or apply for a HECS-HELP loan

No, you only need to complete an eCAF/s once for each program, unless you would like to change the way that you pay. You must complete a new eCAF/s for each type of assistance you are eligible for when accepting a place in a new program.

Yes, if you would like to change the way that you pay for your fees, for example you would like to apply for a HECS-HELP loan after previously paying upfront, you must complete a new eCAF.

Request a new eCAF email and passkey via our Enquiry and Application Portal.

  1. Go to the Enquiry and Application Portal and Submit a Question.
  2. Select Category 'Fees & Charges', Sub-category 'Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)'
  3. Detail your request for new eCAF email/s to be generated, including the name of the eCAF from the list above
  4. Click 'Submit your question'.

Our team will trigger the eCAF system to regenerate your email/s, including a new unique passkey. Add ecafsystem@education.gov.au as a Safe/Recognised Sender once your request is submitted so that you receive the regenerated email/s. We'll also let you know and close your enquiry when your request is processed.

There are three types of eCAF covering CSP and HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, and SA-HELP. Most domestic students will need to complete one or more. If you have already completed an eCAF but are being asked to do another, then you have done one for which you are eligible but not the other.

When you accept your offer an eCAF email and unique passkey will be automatically generated for each type of assistance you are eligible for by the eCAF system. If you have not received an email or cannot find it in your inbox:

  1. Search your inbox for Sender ecafsystem@education.gov.au
  2. Check your Junk/Spam folder, particularly for the date that you accepted your offer
  3. Check that your personal email address is correct in myStudentCentre.
    • Your eCAF email/s will be sent to the personal email address you included in your application. This will be listed as the 'Home' email address in myStudentCentre.
    • You can check or change your 'Home' email address by logging in to myStudentCentre using your Student ID and password. From the homepage click the 'Personal Information' tile and select 'Contact Details' from the menu.
    • If your email is incorrect, use our instructions here to update it and then request that your eCAF email/s be resent via the process below.
  4. Request a new eCAF email/s via our Enquiry and Application Portal.
    • If you changed your email, or still can't find your eCAF email/s, you must request that these be regenerated.
    • Go to the Enquiry and Application Portal and login in using your email address
    • Select Category 'Fees & Charges', Sub-category 'Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)' > add your request > and Click 'Submit your question'.
    • Our team will trigger the eCAF system to regenerate your email/s, including a new unique passkey.
    • Add ecafsystem@education.gov.au as a Safe/Recognised Sender once your request is submitted so that you receive the regenerated email/s. We'll also let you know and close your enquiry when your request is processed. and login in using your email address

Your eCAF email/s will be sent to the email address you used when submitting your application. This will be listed as the 'Home' email address in myStudentCentre. If you have changed emails since submitting your application you will need to update your email in myStudentCentre, and then request a new eCAF email be generated.

Update your 'Home' email address

  1. Login to myStudentCentre using your Student ID and password.
  2. From the homepage click the 'Personal Information' tile and select 'Contact Details' from the menu.
  3. Change your 'Home' email using the instructions here

Request a new eCAF email/s via our Enquiry and Application Portal.

  1. Go to the Enquiry and Application Portal and Submit a Question.
  2. Select Category 'Fees & Charges', Sub-category 'Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)'
  3. Detail your request for new eCAF email/s to be generated
  4. Click 'Submit your question'.

Our team will trigger the eCAF system to regenerate your email/s, including a new unique passkey. Add ecafsystem@education.gov.au as a Safe/Recognised Sender once your request is submitted so that you receive the regenerated email/s. We'll also let you know and close your enquiry when your request is processed.

Your eCAF passkey expires 12 weeks after it was issued so it's important to complete your eCAF/s as soon as possible after accepting your offer. You don't need to be enrolled to complete your eCAF/s.

If your passkey has expired, request a new eCAF email/s via our Enquiry and Application Portal.

  1. Go to the Enquiry and Application Portal and Submit a Question.
  2. Select Category 'Fees & Charges', Sub-category 'Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)'
  3. Detail your request for new eCAF email/s to be generated
  4. Click 'Submit your question'.

Our team will trigger the eCAF system to regenerate your email/s, including a new unique passkey. Add ecafsystem@education.gov.au as a Safe/Recognised Sender once your request is submitted so that you receive the regenerated email/s. We'll also let you know and close your enquiry when your request is processed.

If your passkey was generated within the last 12 weeks, but you cannot login with passkey and date of birth, your date of birth may be incorrect.

Check your date of birth in my Student Centre

  1. Login to my Student Centre using your Student ID and password.
  2. From the homepage click the 'Personal Information' tile and select 'Personal Details' from the menu.

Update your date of birth:

  1. Login to the Enquiry and Application Portal using your Student ID
  2. From the homepage select 'Ask a question (i.e. enquire)', then  'Ask a question related to my studies (past or current students)'
  3. Select Category 'Fees & Charges', Sub-category 'Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)'
  4. Detail your request to change your date of birth
  5. Click 'Submit your question'.
  6. On the next page, submit supporting documentation including a copy of your driver's license, passport or birth certificate showing your correct date of birth.

Once your details are correct, request a new eCAF email/s and passkey/s:

  1. Login to the Enquiry and Application Portal using your Student ID
  2. From the homepage select 'Ask a question (i.e. enquire)', then  'Ask a question related to my studies (past or current students)'
  3. Select Category 'Fees & Charges', Sub-category 'Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)'
  4. Detail that your date of birth has been updated and request for new eCAF email/s to be generated
  5. Click 'Submit your question'.

Our team will update your information in the eCAF portal to match the information you provided and trigger the eCAF system to regenerate your email/s, including a new unique passkey. Add ecafsystem@education.gov.au as a Safe/Recognised Sender once your request is submitted so that you receive the regenerated email/s. We'll also let you know and close your enquiry when your request is processed.

To successfully submit your eCAF, the information you provide in your eCAF must match the details you give to Federation University. If the details held by Federation University are incorrect, they must be corrected in order to submit your eCAF.

Update your addresses, phone numbers, email addresses in my Student Centre

  1. Login to my Student Centre using your Student ID and password.
  2. From the homepage click the 'Personal Information' tile and select 'Contact Details' from the menu.
  3. Change your 'Home' email using the instructions here.

Update your 'Primary' and 'Degree' name

  1. Complete our Amend your personal details form (form must be submitted via the Enquiry and Application Portal not email)
  2. Login to the Enquiry and Application Portal using your Student ID
  3. From the homepage select 'Ask a question (i.e. enquire)', then  'Ask a question related to my studies (past or current students)'
  4. Select Category 'General - information', Sub-category 'Other'
  5. Detail your request to change your name
  6. Click 'Submit your question'
  7. On the next page, submit supporting documentation including a driver's license, passport or certificate

Once your details are correct, request a new eCAF email/s and passkey/s:

  1. Login to the Enquiry and Application Portal using your Student ID
  2. From the homepage select 'Ask a question (i.e. enquire)', then  'Ask a question related to my studies (past or current students)'
  3. Select Category 'Fees & Charges', Sub-category 'Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)'
  4. Detail your request for new eCAF email/s to be generated
  5. Click 'Submit your question'