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Going to university costs a lot of money. And while your tuition fees might be covered by the Australian government – until you start working and paying them back – there are other things you have to pay for, like other fees, text books and living expenses.

It really helps to have a budget so you know what expenses you'll have and what income you'll have to cover these. It also helps if you know where to look for savings.

How to create a budget

The best way to take control of your finances is to do a budget. If you struggle to know where your money is coming from and going to you might find this MoneySmart tool handy.

The MoneySmart website has loads of tips and tools to make your budget stretch further. Remember to put aside some savings for large expenses, such as textbooks at the beginning of each semester.

MoneySmart tool

Can I get a scholarship?

There's a popular misconception around scholarships and who is awarded them.

Yes, they go to really bright people who've achieved great results as a student.

But they also go to plenty of other people for all sorts of reasons.

Scholarships are available to eligible domestic students as well as international students.

So don't rule out a scholarship as a way to help your budget along. We award many of them each year, some from public donors and some from our university.

Find a scholarship

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander scholarships

ECU has scholarships that provide financial support for you if you're an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander student, including:

NOTE: Please check dates and eligibility guidelines carefully, as they will differ for each scholarship.

If you want to talk to us about scholarships please email

You can also check out the Aspiration Initiative, a website providing information about scholarships and going to university.

Related articles

Paying your tuition fees

There are different university fees, due dates and ways to pay them for international and domestic students.

Read More

Textbooks and other resources

Get info on which textbooks you need, where to buy or borrow them online or on-campus, and how to buy or sell second-hand textbooks.

Read More


What does
that mean?
Here's a quick guide to some of the things we mention during the Preparing stage.
  • SA-HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay their Student Services and Amenities Fee. Eligible students can choose to defer all or part of the fee.

    If you opt to defer payment of the fee on an SA-HELP loan, the debt will be repaid through the Australian Taxation Office with your Accumulated HELP debt. Your Accumulated HELP debt includes any HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP debt you may have incurred for your tuition fees.

    Also see 'Student Services and Amenities Fee'.

  • The Student Guild is run by students for students just like you. You automatically become a member of the Guild when you enrol – and it's free.

    Your Student Guild ensures that the University Administration is aware of student concerns and issues, such as protecting student rights, and offers assistance, services and support throughout your university life.

    The Guild also runs social and cultural events on campus for all members.

    More: ECU Student Guild

  • The Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is a compulsory annual fee approved by the Australian Government to provide student services and amenities, beyond those required for ECU's academic work. This includes services like health, counselling, sport and recreation, social clubs and societies, student welfare, careers advice, student advocacy and more. In 2019, the fee is $303.00 per year for full-time on-campus students.

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