UNIQUE STUDENT NUMBER (USI)
If you are undertaking a higher education qualification, you need a USI in order to receive FEE-HELP, as well as to obtain your qualification on graduation. A USI – Unique Student Identifier is your individual education identifier for life. It also creates an online record of your training attainments in Australia.
A USI is for life. You only have to create it once.
Amendments were made in June 2020 to the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA).
- From 1 January 2021, it is compulsory for new students commencing in 2021 to apply for and obtain a Unique Student Identifier (USI) in order to be eligible for Commonwealth assistance (Commonwealth supported place (CSP) and/or HELP loan).
- The Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) will be gradually decommissioned and replaced by the USI.
If you have previously completed any VET or TAFE study, you may already have a USI. Check if you have one now.
Who will need a USI
A new student in 2021
From 1 January 2021, new higher education students will need a Unique Student Identifier (USI) in order to be eligible for Commonwealth assistance (Commonwealth supported place (CSP) and/or HELP loan). It will be a mandatory field on the electronic Commonwealth assistance form (eCAF) for new students.
Student graduating in 2023
If you intend to complete your degree at the end of 2022 and graduate in 2023, you will need a USI to receive your degree.
International students in Australia (an onshore international student)
International students studying in Australia with the Australian College of Christian Studies will need a USI
All international students in Australia will be issued with an Australian Visa. This will allow them to use their passport with an Australian visa as a form of ID when creating their USI.
Students from New Zealand will not be able to create a USI using their New Zealand passport until their passport has been registered with the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
Australian students offshore
Australian students studying offshore with the Australian College of Christian Studies will need a USI.
Who will not need a USI
International students studying offshore
International students studying offshore with the Australian College of Christian Studies do not need a USI. This also applies to New Zealand citizens.
How to get a USI
You can apply for a USI at any time. You will need at least one form of valid identification and about five minutes to create one.
When to get a USI
You may be asked to provide your USI at enrolment, so we recommend applying for one, or retrieving your existing one, as soon as possible.