According to the new federal government’s budget released last month, the discount students get when they pay their university fees upfront will be reduced from 20% to 10%. There  are about 17 per cent of Commonwealth-supported university students paid their fees upfront and in full in 2009. This figure will likely to be halved, or about 75,000 students after the changes were made, a Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations official says.

The budget aims to find savings to offset new spending measures. Their argument is that well-off university
students who can afford to pay their fees upfront do not need that much discount. When I was a student,
I always paid my HECS in lump sums of $500+ to get the 20% discount but I am far from wealthy.
And many of my friends did the same by borrowing money from their parents and working part time. Personally I think it will disadvantage lots of students, but if I were still studying I would still pay the fees upfront, 10% discount is still better than nothing.

Will the changes affect your decision whether you pay HECS upfront or not? Have your say by posting a comment below.

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