Services & amenities fee

What is SSAF?

On 11 October 2011, the Australian Parliament passed legislation allowing universities and other higher education providers to charge a fee for student services and amenities of a non-academic nature. This fee is known as the student services and amenities fee (SSAF).

The fee may be spent by higher education providers on items such as sporting and recreational activities, employment and career advice, childcare, financial advice and food services.

All student cohorts must pay the SSAF, though in some instances a government-funded loan scheme, called SA-HELP, will be available, enabling eligible students to defer payment. Students paying the SA fee up-front must pay by the standard tuition fee payment deadlines.

For the purposes of the services and amenities fee, the academic year is divided into two halves.

  • The first half of the year includes the summer session, first semester and autumn session.
  • The second half of the year includes the winter session, second semester and spring session.

How much is SSAF?

The SSAF amount students are required to pay depends on their study load.

  • Full-time is equal to 18 units or greater in a half-year period.
  • Part-time is equal to less than 18 units in a half-year period.

2024 fee

  • $351.00 for full-time students
  • $175.50 for part-time students

Example scenario 1

If Mary enrols in 24 units in first semester 2024 she will be required to pay $175.50. If she then enrols in 24 units in second semester she will be required to pay another $175.50. This totals $351.00 for the year.

Example scenario 2

If Mary enrols in 6 units in summer session 2024 she would be required to pay $87.75 because she is part-time. If she then enrolled in an additional 18 units in first semester 2024 Mary would be required to pay another $87.75 making a total of $175.50 for summer session and semester one combined because she is now full-time.

Example scenario 3

If Mary was to enrol in 6 units in summer session 2024 she would be required to pay $87.75. If she then enrolled in an additional 6 units in first semester 2024 Mary would still be part-time so she wouldn't be required to pay anything further. However, if Mary was to then enrol in 6 units for autumn session 2024 she would then be required to pay another $87.75 because she would now be considered to be full-time.

Who is exempt from paying it?

The following student groups are exempt from paying the SSAF:

  • Students enrolled in transnational offshore programs;
  • inbound exchange students;
  • higher degree research students who submit within January for first semester and July for second semester;
  • higher degree research students who are on an extension of program after completing four years and are offshore;
  • all cross-institutional inbound students;
  • students enrolled the Diploma of Studies with concurrent full-time enrolment at a secondary school or secondary college;
  • students enrolled in ANU courses through Open Universities Australia (OUA).

Students enrolled in following programs are exempt from paying the SSAF:


  • 1006  ANU Summer Research Scholarship Program
  • 2105  Diploma of Studies
  • 7835  Master of Environmental Management and Development  - Online

How does the University decide how to allocate SSAF?

The University undergoes consultation with the student body each year through a survey and the Student Services Council (SSC) to evaluate how they would like to see SSAF revenue allocated across different service areas. 

The University releases a survey to students in quarter 3 of each year to gather data to inform service providers in their decision-making regarding programs and services to run in the following year.

The SSC was established to improve the administration and decision-making that reflects the student body interest. The SSC plays an advisory role on all matters pertaining to the SSAF, its allocation and use across different services provided to the ANU Students; and it plays a key role in managing SSAF reporting and acquittals. The SSC recommends expenditure to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

The 2024 allocation

Beginning in 2024 the University will be moving to a three-year funding cycle for service providers. This model will provide the teams and organisations with a fixed percentage of SSAF funding that will remain the same across the three-year period.

In October 2023, each service provider met with the Director, University Experience who advised them of their percentage allocation and an estimated value based on a 3% increase of total SSAF funds for 2023. 

The service providers received the data and analysis from the student survey that was released to students in August 2023 and feedback from the SSC to inform their funding proposals and the programs and services they should look to prioritise in 2024.

Service providers to receive funding2024 percentage2024 allocation2023 percentage2023 allocation
ANU Sport and Recreation20%


Student services teams11.34%$660,832.3110.3%$570,638.06
Woroni Media4%$233,097.824%$226,310
ANU Observer2%$116,548.912%$113,115

Have a question/comment about SSAF?

Please email

FAQs about the SSAF

Why is SSAF allocated to different service providers?

The SSAF is paid by nearly all students and each have their own views and needs. Some may use a lot of services and support one year and less the next - by combining the SSAF and allocating it to a group of service providers we are able to offer many services to meet needs, and offer them by different groups each speaking to different student cohorts or groups, and to different priorities/interests throughout their time at ANU.

Why doesn't the survey just let me give my money to a program?

There are well over 100 programs, clubs, functions, events, and services funded by your SSAF. The benefit of the SSAF funding model is to use the contributions of many to fund as many programs as possible to support different students who have different needs.

Many of SSAF funded services and programs are 'silent' - you don't realise they are there until you need them. The SSAF model allows funding to areas which cannot be funded through centralised funding due to legislation or education guidelines (such as food, legal advice, media outlets).

Will the survey be published?

Once the data gathered from the 2023 survey has been compiled it will be published through this webpage. If the response rate is too low and it could be reasonable to identify a student or small group of students from the survey, we will choose to not publish the data and advise of this outcome on the website.

How do service providers develop their budgets?

The Budgets will need to:

  • Be developed in line with the legislation and guidelines for the use of SSAF (
  • Demonstrate the programs and services which will be available to students, as well as estimates of the number of students or contacts for each service/program (adjusted based on the type of service/program being offered).
  • Demonstrate how the Budget has been informed by the student feedback received through the survey. Organisations are encouraged to provide details of how their own data (e.g. surveys, feedback on programs) has informed their budget development.
  • Be provided to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, for review within 30 days of the advice of budget allocation to inform the preparation of a contract or unit performance agreement.
  • Throughout the year service providers will report performance against their budget on a quarterly basis, advising of any shifts in programs or services.

This process has been adopted because it reduces the administrative and drafting burden of a bidding process, allowing organisations to develop a budget to their priorities for the year. The University requires oversight of the final budget to meet contractual obligations and its oversight obligations on the use of SSAF. 

How much SSAF is available?

The amount of SSAF available is unknown until students pay the SSAF each semester. Instead, the University models student numbers to estimate the amount of SSAF likely to be available and this becomes the allocation amount.

What has SSAF funds been spent on in previous years?




  • ANU Careers launched a career voyage online tool to help student who struggle to verbalise their career ideas, over 50 students have used this tool already.
  • Scholarly Information Services have a writing centre to assist with academic writing, referencing, interpreting assignment questions, reading strategies, time management, note-taking, exam preparation and presentation skills.
  • ANU Student Association (ANUSA) has provided over 500 various financial grants including emergency grants, grocery vouchers and emergency accommodation.
  • Woroni released two editions.
  • The Observer released multiple articles online. 
  • ANU Sports ran 10 ANU Sport programs hosted across the year which are subsidised or free of charge (on campus and interstate).
  • The Engagement and Success Team successful delivery the ACT Youth Week Grant "Cooking and Conversations," 80 students participated, and the events garnered attention from media and radio locally.
  • Postgraduate and Research Student Association (PARSA) assisted 232 students (across mental health, academic, migration, legal, accommodation and financial assistance).

Why can't the University give the same amount each year for SSAF?

The SSAF is a fee-based system, where the money collected is the money available for allocation. As student numbers rise and fall, so does the amount of SSAF available. 

Why does student money go to university services?

The SSAF is intended to fund a variety of student programs and services that would not normally be funded through a university's operating costs. At ANU a very small portion of the funding is used to fund programs run by ANU services, reducing the administrative and operational costs to run services and programs and capitalising on the expertise and experience of ANU staff.

A difference in the system is an ANU service provider is responsible to the organisation to deliver outcomes for the funding they have been provided, which forms part of the unit and individual performance agreements. These will be informed by the Budget the services jointly outline.

External service providers (ANUSA, ANU Sport, Woroni, ANU Observer) sign a contract with the University to provide services in exchange for funding. The Budget provided by these service providers will form the performance measure for the contract (i.e. to deliver these services/programs outlined).

From 2023 ANU services provide the same budget detail as required from all service providers, though note that this will appear differently as administrative costs and most staffing is covered within the operational costs of the ANU service.

Who governs the administration of SSAF?

In 2022 a Student Services Council (SSC) was established to improve the administration and decision-making that reflects the student body interest. 

Made up of representatives from SSAF receiving service providers the SSC plays an advisory role on all matters pertaining to the SSAF, its allocation and use across different services provided to the ANU Students; and it plays a key role in managing SSAF reporting and acquittals. The SSC recommends expenditure to both the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).


Principal dates


Due date for payment of tuition fees and up-front HECS for Semester 1


Semester 1 census date


Due date for payment of tuition fees and up-front HECS for Semester 2