What are the costs involved?
We want to give everyone the chance to succeed at university, regardless of their background or level of previous education. So there are no tuition fees for the Open Foundation program.
Note: although you will not be liable for the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) during Open Foundation, you will be liable for HECS once you are enrolled in a university undergraduate degree.
There are, however, some financial costs associated with studying Open Foundation that you should be aware of before you commence the program. Depending upon your circumstances you may be eligible for a student loan from the University to help with these expenses. The main costs are:
- Purchasing textbooks. As with most university courses, you will need to purchase textbooks for your Open Foundation courses. Purchasing two sets of new textbooks can cost between $150-$450. This cost is incurred during the first two weeks of your program if you are studying on campus; and prior to the start of your courses if you are studying by Distance.
- Some courses, such as Visual Art and Graphic Design, may require you to purchase supplies, which can cost up to $150.
There are other financial costs that can be associated with studying (both Open Foundation and undergraduate courses):
- transport and parking costs,
- at-home internet, computer use and printing costs (computers, printers and internet access are also available 24/7 on campus),
- arranging childcare, and
- reducing work hours or taking time off work for study or exams when needed.
Students studying Open Foundation by Distance may also need to factor in travel and/or accommodation costs for attending formal exams each semester. We also offer Distance students the opportunity to attend on-campus workshops twice each semester and, while optional, these workshops are strongly recommended.
Time and energy costs
Studying Open Foundation will require extra energy and time out of your normal life. Some tasks can be done 'on the go' while you only have short time slots available, but other tasks will require more time, effort and focus. Think about how you will organise your life to allow time for some of these things:
- attending classes (on-campus)
- reading and summarising from online course notes (Distance)
- working through course material and exercises
- doing outside reading and research
- preparing assignments
- studying for exams and quizzes
How can Open Foundation fit into my life?
If you're thinking: is this the right time for me to study? it's useful to consider the time you have available in your day-to-day life. Would you be able to commit to:
- 15-20 hours-per-week of study from March to November (the approximate workload for Part-time Open Foundation), or
- 30-35 hours-per-week of study from July to November (the approximate workload for Intensive Open Foundation)
Download this weekly planner and have a go at filling in all the ways you spend your time (commitments such as employment, family responsibilities, commuting, appointments, sport, leisure etc.) and where study might fit in.
It can also be very helpful to hear about the experiences of former students. The video below features former students talking about the challenges they encountered during their studies, and the strategies and attributes they felt helped them to overcome these challenges.
And the following video contains some final ‘words of advice’ for people who are considering Open Foundation:
Or, to review, go back to Who can apply?