The recent sharp rise in the number of older students enrolling at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) could be costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year in unpaid HECS debt, it has been reported.
According to themercury.com.au, the number of mature-age students enrolled at the university has more than doubled in the past five years.
Speaking to the website, a UTAS spokeswoman stated that because HECS debt was only recovered after a person's yearly income exceeded $45,000, many of the mature-age students may never repay their debt.
"A person whose income remains below this threshold amount – a retiree or pensioner with limited income – may never need to repay the HECS debt," she said.
Such news may interest Aussies looking to compare student finances and plan for the future. UTAS confirmed that almost 1,500 people over the age of 50 are studying at the institution.
However, the spokeswoman insisted that the increased number of seniors seeking places at the university had not put pressure on places for school leavers. She added that entry requirements are the same for all students.
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