The Country Education Foundation is hopeful the federal government will see the error of its ways and back down on a proposal to increase the interest paid by students on their university fees.
A report at the end of last week suggested the plan to annex HECS debts to real interest rates would be shelved after the man who developed HECS, Bruce Chapman, pointed out it would be too hard on poorer graduates.
The education economist found that students who repaid their loan at a lower rate would end up paying an additional $30,000 in interest.
Country Education Foundation CEO Sarah Taylor said the best outcome for future students would be if the existing system of charging students interest at the rate of CPI.
"It would be much better for students if the new proposal doesn't come in, but having said that, it is really just a maintenance of the status quo not a win," Ms Taylor said.
"The evidence and the numbers put forward by Bruce Chapman suggest that the new system just wouldn't be fair.
"We always knew students would be worse off but this would be a regressive move and poorer students would be worse off."
Mr Chapman provided the example that if two students graduated with a HECS debt of $60,000, a student who graduated in the top 25 per cent of earners would make a total repayment of $75,000 while those in the bottom 30 per cent would pay close to $105,000.
Those who would be worst affected include people who took time off or struggled to find employment after graduating and women who were considering taking time off to give birth.
Ms Taylor pointed to a Graduate Careers Australia study that showed graduates are finding it tough to gain employment, in a market that is the worst it has been since the 1992-93 recession.
She is calling on everyone to ensure the measure doesn't pass and education remains an affordable option for everyone.
Mr Chapman proposed two alternative methods which included only introducing higher interest rates when graduates reach the repayment threshold of almost $50,000 or a one-off 25 per cent surcharge on the HECS loan with interest then charged at inflation.
Universities are also strongly opposed to an increase in interest. Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson is also of the belief that higher costs would deter some students from undertaking higher education.
"There is agreement within the sector that the impact of applying a real interest rate to student loans needs to be modified to ensure continued affordability of a quality university education," she said.