VET Student Loans

VET Student Loans is an Australian Government loan course that helps eligible students enrolled in an approved unit pay for all or part of their VET tuition fees.

  • Repaid through the Australian taxation system once a person reaches the minimum income threshold level and will remain as a personal debt obligation until it is repaid to the Australian Government.
  • Available for approved units only (Diploma level and above) and a loan cap applies to each approved unit.
  • There is a limit on the maximum amount you can borrow over your lifetime, including VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP, FEE-HELP, and HECS-HELP (called the HELP loan limit). You need to ensure you have not already exceeded your HELP loan limit and that the VET Student loan amount is not greater than your remaining HELP balance.
  • The loan will remain as a personal debt obligation until it is repaid to the Commonwealth and may affect (by reducing) the student’s take‑home (after‑tax) wage or salary until the debt is repaid, and may affect the borrowing capacity of the person until the debt is repaid to the Australian Government. Students may wish to seek independent financial advice prior to applying for a VET Student Loan.

Federation University Australia is an approved VET Student Loan provider.

Student eligibility

There are specific criteria students must meet to be eligible for a loan through VET Student Loans.

A student must:

  • Meet citizenship/residency requirements:
    • an Australian citizen; or
    • a qualifying New Zealand citizen; or
    • a permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia; or
    • a pacific engagement visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia.
  • Have been assessed as academically suited to undertake the eligible unit;
  • Have a HELP balance greater than zero;
  • Have a valid Unique Student Identifier (USI) and provide their tax file number (TFN); and
  • Submit a completed electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) on or prior to the census date

Federation University must collect and verify the following information and documents in relation to a student applying for a VET Student Loan:

  • Information about the student’s identity and date of birth;
  • If the student is under 18, either a signed parental consent form or evidence that the student is independent;
  • Information and documents to verify the student meets the citizenship and residency requirements in section 11 of the Act; and
  • If the student has applied for a TFN but not been issued a TFN, a certificate from the Commissioner that the student has applied for a TFN.

Loan caps

  • Eligible students will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount.
  • If the cost of the unit exceeds the cap students will be required to pay the balance (gap fees), as per our billing periods.

Eligible units

  • VET Student Loans are only available for approved units, at Diploma level and above, that are linked to industry needs and employment outcomes, as determined by the Australian Government.
  • Information on how to access a VET Student Loan, including how to find approved units and approved unit providers can be found on the Australian Government's VET information for students website.
  • Eligible units, and the providers approved to deliver them, will also be available on My Skills website - Australia’s directory of training.

unit Fees

Total unit fees will depend upon the student's eligibility for government funding and the combination of units selected to meet the unit requirements.

Students may also be required to pay a materials fee. These additional costs cannot be deferred via the VET Student Loan course.

View a list of indicative unit fees and VET Student Loans caps for approved units offered by Federation University Australia.

View a list of indicative unit fees for VET Student Loans approved units offered by Federation University Australia.

Further details can be found on the VET enrolment fees page and in our VSL student information sheet (PDF, 229.13 KB).

Before considering a VET Student Loan students should read the government's VET Student Loans Information Booklet

How to apply

  • Once enrolled we will notify the Government of your enrolment into a VSL eligible unit.
  • The Government will email you an invitation, including a passkey and instructions on how to sign into the Government’s eCAF system to complete your application (Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF).
  • Once you sign in you will need to verify the pre-populated information and complete the mandatory fields.
  • You can then submit the eCAF and you will receive a copy of your completed form. Please note – you will not be able to submit your completed eCAF for two full business days after the initial application date.
  • If you do not complete the eCAF (and provide your Tax File Number) by the first census date you will not be able to defer these fees – you will have to submit an eCAF for the next applicable census date to request a VET Student Loan.
  • Retrospective access to a VET Student Loan is not allowed under any circumstances.

Student engagement and progression

  • To continue accessing a VET Student Loan you will periodically receive an email request from the Department of Education and Training requiring you to log in to the eCAF system and confirm your continued enrolment in the unit. Failure to complete the progression form may result in the cancellation of your VET Student Loan.

VET Student Loans Fee Notice

  • A VET Student Loan Fee Notice is issued prior to each census date and lists the enrolled units for the current census date. The Fee Notice will show your current VET Student Loans eligibility status, the fees that will be deferred to your loan and/or fees payable as at census date. It is the student’s responsibility to check the information and notify us of any errors. (Please note, the Fee Notice is different to the Student Invoice.)
  • Fee Notices will be sent to your nominated personal email address prior to each census date (as per government requirement) and can also be viewed in myStudentCentre (mySC).
  • Students will also be issued a Student Invoice after their initial enrolment is processed, listing all fees and charges relating to the enrolment (including tuition and material fees) and applicable due dates. The Student Invoice is different to the VSL Fee Notice and an adjusted invoice/statement will be generated after any activity on your account, including enrolment changes, payments, VSL deferrals, etc. Student invoices are emailed to your student email account and can be viewed in mySC.
  • Payment: If you have an approved VET Student Loan you may opt to make a partial or full payment towards your tuition fees on or before the census date to reduce the amount that will be deferred to the VET Student Loan.
  • Gap fees: You can make partial payments towards your gap fees at any time (using the payment methods on your VSL Fee Notice). Please contact Student Finance if you would like assistance working out a payment schedule for gap fees.

Census dates

The census date for a unit of study is the last day a student can submit their request for a VET Student Loan eCAF to defer their tuition fees through the VET Student Loans course. If you have not submitted a completed eCAF on or prior to the census date, you WILL NOT be entitled to a VET Student Loan for the current unit(s).

A census date is the date by which enrolment may be cancelled without incurring tuition fees for the unit or part of the unit.

Census dates cannot be set any earlier than 20% of the way through the period in which a unit is undertaken (this period includes any examination/assessment periods). Census dates cannot be extended.

Tuition fees will be reasonably apportioned across fee periods throughout your unit, according to the census dates.

Census dates are predetermined and you will not incur a VET Student Loan liability until after census date.

Below is a list of the TAFE census dates. Students should refer to their VET Student Loans Fee Notices to confirm the actual census dates and tuition fees due for enrolled units. Fee Notices are emailed to the student's personal email address prior to each census date and can be accessed through the online student centre. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they know what the census dates are for their enrolled units and to be aware of the withdrawal and refund rules surrounding VET Student Loans eligible courses.

TAFE Census dates 2023

  • 11 January
  • 1 March
  • 5 April
  • 3 May
  • 5 July
  • 2 August
  • 6 September
  • 1 November

TAFE Census dates 2024

  • 10 January
  • 6 March
  • 10 April
  • 1 May
  • 3 July
  • 7 August
  • 4 September
  • 6 November
  • 4 December

TAFE Census dates 2025

  • 8 January
  • 5 March
  • 2 April
  • 7 May
  • 2 July
  • 6 August
  • 3 September
  • 5 November
  • 3 December