VET Student Loans and VET FEE-HELP
VET Student Loans
On 1 January 2017, VET Student Loans program was implemented, replacing VET FEE-HELP (which has now ceased).
VET Student Loans is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in an approved course 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 courses only and a loan cap applies to each approved course.
- 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.
There are specific criteria students must meet to be eligible for a loan through VET Student Loans.
Students must have been assessed as academically suited to undertake the eligible course and their HELP balance must be greater than zero.
- A student must be:
- an Australian citizen; or
- hold a permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia; or
- be a qualifying New Zealand citizen.
- Students must have been assessed as academically suited to undertake the eligible course.
- Have a HELP balance greater than zero.
- Have a valid Unique Student Identifier (USI) and provide your tax file number (TFN).
- Submit a completed electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) on or prior to the census date.
- Eligible students will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount.
- If the cost of the course exceeds the cap students will be required to pay the balance (gap fees), as per our billing period.
- VET Student Loans are only available for approved courses, at Diploma level and above, that are linked to industry needs and employment outcomes, as determined by the Australian Government.
- A list of eligible courses can be found at VET Student Loans website.
- Eligible courses, and the providers approved to deliver them, will also be available on My Skills website - Australia’s directory of training.
Notes to students
- The total course fee listed is an indicative fee only; the actual course fee will depend upon the combination of units of study selected to meet the course requirements.
- There are no concession fees for courses at Diploma level and above.
- Students undertaking a course on a full-fee basis will incur a 20% loan fee for each unit of study that is deferred to a VET Student Loan.
- Students may also be required to pay a materials fee. These additional costs cannot be deferred via the VET Student Loan program and they are not included in the tuition fees shown here.
- Fees are reviewed each year and may alter.
- The information in this guide is correct at the time of publishing.
Exemptions to the published tuition fee rates apply to Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islanders. Indigenous students eligible for a Government Subsidised place will pay 20% of the published hourly tuition fee.
How to apply
- Once enrolled with we will notify the Government of your enrolment into a VSL eligible course.
- The Government will email you an invitation with 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 course. Failure to complete the progression form may result in the cancellation of your VET Student Loan and you will be required to pay the balance of fees.
VET Student Loans Fee Notice
- A VET Student Loan Fee Notice is issued prior to each census date and lists the enrolled units of study 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 your enrolment (including tuition and material fees) and applicable due dates. The Student Invoice is different to the VSL Fee Notice and a new invoice 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.
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 program. 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 course or part of the course.
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 course, 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 units of study and to be aware of the withdrawal and refund rules surrounding VET Student Loans eligible programs.
TAFE Census dates 2020
- 8 January
- 4 March
- 1 April
- 6 May
- 1 July
- 5 August
- 2 September
- 4 November
TAFE Census dates 2021
- 13 January
- 3 March
- 7 April
- 5 May
- 7 July
- 4 August
- 1 September
- 3 November