VET Student Loans
From 1 January 2017, the Commonwealth VET Student Loans program replaced the existing VET FEE-HELP loan program.
This Commonwealth Government program allows eligibile students to access loans for courses that:
- have a high national priority
- meet industry needs
- contribute to addressing skills shortages
- lead to employment outcomes.
The program also features loan caps for course loans. This means if the course fees are above the loan cap, the student will need to pay the difference.
Skills Training Australia is approved to offer VET Student Loans for specific diploma and advanced diploma qualifications.
The 2017 schedule of tuition fees and census days for VET Student Loans can be found here
The 2018 schedule of tuition fees and census days for VET Student Loans can be found here
For information relating to continuing students under VET FEE-HELP including the schedule of tuition fees, policies and documents, please refer to to the 'VET FEE-HELP for existing students' tab below:
VET FEE-HELP For Existing Students
Students who completed the 2017 VET FEE-HELP “opt in” process were approved to continue their studies under the VET FEE-HELP loan program until 31 December 2017.
Students who have not completed their course and have census dates in 2018, can now apply to the Department of Education and Training for an extension of their VET FEE-HELP loan into 2018. Students must meet the ‘exceptional circumstances’ criteria in order to be eligible for this extension.
What do you need to do?
- You will be contacted by Skills Training Australia (if you have census dates in 2018 and have successfully opted in to continue your VET FEE-HELP loan in 2017)
- You will receive an invitation email from the Department of Education and Training which will provide you with information regarding the application process and a unique passkey, which is required to access the VET FEE-HELP Grandfathering 2018 Extension Application Form (via the Commonwealth eCAF system).
- You must complete and submit the application form online
- Please provide Skills Training Australia with a copy of the completed form.You will receive this by email, once you have successfully submitted your online application.
The passkey is valid for 14 days from the date of issue. You should aim to complete the online application process during this time. If you are experiencing difficulties, or have not received an email, you should contact us as soon as possible.
If you do not complete the VET FEE-HELP Grandfathering 2018 Extension Application Form you will not be eligible to access a VET FEE-HELP loan to pay your course tuition fees in 2018.
VET Tuition Fee Schedules and Census Dates for VET FEE-HELP:
2017 Schedule of VET Tuition Fees
The 2017 Schedule of Tuition Fees and census dates can be downloaded here
2017 Schedule of VET Tuition Fees - teach-out/superseded qualification
The 2017 Schedule of Tuition Fees and census dates for the teach-out/superseded qualification can be downloaded here
Please note: the schedule listed above is for a qualification that has an extended teach-out period.
2018 Schedule of VET Tuition Fees
The 2018 Schedule of Tuition Fees and census dates can be downloaded here
2018 Schedule of VET Tuition Fees - teach-out/superseded qualification
The 2018 Schedule of Tuition Fees and census dates for the teach-out/superseded qualification can be downloaded here
Please note: the schedule listed above is for a qualification that has an extended teach-out period.
VET FEE-HELP Policies and Documents
The following policies and procedures relate to VET FEE-HELP and may be downloaded:
Academic and Non Academic Grievance Policy and Procedure - VET FEE-HELP
Withdrawal - VET-FEE HELP Policy and Procedure
Refund - VET-FEE HELP Policy and Procedure
Student Review Requirements, Refunds and Re-crediting FEE HELP Balance
Fair Treatment and Equal Benefits-Opportunity Policy
2017 Statement of VET Tuition Assurance
2018 Statement of Tuition Assurance for Exempt VET FEE-HELP Providers
The following documents relate to VET FEE-HELP and may be downloaded:
How Does VET Student Loans Work?
VET Student Loans allows eligible students to access a loan to pay part or all tuition fees for approved courses.
Students can either:
- Access the loan to pay all tuition fees (up to the loan cap limit)
- Access the loan to pay part of the tuition fees and pay the remaining balance upfront
The loan is repaid through the Australian tax system. When students reach the minimum income threshold for repayment. There is a loan fee of 20% for full fee-paying students.
VET Student Loans Eligibility
To be eligible, a student must:
- - Be an Australian citizen; or
- - Hold an eligible permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia; or
- - Be a New Zealand citizen on Special Category Visa who meet the long term residency requirements:
- The student first began living in Australia at least 10 years before applying for a loan, and at that time, was a child under 18 years of age and did not have a spouse or de-facto partner.
- The student has been in Australia for at least 8 of the 10 years immediately prior to applying and at least 18 months of the previous 2 years.
- - Have a tax file number or be applying for one
- - Have a Unique Student Identifier (USI)
- - Meet the academic suitability requirements of the VET Student Loans - Student Entry procedure (ie, assessed as academically suitable to undertake a high level vocational qualification)
- - Have a Commonwealth Higher Education Support Number (CHESSN)
- - Not have exceeded the lifetime Commonwealth student loan limit.
- - Have read the 2017 VET Student Loans iformation booklet available here
- - Have provided any requested documentation to Skills Training Australia and submitted the Commonwealth loan application online form (eCAF) by the first census day and no less than two business days after enrolling
- - Comply with ongoing Commonwealth email requests to log on to complete an online student engagement form to confirm the student is a genuine student, continuing to study and progress in the course. Students will receive these requests two or three times a year, depending on how long the course is.
Unique Student Identifier
The Commonwealth requires all students studying a nationally recognised training course to have a USI. If a student already has one, the individual must use the same USI whenever enrolling for any training. If a student doesn't have a USI, the individual can register at https://www.usi.gov.au/ or provide authorisation for the training provider to apply on the student's behalf at the time of application.
Commonweath Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN)
A CHESSN is allocated to all students when they first access a Commonwealth loan. Any Commonwealth student loan taken is recorded against the student's CHESSN. If a student already has a CHESSN, the individual needs to supply that number.
VET student loans will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirements
A VET student loan gives rise to a HELP debt that continues to be a debt due to the Commonwealth until it is repaid
VET Student Loans Courses
Skills Training Australia is approved to offer the following courses:
CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services
CHC53415 Diploma of Leisure and Health
CHC62015 Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management
HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing
HLT64115 Advanced Diploma of Nursing
For further information in relation to courses and other VET Student Loans matters please visit the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training website here
How To Apply
A VET Student Loan is an agreement between the student and the Commonwealth Government.
To apply for a VET Student loan:
- A student must meet all the loan eligibility requirements
- A student must read the VET Student Loans information booklet 2017
- If a student is accepted into a course, Skills Training Australia will advise the Commonwealth that the individual wishes to apply
- The Commonwealth will then email log-in details and a password to access the online loan application
- The census day is the last day a student can apply for a loan for the fees for that period so please ensure the application is completed promptly
As with any loan, the individual must understand the terms and conditions before making a commitment.
Student under 18
There are no age restrictions to apply for a VET Student Loan. *For students who are under 18, a parent or guardian must sign a parental consent form. The template is available here
A parent or guardian will not be responsible for making loan repayments and it will not affect their credit rating. A student will begin making repayments once the individual's income reaches the minimum payment threshold.
* Note: Students may not need the parent/guardian consent form requirement if they have been assessed by Centrelink under specific conditions. For futher information please refer to the VET Student Loans Booklet 2017 here.
Student Entry Procedure
If a student wishes to apply for a Commonwealth VET Student Loan, the individual must be assessed for academic suitability to undertake a high level VET qualification.
This academic assessment is IN ADDITION to any entry requirements that may be required for the specific course a student wishes to undertake.
A student must:
Provide a copy of his/her senior secondary certificate of education from an Australian agency; OR
Undertake an approved reading and numeracy assessment attaining a minimum of ACSF Exit Level 3 in both reading and numeracy. For more information please refer to the VET Student Loans - Student Entry Procedure; OR
Provide a copy of the student’s certificate of a Level 4 or above qualification in the Australian Qualifications Framework and the course for the qualification was delivered in English
Please refer to the VET Student Loans - Student Entry Procedure for further information.
Note: If students wish to supply their senior secondary certificate of education, but have lost or mislaid it, they may be able to order a replacement for a fee. Please visit the relevant education site for further information:
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
How Course Fees Are Charged
Fees for VET Student Loans eligible courses are charged by Units of Study; payments are spread across the duration of the course. A census day is set at no less than 20% into a Unit of Study.
A student will be sent a VET Student Loans Statement about covered fees after the student enrols and before the first census day for the course, during the first fee period of the course. The document states whether the enrolment is accepted on the basis that part or all of the tuition fees for the course will be covered by a VET Student Loan.
A student will be sent a VET Student Loans Fee Notice no less than 14 days prior to each census day, indicating the individual's fees and census days.
The debt is incurred on the day after the census day.
After a census day has passed, Skills Training Australia will also send a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) for the Unit of Study. The CAN will provide the student with information about the debt incurred, including the loan fee where applicable. If a student believes the CAN is incorrect, then he/she should contact Skills Training Australia immediately to rectify.
For certain courses, there may be a gap between the course fee and the loan cap that the Commonwealth will allow for the course. The student will be advised of this upon enquiry, and also about other payment options that may be available.
Lifetime Loan Limit
The lifetime loan limit is the total amount a student can incur in a lifetime under any Commonwealth student loan scheme – whether it is a VET Student Loan, VET-FEE HELP or a Higher Education FEE-HELP loan. It is indexed each year, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In 2017, the lifetime loan limit is $100,879 for most students.
Students can view their loan obligations by referring to the Study Assist website here
Repaying the Loan
A student must repay the loan through the tax system when the individual's income is above the minimum repayment threshold. Repayment thresholds are adjusted each year to reflect changes in average weekly earnings. The minimum repayment income threshold for 2017-18 is $55,874.
A VET Student Loan is a personal debt obligation that can affect a student's credit rating and has wage and tax repayment implications.
For further information please refer to the ATO site here
Withdrawals, Cancellations & Refunds
A student may withdraw from a VET course of study or unit/s of study by completing the Withdrawal Form, or by providing an email or letter of intention to withdraw.
Please refer to the Withdrawal - VET Student Loans Procedure for the process and information required if a student wishes to withdraw.
For Skills Training Australia's refund policy, please refer to Refund - VET Student Loans
There are no penalties if a student withdraws on or before the census day. However, once a census day has passed, the loan amount for the Unit of Study is incurred.
Should it be necessary to cancel a student's enrolment in an approved course, or part of an approved course after the census day, the Cancellation of enrolment - VET Student Loans policy and procedure applies. Please refer to the Cancellation of Enrolment - VET Student Loans for details.
Rights And Responsibilities
If a student is considering applying for a VET Student Loan, the individual should familiarise themselves with the loan obligations by reading the VET Student Loan information booklet 2017.
Further information is available at:
Student may wish to seek independent financial advice as well.
Course Progression Confirmation - from 1 July 2017
Students accessing VET Student Loans for their course will be required by the Department of Education and Training to demonstrate their course progression at regular intervals.
The student will be required to log into the eCAF system three times in a calendar year for the duration of the course (February, June and October)
A VET Student Loans - Confirming enrolment and continued course engagement and participation form (progression form) will be created in the eCAF environment for the student to complete this compulsory requirement.
IMPORTANT: If a student misses two progression points, he/she may be ineligible to continue accessing VET Student Loans to pay the remainder of his/her course tuition fees.
For further information please visit the VET Student Loans - Student engagement and progression FAQs page here
Tuition Assurance Protection
Tuition assurance protects students in the event a course provided by an approved VET Student Loans provider ceases to be provided after it starts but before it is completed. Affected students are offered a replacement course with another provider and where this is not possible, the students’ FEE‑HELP balance for the affected part of the course will be re-credited.
For further information relating to tuition assurance please refer to:
Policies and Documents
The following policies and procedures relate to VET Student Loans and may be downloaded:
Academic and Non Academic Grievance Policy and Procedure
Personal Information - VET Student Loans
Withdrawal - VET Student Loans Policy and Procedure
Refund - VET Student Loans Policy and Procedure
Cancellation of Enrolment - VET Student Loans Policy and Procedure
Student Review Requirements, Refunds-Re-crediting FEE-HELP Balance - VET Student Loans
Fair Treatment and Equal Benefits-Opportunity Policy
2017 Statement of VET Tuition Assurance - VET Student Loans
2018 Statement of Tuition Assurance for Exempt VET Student Loans Providers
VET Student Loans - Student Entry Procedure
The following documents relate to VET Student Loans and may be downloaded:
Schedule of VET Tuition Fees and Census Days 2017 - VET Student Loans
Schedule of VET Tuition Fees and Census Days 2018 - VET Student Loans
VET Student Loans information booklet 2017