VET Student Loans commenced on 1 January 2017, replacing the VET FEE-HELP scheme, which ceased for new students on 31 December 2016.
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The VET Student Loans program is an income contingent loan offered by the Australian Government that helps eligible students pay for some vocational education and training (VET) diploma level or above courses.
Students interested in accessing a VET Student Loan to pay for their course will need to check the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 (opens in a new window). This list identifies courses that are approved for loan amounts and the relevant loan cap available.
To be an eligible student for the purposes of accessing VET Student Loans, you must meet ALL of these criteria:
- You are:
- an Australian citizen, or
- a qualifying New Zealand citizen (see information about NZ citizen), or
- a permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia.
- Your FEE-HELP balance is more than $0 and is sufficient to cover the amount you wish to access.
- You are enrolled with an approved course provider (opens in a new window) in an approved course (opens in a new window) and have enrolled in accordance with the application requirements.
- You are studying the approved course primarily at a campus in Australia.
- You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course on the basis of either:
- providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate; OR
- providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); OR
- displaying competence at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy through an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy test.
In addition, your approved course provider must reasonably believe you show competence in completing the course.
- You meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements (if your information is not assessed as correct by the ATO, your application will not be finalised and you will be ineligible for a VET student loan).
- You have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or are otherwise exempt.
- You have read the 2017 VET Student Loans information booklet (opens in a new window).
- You have given the required documents to your approved course provider and submitted the loan application form by the first census day no less than two business days after enrolling.
To be an approved course your course must be:
- specified on the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 (opens in a new window) (the courses and loan caps determination), and
- lead to a qualification of diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma in the Australian Qualifications Framework, and
- be provided by an approved course provider, and
- be delivered by an approved course provider or an entity registered with TEQSA or approved by the Department to deliver the course.
VET Student Loans are only available for approved courses at the diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate and graduate diploma level that are specified on the courses and loan caps determination at www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2016L02016 (opens in a new window).
This course list will be reviewed and updated annually by the Australian Government.
The courses and loan caps determination specifies the courses for which VET Student Loans may be granted; sets the maximum loan amounts for those courses; and provides for the annual indexation of the maximum loan amounts.
Other than for specified exceptions, there will be three loan cap bands of $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 which will apply irrespective of whether the course is being delivered face-to-face, online, or via mixed delivery modes. Courses in the aviation training package are a specified exception and are eligible for a loan of up to $75,000.
Approved course providers may charge tuition fees for courses in excess of the loan cap amount. Some providers may offer courses that cost more than what the cap amount has been set for a course. In these cases, students must fund the difference between the amount that the provider charges for a course and the amount being covered with the VET Student Loans.
VET Student Loans providers have been approved by the Department of Education and Training to offer VET Student Loans to students studying an eligible course. An approved course provider list is available at https://docs.education.gov.au/node/42906 (opens in a new window).
To be assessed as academically suited for a VET Student Loan, you must provide either:
a copy of your Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (year 12 Certificate), or
evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English).
If you do not have an Australian year 12 Certificate or have not successfully completed an AQF Certificate IV or higher qualification, you will be able to complete an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) test and be assessed as competent at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy. Your provider will conduct this test and notify you of your result.
Your provider must set out these academic suitability requirements in its Student entry procedure on its website.