VET Student Loans commenced on 1 January 2017, providing eligible students access to loans for approved courses.
The VET Student Loans program replaced 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 Australian Government loan program with income contingent repayment arrangements. VET Student Loans help eligible students pay for tuition fees for approved vocational education and training (VET) diploma level or above courses.
Students interested in accessing a VET Student Loan to pay tuition fees for their course will need to search the MySkills website for approved courses and the loan caps that apply.
To be an eligible student for the purposes of accessing a VET Student Loan, you must meet ALL of the following 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. This means you must not have reached your FEE-HELP limit.
- You are enrolled with an approved course provider in an approved course. Search MySkills for approved courses and approved course providers, and the maximum course caps that apply.
- You have enrolled in accordance with the application requirements (contact your provider to complete an electronic Request for Commonwealth assistance form (eCAF).
- 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.
- 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 VET Student Loans information booklet.
- You have given the required documents to your approved course provider and submitted the loan application form (eCAF) by the first census day no less than two business days after enrolling.
In addition, your approved course provider must reasonably believe you show competence in completing the course.
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) or search www.myskills.gov.au/ and
- for state or territory government subsidised students, lead to a qualification of diploma or advanced diploma in the Australian Qualifications Framework; or
- for full fee-paying/fee-for-service students, 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 VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 (approved course list). Search MySkills to find approved courses and approved providers.
The approved course list is reviewed and updated annually by the Australian Government.
The approved course list 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, in 2018 there will be three loan cap bands of $5,075, $10,150 and $15,225 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 in 2018 for a loan of up to $76,125. Loan caps are indexed at the beginning of each year.
Some providers may offer courses that cost more than the cap amount 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 by the VET Student Loan. You can compare course prices at www.myskills.gov.au/.
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 docs.education.gov.au/node/42906. You can also search for approved providers at www.myskills.gov.au/.
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 can complete an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) test and be assessed as competent at Exit Level 3 in both reading and numeracy.
Your provider must set out these academic suitability requirements in its Student entry procedure on its website.