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What it costs
VET Student Loans
 

VET Student Loans is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students pay their tuition fees. If you’re studying a diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma, you may be eligible for a VET Student Loan. If you’re studying one of our degree courses, you may be eligible for FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP. 

More about FEE-HELP More about HECS-HELP 

On 1 January 2017 the Australian Government’s VET Student Loans program replaced the existing VET FEE-HELP loan scheme. The Australian Government implemented ‘grandfathering’ arrangements to minimise disruption to students wanting to continue their studies under VET FEE-HELP in 2017.

If you are a grandfathered VET FEE-HELP student, who has accessed VET FEE-HELP and completed unit/s in 2017, but have not yet completed your course, you can now apply for an extension of your VET FEE-HELP loan into 2018. These arrangements will only be available for units of study with census dates occurring on or before 31 December 2018.

What do you need to do?

  • You will receive an email from TAFE Queensland (if you have census days in 2018 and you have successfully opted in to continue your VET FEE HELP loan in 2017).
  • You will also receive an email from the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training (DET) explaining the application process. It will contain a unique passkey which is required to access the VET FEE-HELP Grandfathering 2018 Extension Application Form (via the Commonwealth eCAF system).
  • Complete and submit the application form online.
  • Once you have successfully submitted your online application form, you will receive an email from DET. You must forward this email to TAFE Queensland.
  • If you do not complete the VET FEE-HELP Grandfathering 2018 Extension Application Form by 31 January 2018, you will not be eligible to access a VET FEE-HELP loan to pay your course tuition fees in 2018.

Please note: Your passkey is valid for 14 days from the date of issue so you will need to complete your online application during this time. If you experience any difficulties or have not received an email from DET you should contact TAFE Queensland as soon as possible.

For more information please refer to the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training website.

A VET Student Loan is a loan from the Australian Government that helps eligible students pay their tuition fees. Your loan is repaid through the Australian tax system when you reach the minimum income threshold for repayment. The minimum income threshold for repayment is set by the Australian Government each year and is published on Study Assist in the VET Student Loans Information Booklet.

It is important to note that your loan will remain a personal debt until it is repaid and it may reduce your take-home (after tax) wage and your borrowing capacity. You may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying.

The amount you can borrow for your tuition fees is determined by the Australian Government and in most cases, there are three bands of VET Student Loan Caps ($5075, $10,150 and $15,225) set for each course.

A VET Student Loan is only for tuition fees and doesn't cover additional costs such as text books, materials, or accommodation.

The Australian Government has approved TAFE Queensland to deliver a number of courses eligible for a VET Student Loan. Search our website to find out if a VET Student Loan is available for your course at TAFE Queensland.

Courses that are approved for a VET Student Loan, and the cap on the loan amounts that students can borrow per course, are set by the Australian Government. A full list of approved courses is provided in the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016.

In order to apply for a VET Student Loan you must provide current and updated evidence against each of the following criteria (prior to enrolment). Otherwise, you will be liable to pay the full cost of your course. 

Please note: Centrelink benefits do not affect your eligibility or the loan amount you can access.

1. Residency:

  • Australian citizen, or
  • eligible permanent humanitarian visa holder who usually resides in Australia, or
  • New Zealand citizen on Special Category Visa (SCV subclass 444) who meets the long term residency requirements.

Please note: New Zealand citizens on a Special Category Visa must provide an International Movement Record evidencing that:

  • you first began living in Australia at least 10 years before applying for a VET Student Loan, and at that time, were a child under 18 years of age and did not have a spouse or de-facto partner, and
  • you have been in Australia for at least eight of the 10 years immediately prior to applying and at least 18 months of the last two years.

2. Academic suitability:

  • Australian Year 12 Certificate of Education, or
  • successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English), or

If you cannot provide either of the above documents, you will be required to display competence at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy. TAFE Queensland will assess your competence using the Australian Government approved assessment tool — Basic Key Skills Builder (bksb).

What is the process?
  • Prior to enrolment into a course, you will be sent an email with bksb logon details.
  • If you do not have computer access at home you can visit the Learning Skills Centre at your local TAFE Queensland campus.
  • Once you have completed the assessments, TAFE Queensland will notify you of your results.

Please note: TAFE Queensland reserves the right to refuse entry into a course if it believes on reasonable grounds that you are not academically suited to undertake the course.

3. Tax File Number (TFN):

  • Name, Address and Date of Birth currently held by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Please note: if your details held at the ATO are not current, we will be unable to enrol you. Check your details are correct by logging into your myGov account prior to enrolment.

If you don’t already have a TFN you can apply for one online via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website. If you apply for your TFN but don’t receive it before enrolment, you can get a Certificate of Application for a TFN from the ATO. Upload your certificate to your electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) before you submit it.

Once you receive a TFN let TAFE Queensland know and update your eCAF as soon as possible.

4. Unique Student Identifier (USI):

  • Have your USI ready when you enrol.
  • Your Name, Address and date of birth must match your details held at the Australia Tax Office (ATO) and the details you provided at enrolment.

Please note: if you don’t have a USI or your name, address and date of birth held on the USI Registry do not match your details held by the Australia Tax Office (ATO) we will be unable to enrol you.

If you don’t already have a USI or need to update your details go to the USI website.

5. Parental consent for under 18s:

There are no age restrictions to apply for a VET Student Loan, however if you are under 18 years of age you must provide one of the following required documents:

  • Signed Parental Consent form, available from TAFE Queensland or on the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training website; or
  • Centrelink Income Statement if you are receiving Youth Allowance on the basis that you are independent.

Please note: Your parent or guardian will not be responsible for making loan repayments and it will not affect their credit rating.

Additional eligibility criteria

You must also meet each of the following criteria in order to be eligible for a VET Student Loan.

1. You do not exceed the FEE-HELP limit:

  • You can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay your course fees (for 2017, the FEE-HELP limit is $100,879 for most students).
  • Any amount you borrow under VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP, or FEE-HELP will be added together until you reach the FEE-HELP limit.
  • The FEE-HELP limit is a lifetime limit and is not reset or ‘topped up’ by any repayments you make.

2. You are studying the approved course primarily at a campus in Australia.

3. You have read the VET Student Loans Information Booklet.

4. You have submitted the electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) by the first census day and no less than two business days after enrolling.

Please note: Your census day is the last day you can apply for a VET Student Loan for that unit of study, so make sure you complete your application as soon as possible.

5. You have submitted the VET Student Loans engagement and progression form.

From 1 July 2017, a student engagement and progression requirement applies to all students wishing to continue to access a VET Student Loan. Depending on the duration of your course, you may be requested to complete this survey more than once (February, June and October each year).

If you do not complete the survey within the required time you will not be eligible to continue to access a VET Student Loan.

For more information download the VET Student Loans - Student engagement and progression FAQs.

Tuition fees are charged by unit of study (refer to your Schedule of Tuition Fees) and your course will have a least three fee periods with payments spread proportionately across the duration of your course.

Your course may cost more than the VET Student Loan Cap. If so, you will need to pay the difference (referred to as a gap) between the course fees and the VET Student Loan Cap prior to your first census day. You may be able to access a payment plan through TAFE Queensland to help you pay the gap amount in instalments.

Once enrolled but prior to your first census day for your course, TAFE Queensland will provide you with a Statement of Covered Fees confirming that your enrolment has been accepted and the amounts of the course tuition fees that will, and will not, be covered under a VET Student Loan.

In addition to the Statement of Covered Fees, you will receive a VET Student Loan Fee Notice at least 14 days before census day that will show you the amount of tuition fees that will, and will not, be covered under a VET Student Loan for that particular fee period.

If you withdraw your enrolment on or before the census day, you will not incur the tuition fees for that fee period. This applies to fees covered by the VET Student Loan and any gap or upfront fees paid for that fee period.

After the census day has passed and you have submitted your Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF), TAFE Queensland will send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) that provides you with further information about your debt. If you believe your CAN is incorrect, you should contact TAFE Queensland immediately.

Additional fees and charges

A VET Student Loan is only for tuition fees and doesn't cover additional costs such as text books, materials, or accommodation.

In addition, a 20 percent loan fee applies to VET Student Loans for full fee paying or fee for service students. The good news is you don’t have to pay the loan fee upfront, it will be added to your VET Student Loan.

Please note: Students eligible for a state-based subsidy will not need to pay the loan fee.

Once your eligibility has been confirmed, TAFE Queensland will assist you to enrol into your course. 

Please note: if you enrol less than 14 days before the census day for the relevant units you will not be eligible for a VET Student Loan for those unit(s).

Your course may cost more than the VET Student Loan Cap. If so, you will need to pay the difference (referred to as a gap) between the course fees and the VET Student Loan cap prior to your first census day. You may be able to access a payment plan through TAFE Queensland to help you pay the gap amount in instalments.

Your VET Student Loan is repaid through the Australian tax system when you reach the minimum income threshold for repayment. The minimum income threshold for repayment is set by the Australian Government each year and is published on Study Assist in the VET Student Loans Information Booklet. Repayments continue until you have repaid your entire debt.

It is important to note that your loan will remain a personal debt until it is repaid and it may reduce your take-home (after tax) wage and your borrowing capacity. You may therefore wish to seek independent financial advice before applying for a VET Student Loan.

You have up until the census day to apply for a VET Student Loan. If you do not apply by the census day, you will be liable for the tuition fees payable for that fee period.

You cannot apply for a VET Student Loan until 2 business days after you enrol but you must submit your application on or before your first census day for your course.

Two business days following your enrolment, TAFE Queensland will advise the Australian Government that you wish to apply for a VET Student Loan. The Australian Government will email you your logon details and password to access and complete an eCAF (the Australian Government’s electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form).

Please note: You must complete and submit your eCAF to the Commonwealth before your first census day. If you do not submit your eCAF by the census day, you will be liable for the tuition fees payable for that fee period.

If you are considering applying for a VET Student Loan you should familiarise yourself with your rights and responsibilities. For further information please see:

TAFE Queensland Student Rules

To ensure fair treatment for students, TAFE Queensland has policies and procedures on privacy, equity and diversity, admissions and enrolment, student fees, withdrawals and refunds, academic progression, student misconduct and complaints and feedback.

You are entitled to raise concerns about your academic results or appeal a result. You may also raise a concern or grievance for a range of non-academic matters, including harassment, vilification, and discrimination, misuse of personal information, financial matters and course applications. For more information, please see refer to TAFE Queensland’s Student Rules and Policies on our website.

You can request to withdraw from your course by contacting your local TAFE Queensland campus either via the phone, email or in person.

Please note: parent/guardian authorisation is required for students requesting to withdraw who are under the age of 18 years.

If you withdraw your enrolment on or before the census day, you will not incur the tuition fees for that fee period. This applies to fees covered by the VET Student Loan and any gap or upfront fees paid for that fee period. For more information on refunds refer to the Domestic Student Refund Policy.

However, if you withdraw from your course after the census day, you will incur a VET Student Loan debt and will be liable for any gap payments applicable to those unit(s).

What if I have special circumstances?

If you withdraw after the census day or are unable to successfully complete a unit, and believe this was due to special circumstances, you may apply to have your FEE-HELP balance re-credited for the unit of study.

To apply for a re-credit, you need to submit a Re-Credit Application Form to your TAFE Queensland campus via post, email or in person.

If you feel that TAFE Queensland's decision about your re-credit request is unfair, you also have a right to ask for an internal appeal of the decision. For more information on re-credits please see the Re-Credit Procedure on our website.

TAFE Queensland reserves the right to cancel a course, for example, in cases of insufficient enrolment numbers. TAFE Queensland will discuss other options with you or alternatively you can seek a refund and/or re-credit for your tuition fees.

In the event that TAFE Queensland ceases to provide a course after it starts but before it is completed, TAFE Queensland will work with affected students to identify 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 more information, see TAFE Queensland’s Statement of Tuition Assurance for:

It is important that you keep your personal details up to date with TAFE Queensland so you don't miss any important communications regarding your course and VET Student Loan.

Please note: if you change your personal details with TAFE Queensland please ensure you also update the USI Registry and Australian Tax Office (ATO). You can update your details with TAFE Queensland on the TAFE Queensland Student Self Service portal.

When you enrol at TAFE Queensland the collection, storage, use and disclosure of any personal information you provide are protected by legislation. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

 
More information

If you need more information about the VET Student Loans program please visit the Study Assist website or contact your local TAFE Queensland campus.

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VSL fee schedules

VET Student Loan (VSL) fee schedules provide details about the units of study, census dates, and course fees for VET FEE-HELP approved courses at TAFE Queensland. 

View VSL fee schedules