VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans

The Commonwealth Government has replaced the VET FEE-HELP scheme with VET Student Loans.

A VET Student Loan is a Commonwealth Government loan that allows you to defer part or all of your VET tuition fees if you're studying an eligible diploma or above course. It means you can study now and pay later.

If you are eligible for assistance, the Australian Government pays the amount of the loan directly to Victoria University and records a debt against your Tax File Number with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

You are then required to repay your loan through the Australian taxation system once you start earning above the minimum repayment threshold. Voluntary repayments can be made at any time directly to the ATO, regardless of income.

Students who accessed VET FEE-HELP in 2017

Students who accessed VET FEE-HELP in 2017 can only extend their VET FEE-HELP assistance into 2018 under exceptional circumstances.

Exceptional circumstances may include illness, caring responsibilities, part-time studies, engagement in courses with a duration longer than 12 months, and students impacted by provider closure and tuition assurance activation.

If you meet the above exceptional circumstances, you will be required to complete a grandfathering extension application form via an online invitation. Once completed, you will be required to take a copy of the application form to a VUHQ service centre to confirm the approval to continue on VET FEE-HELP in 2018.

Applications will close 31 January 2018. 

Students who do not meet the exceptional circumstances criteria

Your VET FEE-HELP loan scheme will end as of 31 December 2017 making you an upfront paying student.

Your options are:

  1. apply for a VET Student Loan (if eligible)
  2. apply for a payment plan (if eligible)
  3. pay your fees upfront.

Find out more about VET FEE-HELP grandfathering arrangements.

VET/TAFE census dates for 2018

  • Teaching period 1 VE: 30 March 2018
  • Teaching period 3 VE: 25 May 2018
  • Teaching period 5 VE: 29 June 2018
  • Teaching period 2 VE: 31 August 2018
  • Teaching period 4 VE: 26 October 2018
  • Teaching period 6 VE: 14 December 2018.

Students who are eligible for VET FEE-HELP or a VET Student Loan must defer or pay their tuition fees upfront prior to census date. Only materials, auxiliary and student amenities fees can be put under the payment plan.

Access further information on census dates & fee payment dates.

For further information on the new measures and transition arrangements, visit education.gov.au.

If you have questions you can contact the HELP Student Enquiry line on 1800 020 108 or email VETStudentLoans@education.gov.au

2018 commencing students

The VET Student Loans scheme is accessible for eligible diploma and above courses. Find out if the course you are interested in studying has been approved for a VET Student Loan by reviewing our course fee schedule  which includes loan cap information for each course.

VET Student Loan eligibility

To be eligible for a VET Student Loan you must be either an Australian citizen, qualifying New Zealand citizen* or a permanent humanitarian visa holder, and match all the below criteria:

  • have not exceeded the FEE-HELP limit
  • meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements
  • have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or are otherwise exempt
  • provided the required documents to VU prior to the first census date and no less than two business days after enrolling.

You will also need to be assessed by VU as academically suited for the course by:

  • providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate; or
  • providing evidence of successful completion of a 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 the Literacy and Numeracy assessment.

*To be eligible for a VET Student Loan, New Zealand citizens must hold a New Zealand SCV and meet all the below long-term residency requirements:

  • first began residing in Australia at least 10 years ago and at that time you were a child under the age of 18 with no spouse or de facto partner; and
  • you have been in Australia for at least:
    • a total of eight out of the past 10 years; and
    • a total of 18 months out of the last two years.

Evidence of Australian citizenship

An Australian Passport is suitable evidence of Australian citizenship. If you do not have an Australian Passport, the evidence required to demonstrate that you are an Australian citizen may differ depending on whether you:

  • were born in Australia before 20 August 1986
  • were born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986
  • were born overseas.

For applicants born in Australia before 20 August 1986 who do not have an Australian passport, you will need to provide your full birth certificate issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM).

An exception to this is where your parents were in Australia as diplomats or consular officers at the time of your birth. In these circumstances, you will need to provide a citizenship certificate as evidence that you are an Australian citizen.

For applicants born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 where one (or both) of your parents was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth, you should provide your full birth certificate issued by an Australian RBDM. You will also need to provide one of the following documents to show that one of your parents was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth:

  • your parent’s Australian citizenship certificate
  • if your parent was born in Australia before 20 August 1986, your parent’s full birth certificate issued by an Australian RBDM
  • if your parent was born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986, your parent’s full birth certificate issued by an Australian RBDM and your grandparent's Australian birth certificate issued by an Australian RBDM.

For applicants born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 where one (or both) of your parents was a permanent resident of Australia at the time of your birth, you will need to provide both of the following documents to prove your Australian citizenship:

  • your full birth certificate issued by an Australian RBDM
  • your Australian citizenship certificate.

Please note: If you do not have a citizenship certificate you will need to lodge Form 119 Application for evidence of Australian citizenship with certified copies of the required documents and the application fee with DIBP.

Students under 18 years

If you are under 18 years of age you must also complete a VET Student Loans Parental Consent Form and have it signed by your parent or guardian. The completed form must be given to VU before you can be issued with an eCAF link. The parental consent form is not necessary if you have been assessed by Centrelink for the independent rate of Youth Allowance - you will need to provide a Centrelink Income Statement as evidence of this.