What is VET FEE-HELP?
VET FEE-HELP is an income-contingent loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay for all or part of their Vocational Education and Training (VET) tuition fees when studying one or more eligible VET courses. TAFE SA is an approved VET provider under the VET FEE-HELP Assistance Scheme.
VET FEE-HELP cannot be used for a higher education course, such as a bachelor degree. If you are studying a higher education course, and want information about Australian Government assistance, visit the FEE-HELP page.
Information regarding VET FEE-HELP is available at the Study Assist website. Refer to the Study Assist website for information about Australian Government assistance available to help students finance their tertiary study - including assistance available in the VET sector. Top of page
Am I eligible?
VET FEE-HELP assists with the payment of tuition fees for students enrolled with an approved VET provider in one of the following course types:
- advanced diploma
- vocational graduate certificate
- vocational graduate diploma
In addition, to be eligible for VET FEE-HELP, you must be an Australian citizen or holder of a permanent humanitarian visa. See the Am I eligible for VET FEE-HELP? section of the Study Assist website for full eligibility criteria. Top of page
VET FEE-HELP is not available for Certificate I - IV level courses, however from 13 January 2014, TAFE SA is participating in the Trial to Extend the Availability of VET FEE-HELP for specific Certificate IV qualifications delivered by selected Training Providers. TAFE SA was selected to offer places in three qualifications but only to new and continuing students who are subsidised under Skills for All/WorkReady. Full Fee Paying students are not eligible to participate in this trial.
The eligible Certificate IV qualifications for TAFE SA are:
Are there Student Entry Requirements for VET FEE-HELP?
In accordance with the Higher Education Support (VET FEE-HELP Reform) Bill 2015 and the associated VET Guidelines 2015, all students wishing to apply for a Commonwealth VET FEE-HELP student loan must be assessed for academic suitability to undertake a high level VET qualification. This is a student protection measure introduced by the Commonwealth Government from 1 January 2016.
Ways to assess your academic suitability
In order to apply for a VET FEE-HELP student loan to cover your course fees, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- provide a copy of your senior secondary certificate of education, that has been awarded by an Australian authority or agency when you apply to enrol (Where possible this information will be provided to TAFE SA via SATAC). TAFE SA is required to store a copy of this for five years after you enrol. OR
- undertake a literacy and numeracy assessment using an approved assessment tool and display competence at or above Exit Level 3 in the Australian Cores Skills Framework (ACSF). TAFE SA will advise you how you may undertake this assessment. TAFE SA must be confident that you complete this test independently and have the required skills. If you undertake a literacy and numeracy assessment, TAFE SA will inform you of your results as soon as practicable after the assessment. A copy of your results will be stored for five years after you enrol and may be provided to the Commonwealth if requested.
If you are not able to meet either of these requirements, you will not be eligible to apply for a Commonwealth VET FEE-HELP loan.
VFH Student Entry Procedure Top of page
What does VET FEE-HELP cover?
VET FEE-HELP covers tuition fees only. It does not cover text books, materials, equipment, travel, accommodation or general living expenses, or any additional costs identified as incidental fees.
This is explained in more detail in the VET FEE HELP booklet, available to download in PDF format on the Publications page of the Study Assist website.
VET FEE-HELP covers units within diploma, advanced diploma, vocational graduate certificate or vocational graduate diploma-level courses only. If you are also studying units within a certificate level course, these units will not be covered by VET FEE-HELP. If you are not sure which units are covered by VET FEE-HELP, you can submit a query via the Contact Us form.
VET FEE-HELP only covers units that you are enrolled in by the census date. Please ensure that you are enrolled in all the units you wish to be covered by the census date.
Changes to VET FEE-HELP in 2016
The Department of Education and Training has announced several reforms to the VET FEE-HELP (VFH) scheme which are to be implemented by 1 January 2016. These reforms have been introduced to protect vulnerable students, taxpayers and the reputation of Australia’s VET system.
TAFE SA Staff must ensure that all VET FEE-HELP eligible students are counselled before enrolling in a new VET FEE-HELP qualification. This counselling must include the information on the VET FEE-HELP loan scheme, ensuring it is understood and acknowledged in full by the student.
All eligible VET FEE-HELP students must be provided with the following information to enable them to select payment options with a clear understanding of their rights and the implications of taking out a VET FEE-HELP loan.
- up-front payment;
- Government loan through the VET FEE-HELP scheme once the two day cooling-off period after registration into the first CRN in a VET FEE-HELP eligible qualification
Maximum Fees for the qualification
- the tuition fees that are covered by a VET FEE‑HELP loan,
- whether a loan fee will apply and if so the amount,
- any other fees that may be incurred that will not be covered by a VET FEE‑HELP loan
Registration into CRNs
Register into each CRN more than 15 days prior to census date to enable student to receive a VET FEE-HELP Invoice Notice.
Location of VET FEE-HELP information
Location of the published tuition fees, published census dates, and published withdrawal policy and procedures, Statement of VET Tuition Assurance see here
VET FEE-HELP assistance is a loan from the Commonwealth;
- the loan will remain as a personal debt obligation until it is repaid to the Commonwealth;
- the loan may affect (by reducing) the person’s take-home (after-tax) wage or salary until the debt is repaid, and may affect the borrowing capacity of the person until the debt is repaid to the Commonwealth;
- the signed Request for Commonwealth Assistance form applies to a loan for the entire VET course of study, charged on a unit by unit basis, unless the student pays some of the tuition fees up-front;
- census date(s) will apply to each of the VET units of study in which the person enrols, with the student taking out a loan for any tuition fees that remain unpaid at the end of each census date;
- a student may cancel their enrolment by:
- a student may wish to seek independent financial advice prior to applying for a VET FEE-HELP loan.
2 Day Cooling Off Period
TAFE SA must ensure that a student has a cooling off period of 2 business days following their first registration in a CRN/RPL in a VET FEE-HELP eligible qualification, this will be enforced by adding restrictions on VET FEE-HELP applications in myTAFESA.
14 Day Invoice Notice
TAFE SA must ensure that all VET FEE-HELP eligible students receive a VET FEE-HELP Invoice Notice at least 14 days and at most 42 days before the Census date of a specific CRN.
Consequently, students wishing to apply for VET FEE-HELP must be registered into their CRNs at least 15 days prior to their Census dates
Commonwealth Assistance Notice Top of page
VET FEE-HELP students will receive their VET Fee-Help Commonwealth Assistance Notices (CAN) via email, within 28 days of each census date.
How do I apply?
Once the 2 business day cooling-off period has elapsed, you can apply for VET FEE-HELP via the electronic 'Request for VET FEE-HELP form' in myTAFESA (https://my.tafesa.edu.au).
Before you start, you will need your myTAFESA login, and your tax file number (TFN). You will not be able to submit an electronic VET FEE-HELP request without a valid TFN.
- Log in to myTAFESA
- Complete the Pre-Registration Checklist, if required.
- Enrol in your units for this semester.
- Access the Payment Options screen, and select ‘Apply for VET FEE-HELP’.
- Follow the instructions on each screen and provide all required information.
- Submit the Request for VET FEE-HELP form.
- Print a copy of the Receipt of Request for Commonwealth Assistance screen as confirmation of your request.
- For detailed instructions, refer to the How to apply for VET FEE-HELP via myTAFESA factsheet.
If you have any queries, contact us.
Remember - you MUST submit your Request for VET FEE-HELP by the Census Date. Top of page
What is the Census Date?
The census date is the last date which students can withdraw from a unit of study (CRN) without incurring a debt for that unit of study. A student’s CRN census date is calculated as their nominated start date plus 20% of the course duration.
TAFE SA has provided a census date calculator to enable students to view their census dates prior to CRN registration. The census date calculator is available via the Census Date Calculator link on the Self-Service Banner (SSB) homepage.
Remember you MUST submit your Request for VET FEE-HELP by your earliest Census Date to be covered for all units of study. Top of page
Is there a loan fee?
Non State Government subsidised students will be charged a 20% loan fee. The loan fee is added to the VET FEE-HELP debt but is not included within the student's lifetime VET FEE-HELP limit. Top of page
What happens if I withdraw?
If you are a VET FEE-HELP eligible student studying a Diploma or above qualification and withdraw before the census date you will receive a full 100% refund of any tuition fees you have paid upfront and will not incur a VET FEE-HELP debt.
If you are a VET FEE-HELP eligible student studying a Diploma or above qualification and withdraw after the census date you will incur a VET FEE-HELP debt (unless the debt is remitted under special circumstances) If special circumstances apply, you will need to apply for refund/re-credit.
Application for refund and re-credit of FEE-HELP balance
Application to review a refund/re-credit decision
Top of page
What is a Commonwealth Assistance Notice?
If you are approved for VET FEE-HELP assistance, you will be issued with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) within 28 days of the census date via email. A single, always up to date copy for each program of study and semester will be displayed in your student account in Self-Service Banner (SSB).
The CAN will include details of the units of study covered by VET FEE-HELP and the amount of VET FEE-HELP assistance that you will receive. Please view the following sample CAN for your reference.
If you believe that the information in your CAN is incorrect, you must, within 14 days of the CAN issue, submit a CAN review request via the Contact us form or by emailing email@example.com. You should include evidence showing why you think the CAN is incorrect.
When the VET FEE-HELP team receives the CAN review request, they will review the request and re-issue the CAN if they determine that the original CAN was incorrect. Top of page
Schedule of VET Tuition Fees
To view a list of all VET FEE-HELP eligible courses and the census date:
TRIAL TO EXTEND THE AVAILABILITY OF VET FEE HELP
Only available for subsidised selected Certificate IV qualifications:
Top of page
Statement of Tuition Assurance
Statement of Tuition Assurance (VET FEE-HELP) Top of page
Policies & Procedures
VET FEE-HELP related policies and procedures cover fair treatment, personal information, academic grievance, student complaint resolution and refunds/re-credits. If you require further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Top of page