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Did you know?

If you are studying a higher education course at TAFE SA, you may be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan from the Australian Government to pay all or part of your tuition fees.

All TAFE SA higher education courses are approved for FEE-HELP.

National Code Name HELP Loan
CRS1400029 Associate Degree in Electronic Engineering FEE-HELP
CRS1400351 Associate Degree in Biomedical Engineering FEE-HELP
CRS1400352 Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering FEE-HELP
CRS1400353 Associate Degree in Civil and Structural Engineering (Design Drafting) FEE-HELP
CRS1400588 Bachelor of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management FEE-HELP


If you are studying a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course and want information about Australian Government loans, please visit VET Student Loans.

What does a HELP loan cover?

A HELP loan helps you to pay the tuition fees for subjects you enrol in that lead towards a higher education award. It only covers subjects you are enrolled in by the census date.

The loan does not cover textbooks, materials, equipment, travel, accommodation or general living expenses, or any additional costs identified as incidental fees.


What is FEE-HELP?

For TAFE SA higher education courses with no Australian Government subsidy, you may be able to access a FEE-HELP loan to help pay all or part of your tuition fees.

Further information regarding FEE-HELP is available on the Study Assist website and this fact sheet.

Am I Eligible for a FEE-HELP loan?

To get a FEE-HELP loan, you must be:

  • an Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia; or
  • a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder; or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder; or an eligible former permanent humanitarian visa holder; who studies the entire course while living in Australia
  • have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) prior to the first census date (for new enrolments from 1 January 2021)

You must also:

  • be studying in a higher education qualification
  • be enrolled in your units of study by the census date
  • submit an Australian Government Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) by the census date
  • have an available HELP balance
  • maintain a completion rate of 50 per cent or above:
    • to continue to be eligible for FEE-HELP if you are studying at a non-university higher education provider
  • not undertake more than 2 years' worth of higher education study in the last 12 months (unless your provider has approved a higher study load)

How do I apply for FEE-HELP?

If you plan to enrol in a higher education course at TAFE SA, you will receive pre-enrolment counselling. This counselling will include information about HELP loans. You may let TAFE SA know during your counselling that you are interested in a FEE-HELP loan to pay your tuition fees.

You will need to provide evidence that you are eligible for a FEE-HELP loan. TAFE SA will assess your evidence to make sure it meets the eligibility criteria.

After TAFE SA has confirmed your eligibility, you will receive an invitation email from the Department of Education with instructions about completing an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF). When you are completing the eCAF you will need to provide a valid tax file number that matches the details held with the Australian Taxation Office.

It is important that you receive confirmation from Department of Education that your application for a loan has been successful before your earliest census date.

If the census date for a unit of study passes before your application is successful, you won’t be able to get a FEE-HELP loan for that unit of study.

How much can I borrow?

You can borrow up to the ‘combined HELP loan limit’ to pay your tuition fees. This includes all FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans incurred from 1 January 2020.

Once you begin using your HELP loan limit, the amount of HELP you have left to borrow is known as your available 'HELP balance'.

Your HELP balance is renewable, meaning that repayments you make can be re-borrowed in the future.

More information about the combined HELP loan limit and HELP balance can be found on the Study Assist website.

FEE-HELP Pass Rate

To keep accessing FEE-HELP, you must pass at least 50% of your subjects/units and maintain this pass rate throughout your course.

For bachelor-level courses, once you’ve attempted eight subjects/units, you must have passed at least four of them to keep accessing FEE-HELP.

For associate degrees, once you’ve attempted four subjects/units, you must have passed at least two of them to keep accessing FEE-HELP.

If you don’t pass at least 50% of the total attempted units across your course, you will need to pay your fees upfront until your pass rate improves.

If your pass rate is below 50% and you can demonstrate that your studies have been adversely affected by ‘special circumstances’, TAFE SA may allow you to keep accessing FEE-HELP.

For more information, please contact the FEE-HELP team.

Loan Fee

From 1 January 2023, the loan fee will be 20% for subjects/units with a census date on or after 1 January 2023.

The loan fee does not count towards the combined HELP limit.

What is the census date?

Your must have lodged a successful application for a HELP loan by the earliest census date for your units of study.

The census date is the also the last date on which you can either register or withdraw from a unit of study without incurring a debt for that unit of study. If a census date falls on a public holiday or weekend you may register or withdraw from the CRN on the next working day.

Your census date is calculated using your nominated start date for that unit of study, plus 20% of the duration of the unit of study.

You can use the Census Date Calculator to find the census dates for your units of study. 

What is a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)?

If your application for a HELP loan is successful, you will receive a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) within 28 days of your census date.

Your CAN contains information about the units of study covered by your HELP loan. An up-to-date CAN for each semester can be found in Self Service.

If you believe that the information in your CAN is incorrect, you must, within 14 days of the date on which the CAN was issued, submit a CAN review request via the contact us form or by emailing You should include evidence showing why you think the CAN is incorrect.

You will be re-issued the CAN if the original is incorrect.

Will I get a refund or re-credit if I withdraw?

If you withdraw from a course before or on the census date, you will receive a refund of any tuition fees that you have paid up-front. If you have applied for a HELP loan, you will not incur a HELP debt for the unit(s) of study from which you are withdrawing.

If you withdraw from a course after the census date, you may still be eligible for a refund of up-front fees and/or re-credit of your FEE-HELP balance, if you meet the ‘Special circumstances’ criteria. You will need to complete and submit a Higher Education application for refund and re-credit of a HELP loan form.

TAFE SA will advise you of the decision in writing. If you are not satisfied with the decision you can apply for a review of the decision by completing the Higher Education application to review a refund and/or HELP loan re-credit decision  within 28 days.

If, after completing all of the steps above, you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review. Your application to the AAT must be made within 28 days from the day you receive notification from TAFE SA about the outcome of the review. The AAT may charge you a fee for reviewing a decision made by TAFE SA.


Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Level 2 1 King William St Adelaide SA 5000
P: 1800 228 333

See withdrawals and refunds for more information.

If you have any queries, please contact us or call 1800 882 661.

Schedule of Higher Education Fees

Statement of Tuition Assurance

Policies and Procedures

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 contact us.


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