All TAFE SA higher education courses are approved for either FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP.
If you are studying a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course and want information about Australian Government loans, please visit VET Student Loans.
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.
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.
To get a FEE-HELP loan, you must be:
You must also:
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.
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 and any HECS-HELP 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.
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.
In response to COVID-19, loan fees for FEE-HELP loans were waived from 1 April 2020 to lessen the impact on students and higher education providers. The FEE-HELP loan fee exemption was extended to include census dates up until 31 December 2021.
Another extension of the loan fee exemption was announced but the legislation did not pass before an election was called. Introduction of legislation to waive the loan fee will be a decision for Government.
This means that there is currently no exemption and the FEE-HELP loan fee of 20 per cent will apply to students for census dates in 2022.
The loan fee does not count towards the combined HELP limit.
You may be able to access a HECS-HELP loan to help pay the student contribution if you are enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP).
Further information about HECS-HELP loans is available on the Study Assist website.
To be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan, you must be:
Some TAFE SA higher education courses have places subsidised by the Australian Government. These are known as Commonwealth supported places (CSPs).
If you are enrolled in a CSP, you will still need to pay some of the fees. You may be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan to pay these fees.
If you aren't enrolled in a CSP, you might be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan to help pay your fees.
If you are enrolled in a CSP, the Australian Government will pay a subsidy directly to TAFE SA. You don’t need to pay this subsidy back.
You will need to pay the rest of the course fee, known as the ‘student contribution’. If you are eligible, you may be able to use a HECS-HELP loan to help pay your student contribution.
In 2022 TAFE SA has a CSP available in the following course:
To be eligible for a CSP, you must be one of the following:
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 CSPs and HECS-HELP loans. You may let TAFE SA know during your counselling that you are interested in a HECS-HELP loan to pay your tuition fees.
You will need to provide evidence that you are eligible for a CSP and HECS-HELP if you wish to apply for a 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 email from the Department of Education with instructions about completing an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF).
You must submit an Australian Government eCAF by your earliest census date even if you have paid your fees upfront, otherwise you will lose your CSP and full fees will apply.
If you are applying for HECS-HELP, it is important that you receive confirmation from the 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 HECS-HELP loan for that unit of study.
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.
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 your MyTAFE SA account.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You should include evidence showing why you think the CAN is incorrect.
You will be re-issued the CAN if the original is incorrect.
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 to review a refund and/or HELP loan re-credit decision 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 application to review a refund / 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.
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See withdrawals and refunds for more information.
If you have any queries, please contact us or call 1800 882 661.
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.
Freecall 1800 882 661