The VET FEE-HELP income contingent loan scheme assists eligible students enrolled in higher-level vocational education and training courses at approved VET providers to pay their tuition fees. The VET FEE-HELP scheme ceased on 31 December 2016. All existing students were provided the opportunity to continue accessing VET FEE-HELP and have been contacted by the Department of Education and Training to opt-in to VET FEE-HELP using an online form by 31 March 2017. For more information about opting-in, students should refer to: www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans/vet-fee-help-opt-in

VET FEE-HELP Student Entry Requirements

For VET FEE-HELP students, in accordance with the Higher Education Support (VET FEE-HELP Reform) Bill 2015 and the associated VET Guidelines 2015, all students 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.

The census date is the last date which students can apply for VET FEE-HELP.

Ways to assess your academic suitability

In order to apply for a 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 student loan.

Requirements for a VET FEE-HELP Loan

Student Counselling

TAFE SA Staff must ensure that all eligible students are counselled before enrolling in an eligible qualification. This counselling must include the information on the loan scheme, ensuring it is understood and acknowledged in full by the student.
All eligible 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 student loan.

The census date is the last date which students can apply for VET FEE-HELP for that unit of study.

Payment Options

  • up-front payment;
  • Government loan once the two day cooling-off period after registration into the first CRN in an eligible qualification

Maximum Fees for the qualification

  • the tuition fees that are covered by a student 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 student loan

Registration into CRNs

Register into each CRN more than 15 days prior to census date to enable student to receive an Invoice Notice.

Location of information

Location of the published tuition fees, published census dates, and published withdrawal policy and procedures, Statement of VET Tuition Assurance see here

14 Day Invoice Notice

TAFE SA must ensure that all eligible students receive an 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 a student loan must be registered into their CRNs at least 15 days prior to their Census dates

Fee Periods

TAFE SA will only charge fees as you register in CRNs, each CRN contains a census day.  Providing all eligibility criteria are met, the fees for each CRN will become debt once the census day passes.  Therefore fees will be apportioned across the term of the qualification.

Commonwealth Assistance Notice

Students will receive their Commonwealth Assistance Notices (CAN) via email, within 28 days of each census date.

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How do I Apply?

Applications for VET FEE-HELP have now closed. The Australian Government announced that the VET FEE-HELP scheme was to cease on 31 December 2016. All existing students have been provided the opportunity to continue accessing VET FEE-HELP and have been contacted by the Department of Education and Training to opt-in to VET FEE-HELP using an online form by 31 March 2017.

What is the Census Date?

The census date is the last date which students can apply for VET FEE-HELP. 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.

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Is There a Loan Fee?

Non State Government subsidised students will be charged a 20% loan fee. The loan fee is added to the student loan but is not included within the student's lifetime FEE-HELP limit.

What Happens if I Withdraw?

If you are an 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 student loan debt.

If you are an eligible student studying a Diploma or above qualification and withdraw after the census date you will incur a debt (unless the debt is remitted under special circumstances) If special circumstances apply, you will need to apply for a refund/re-credit.

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What is a Commonwealth Assistance Notice?

If you are approved for a VET Student Loan, 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 Student Loan. 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 vet.feehelp@tafesa.edu.au. You should include evidence showing why you think the CAN is incorrect.

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What if the course in my opt-in letter is for a course that has been superseded? What do I do?

Superseded courses will be recognised as the same course for continuing students. TAFE SA will report the superseding course in our course submission for 2017 and ensure the student’s data references the new course. VET FEE-HELP students must have opted-in to continue to access VET FEE-HELP into 2017.

TAFE SA will ensure all transitioned students complete a replacement VET FEE-HELP Request for Commonwealth Assistance form under the request for Commonwealth assistance requirements (clause 45C of Schedule 1A to HESA), nominating the replacement/superseding course.

Statement of Tuition Assurance

Statement of Tuition Assurance (VET FEE-HELP)

TAFE SA will only charge fees as you register in CRNs, each CRN contains a census day.  Providing all eligibility criteria are met, the fees for each CRN will become debt once the census day passes.  Therefore fees will be apportioned across the term of the qualification.

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Tuition Fees

The Schedule of Fees should be used as a guide to provide information on fees and census dates for units of study. Indicative qualification fees are available on the course information pages.

Policies and Procedures

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 vet.feehelp@tafesa.edu.au.