VET Fee-Help: Available from Study Assist for eligible students

Get assistance to cover the cost of studying higher level vocational education and training (VET) qualifications with VET Fee-Help.

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What is VET Fee-Help?

VET Fee-Help is a student loans scheme run by the Commonwealth Government. It is designed to help eligible students who are studying to achieve higher level vocational education and training (VET) qualifications cover the cost of their tuition fees.

Available for students studying for qualifications at Diploma level and above, VET Fee-Help covers tuition costs but not other expenses such as accommodation or purchasing textbooks.

Who is eligible for VET Fee-Help?

Students must satisfy the following requirements in order to be eligible for VET Fee-Help:

  • Must be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa (and be resident in Australia for the duration of the unit’s study)
  • Must not have exceeded your Fee-Help loan limit (for 2015, this is $97,728 for most students)
  • Must provide a tax file number

Must meet one of the following course requirements:

  • Be a full fee-paying or fee-for-service student studying a diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma level course at an approved VET Fee‑Help provider; or
  • Be a student subsidised by a state or territory government (other than the ACT) and studying a diploma or advanced diploma; or
  • Be subsidised by a state government as part of the Certificate IV Trial that ends in December 2016 and enrolled in an eligible unit of study with an approved provider by the census date.
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Is VET Fee-Help available for my course?

VET Fee-Help is available for students studying higher level courses offered by approved education and training providers. Courses at the level of Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are included in the loan scheme, while VET Fee-Help is currently also available for a limited number of Certificate IV qualifications for a trial period. More information on eligible courses is available through the Australian Government’s StudyAssist website.

Who are approved VET FEE‑HELP providers?

Only some education and training providers are approved to offer VET Fee-Help loans to students. VET Fee-Help is only available if you are studying at a registered training organisation that has been approved under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to offer these types of loans. For example, VET Fee-Help is available for all higher-level qualifications offered by TAFE NSW.

Again, a list of approved providers can be accessed through the Australian Government’s Study Assist website.

Can subsidised students access VET Fee‑Help?

Yes, eligible students can access VET FEE-HELP as long as they are studying at an approved VET provider and are currently subsidised by:

  • A state or territory government (other than the ACT) undertaking a diploma or advanced diploma course; or
  • The Victorian, South Australian, Queensland, Western Australian and New South Wales Government studying in a specified Certificate IV course as part of the ongoing trial.
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How much can I borrow?

You can borrow up to the Fee-Help limit to cover the cost of your tuition fees. This limit represents the total amount available to students under both the VET Fee‑Help and Fee‑Help loan schemes. For 2015, the limit is $97,728 for most students, although those studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses have a higher limit of $122,162.

Is there a loan fee?

Full fee-paying and fee-for-service students will need to pay a 20% loan fee. However, students who are subsidised by a state or territory government will not have to pay the loan fee.

Will previous study or other debts affect my eligibility?

No. The previous study you have undertaken and any financial debts you may have accrued will not affect your ability to take out a FEE-HELP loan. As long as you meet all of the eligibility criteria (listed above) and you still have a sufficient VET Fee-Help limit remaining to cover the cost of tuition, you are still eligible for a loan.

How do I apply?

If you’d like to apply for a VET Fee-Help loan, you’ll need to provide your tax file number and also fill out a Request for VET Fee-Help assistance form available from the Australian Government’s StudyAssist website.. Before you fill out and submit this form, make sure to read the VET Fee-Help information for 2014 booklet.

Your signed and completed form will need to be submitted to your registered training provider by the administrative date or census date. If you fail to submit your form by this time you will not be eligible for a loan.

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How do I repay my VET FEE‑HELP loan?

You’ll need to start repaying your loan once your income exceeds the compulsory repayment threshold. Once this occurs, you will start repaying your debt through the taxation system. The repayment threshold is adjusted each year - it’s set at $54,126 for 2015/16 - and is calculated based on the income you report on your tax return.

The amount you are then required to pay back each year is calculated as a percentage of your repayment income. In other words, the more you earn, the higher your repayments will be.

There is no interest charged on VET Fee-Help debts, but your debt is subject to indexation. You can also make a voluntary repayment to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) at any time if you would like to pay off your debt sooner.

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