VET Student Loans
The Australian Government passed new laws which means that from 1 January 2017 the VET FEE-HELP student loans program has ceased and a new VET Student Loans program will commence.
The VET Student Loans program is designed to give eligible students access to quality higher level VET qualifications, particularly those students who could not otherwise afford to pay upfront.
A range of measures were implemented on 1 January 2017 that affects students hoping to access income contingent loans to pay for their course fees.
- Eligible students will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount.
- Providers may charge above this cap for a course, and if so, students will be expected to pay for the difference according to the provider’s billing period.
- Certain Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas are eligible for VET Student Loans that are linked to industry needs and employment outcomes.
- If you wish to access a loan to study a higher level VET course you will need to select one of these eligible courses.
- List of eligible courses
Further information on how students can apply for a VET Student Loan will be made available by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. Students may need to consider payment options until they are able to access a VET Student Loan.
Important Information for VET FEE-HELP Students in 2017
The Australian Government has passed new laws which mean that from 1 January 2017 the VET FEE-HELP student loans program will cease and a new VET Student Loans program will commence.
Students currently financing their studies through a VET FEE-HELP loan will not be automatically transferred to the new VET Student Loans program.
As a continuing VET FEE-HELP student, you have the option to continue accessing the current VET FEE-HELP program next year until 31 December 2017.
What this means for you:
You will need to notify the Australian Government Department of Education and Training that you wish to continue to access VET FEE-HELP.
The Australian Government has advised you will need to do this by logging into an Australian Government system using details provided by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. This information will be sent to you by the Department in December 2016.
Once you have completed the opt-in process, you will need to provide TAFE SA with the confirmation email you receive from the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. This will need to occur before you enrol into your qualification in 2017. If you have already enrolled, please contact your educational program area.
If you do not let the Department know that you would like to continue to access VET FEE-HELP and provide TAFE SA with evidence from the Department of Education and Training you will be responsible for upfront payment of all future student fees. If you do not choose to opt-in to continue VET FEE-HELP, you will need to consider payment options including:
- Applying for a VET Student Loan; or
- Paying fees upfront.
- Fees by Instalments
Please be aware that some courses currently available under VET FEE-HELP may not be eligible for assistance under the new loan program.
Further information will be made available when published by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.
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Are There Student Entry Requirements?
In addition to TAFE SA believing on reasonable grounds that a student is academically suited to undertake the qualification for which a VET Student loan is sought, in order to apply for a VET Student loan to assist with payment of 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. TAFE SA is required to store a copy of this for five years after you enrol; OR
- undertake a reading and numeracy assessment using an approved assessment tool and display competence at or above Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core 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 reading 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; OR
- provide a copy of a qualification at Certificate IV level or above in the Australian Qualifications Framework, that has been delivered in English.
If you are not able to meet any of these requirements, you will not be eligible to apply for a Commonwealth VET Student loan.
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.
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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.
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 refund/re-credit.
Statement of Tuition Assurance
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.