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VET Student Loans

From 1 January 2017, VET Student Loans will be implemented.

This is a new student loans program that replaces the current VET FEE-HELP scheme, to give eligible students access to quality higher level VET qualifications, particularly those students who could not otherwise afford to pay upfront.

  • Student eligibility

    There are specific criteria students must meet to be eligible for a loan through VET Student Loans.

    Students must have been assessed as academically suited to undertake the eligible course and their FEE-HELP balance must be greater than zero. Furthermore, a student must be:

    • an Australian citizen; or
    • hold a permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia; or
    • be a qualifying New Zealand citizen.
  • What do students need to know?

    A range of measures will be implemented from 1 January 2017 that will affect students hoping to access income contingent loans to pay for their course fees.

    Loan caps

    • Eligible students will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount.
    • Providers may charge above the cap for a course, and if so, students will be expected to pay the difference. Payments will be required according to the provider’s billing period.

    Eligible courses

    • 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.
    • A list of eligible courses can be found at www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans.
    • Eligible courses, and the providers approved to deliver them, will also be available on www.myskills.gov.au – Australia’s directory of training.

    Providers

    • All private providers are required to apply to deliver courses under VET Student Loans.
    • Existing VET FEE-HELP providers may be given provisional approval to deliver courses while applications are assessed.
    • If you select a provider that does not receive official approval, you can only access VET Student Loans with that provider until 30 June 2017.
    • If your provider does not receive approval to engage in the VET Student Loans program past 30 June 2017, you will have the option of transferring to an approved provider that offers your course.
    • Approved VET Student Loans training providers will be identified on Australia’s Training Directory, www.myskills.gov.au. They will also be required to publish their fees on all VET Student Loan courses. This means you will be able to use My Skills to
    • find VET Student Loan approved courses,
    • find the VET Student Loan approved training providers who can deliver the course you choose, and
    • use price information and loan availability to compare providers and courses when making training choices.

    Repayment

    • Repaying the loan is required when your income reaches the repayment threshold. The threshold can be found at www.studyassist.gov.au

    Engagement

    • You will be required to demonstrate you are progressing throughout your course.
    • From 1 July 2017, you will be required to log in online twice during the year and acknowledge that you accept the loan you will receive for the course.

    Support

    • If you have any questions, concerns, or require more information regarding any element of VET Student Loans Department of Education and Training HELP Student Enquiry line on 1800 020 108 or email VETStudentLoans@education.gov.au
  • Information for current VET FEE-HELP students

    From 1 January 2017 VET FEE-HELP 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.

    Are VET Student Loans different to VET FEE-HELP?

    • Yes, the VET FEE-HELP scheme will cease on 31 December 2016 and the VET Student Loans program will be a significantly different program.
    • Many courses currently available under VET FEE-HELP will not be eligible for assistance under the new arrangements.
    • Some currently approved VET FEE-HELP providers may not be eligible to deliver courses under VET Student Loans.

    Why is this program replacing VET FEE-HELP?

    • This program is being implemented to provide sustainable and affordable opportunities for students to undertake higher level VET courses.
    • VET Student Loans align to, and provide students with, the skills to meet industry needs and employment outcomes.
    • Under VET FEE-HELP, a number of providers offered courses they were not properly set up to deliver and used unscrupulous marketing practices to target potential students into signing up for courses they may not be ready to undertake, or to request a loan for a course without the proper resources to make an informed decision.
    • VET Student Loans protects students by ensuring these behaviours do not persist.

    What if I’m part way through my course?

    • The Government is mindful that current students may want to continue their studies under existing VET FEE-HELP arrangements.
    • If you are a current continuing student accessing VET FEE-HELP, you have the option to continue accessing VET FEE-HELP with your existing provider** until 31 December 2017.

    (** or a replacement provider on activation of tuition assurance arrangements)

    • In certain circumstances some students may be eligible to extend their VET FEE-HELP assistance beyond 1 January 2018. Such circumstances may include, for example, illness or caring responsibilities, or part-time students. Students will need to apply to continue using VET FEE HELP for their existing course beyond 2017 and applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Details on these arrangements will be published on the website in 2017.
    • Students continuing their studies in 2017 will need to read the VET FEE-HELP opt-in fact sheet https://docs.education.gov.au/node/42256 .If you do not let the department know you would like to continue, your access to VET FEE-HELP will cease if you have not opted-in by 31 March 2017.

    What if I’ve already signed up for a course that does not start until 2017?

    • As the VET FEE-HELP scheme effectively ceases on 31 December 2016, you will no longer be eligible for VET FEE-HELP.
    • You can apply to access VET Student Loans from 1 January 2017, should your course be eligible.
    • A list of eligible courses can be found at www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans.
    • Students wanting to apply for VET Student Loans should read the factsheet ‘Information for Students’.

    What happens to students enrolled at a provider that is not successful in the 2017 application round?

    • Some students may find themselves studying at providers that were granted six month provisional approval for VET Student Loans in 2017, but were unsuccessful in the full application round, and are therefore unable to deliver any VET Student Loans courses after 30 June 2017.
    • These students will be entitled to finish any unit of study where the census date fell on or before 30 June 2017 with their current provider, with access to a VET Student Loan for that unit.
    • To complete their course, these students may either remain with their current provider and pay for remaining units themselves or transfer to an approved VET Student Loans provider.
    • Note, providers that are not approved for VET Student Loans may still offer VET FEE HELP assistance to continuing students that have followed the opt-in process (see https://docs.education.gov.au/node/42256).

    VET FEE-HELP Opt-In

    Student Loans replaces the current VET FEE‑HELP scheme. Students may have received an email/letter from the Department of Education and Training (the department) about it. Please read the fact sheet for VET FEE-HELP Opt In students

    If you are financing your studies in 2016 (or earlier) through a VET FEE-HELP loan, and are continuing your studies in 2017, you will have the choice to continue to access a VET FEE-HELP loan for 2017. In certain circumstances, some students may be eligible to extend their VET FEE-HELP assistance beyond 1 January 2018. Such circumstances may include, for example, illness or caring responsibilities, or part-time students. Students will need to apply to continue using VET FEE-HELP for their existing course beyond 2017 and applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    In some cases students may not meet the eligibility requirements, for example you may have completed your studies. Students will need to read the information and factsheets to check if they are eligible. Students must also check with their current VET FEE-HELP providers where they are currently enrolled in courses for 2017 whether they meet the continuing VET FEE-HELP requirements.

    In some cases students may have received a letter from the department indicating that they have a VET FEE-HELP loan and have never studied. Please see the information below on how to follow this matter up with the department.

    To opt-in to continue access to VET FEE-HELP in 2017, you must have been enrolled in a course and accessed VET FEE-HELP for a unit in that course (that is a census date passed) before 31 December 2016 and the Secretary of the department must be satisfied you are a genuine student.

    Where can I find out more?

    • Before making a decision, it is recommended that students speak to their training providers and visit www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans where more information on the new measures and transition arrangements can be found.
    • If you have a VET FEE-HELP debt you will continue paying this off as you currently do. To view your HELP balance visit www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Study-and-training-support-loans.

    Information on VET Student Loans approved training providers and courses, including fees, will be available on Australia’s Training Directory, www.myskills.gov.au

  • For more information

    Visit www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans

    Please note: This information is to give you a snapshot of the new VET Student Loans program. It is not inclusive of all requirements of the new program.

    Legislation to support VET Student Loans has now passed through parliament.

STUDENT ADMINISTRATION

Freecall: 1800 677 095
Fax: 08 8939 7334
Email: studentfees@batchelor.edu.au