Want to study for a vocational education and training qualification but can’t afford the fees? VET FEE-HELP might be the answer. You might be able to get a VET FEE-HELP loan to help pay your tuition fees for a vocational education and training (VET) course at diploma level or above with an approved VET provider.
You can find a list of approved VET providers at www.deewr.gov.au/vetfeehelp.
You may be eligible for a VET FEE-HELP loan if you:
•are an Australian citizen or permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be residing in Australia for the duration of the unit of study
•are a full fee-paying student (or a subsidised student in a ‘reform state or territory’ – currently only Victoria)
•are studying a diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma at an approved VET provider.
To apply for VET FEE-HELP you need to submit a Request for VET FEE-HELP assistance form by your VET provider’s census date (check this date with your provider).You get the form from your provider and submit it to them. You will need a tax file number to complete the form.
There is a set maximum amount you can borrow through VET FEE-HELP over your lifetime. This is known as the FEE-HELP limit. Currently this is $86,422, except for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses where the limit is $108,029.
Depending on where you are studying you may attract a loan fee of up to 20 percent for your VET FEE-HELP loan. This is included in your VET FEE-HELP debt.There is no interest on VET FEE-HELP loans but your debt total is adjusted (indexed) each year to keep its real value. You will repay your VET FEE-HELP debt gradually through the tax system once your income is above the repayment threshold set by the Australian Taxation Office. For 2011–12 this is $47,195.
For more information, including on how to apply:
•read the VET FEE-HELP Information booklet (available from your provider or online at www.deewr.gov.au/vetfeehelp)
•contact your VET provider
•call the Department of Education, Employment and Training on 13 38 73.
The Australian Government administers the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) to assist eligible students to study now and pay their course fees back through the taxation system when their financial income is above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment, which is $47,196 in the 2011-12 income year.
The Australian Government announced the Extension of FEE-HELP to VET studies initiative – “VET FEE-HELP” in the 2007-08 Budget. VET FEE HELP is administered under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and VET providers.
The intention of the loan scheme is to remove the financial barriers for students to undertake VET studies at the diploma level and above. The loan scheme assists eligible VET students pay their tuition fees by enabling them to access a Government loan so that they do not have to pay their tuition fees up-front.
For organisations that wish to apply to become a VET provider, they can find more information on the VET FEE HELP pages on the DEEWR website (www.deewr.gov.au/vetfeehelp).
There is a lifetime limit on the VET FEE-HELP loan amount a person can use and this is referred to as the FEE HELP limit. This limit is the maximum amount that a person can borrow under the VET FEE?HELP scheme (and the FEE HELP scheme) over their lifetime. The FEE HELP limit in 2012 will be $89,706 for most students, and this amount is indexed on 1 January each year.
Depending on where a student is enrolled they may attract a loan fee of up to 20 percent for their VET FEE-HELP loan. The loan fee is not deducted from a person’s FEE HELP limit.
More information regarding the VET FEE HELP loan scheme, including the information booklet for students and a list of VET providers is available at the VET FEE HELP pages at the DEEWR website.