Financial aid can be the crucial determinant of whether or not a student can afford their higher education, so the Australian Government Loan scheme offers Vocational Education and Training (VET) student loans to help with tuition.
Considering applying for the VET student loan program? Here’s what you need to know:
What are VET Student Loans?
The VET student loans program is part of the Australian Government Loan scheme to aid eligible students studying vocational education and training courses pay their tuition fees at a capped amount. This initiative replaced the earlier VET FEE-HELP scheme as of 1 Jan. 2017.
Who is Eligible for a VET Student Loan?
You are eligible for a VET Student Loan if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent humanitarian Australian visa holder who resides primarily in the country, or if you are a qualifying New Zealand citizen.
You will also need to be enrolled with a government-approved course provider while meeting your course enrollment requirements to qualify for the loan.
You must be primarily studying in a campus within Australia, while meeting the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements. Unless exempt from having one, you should have your own Unique Student Identifier (USI), as well.
Approved Courses and Providers
This student loan is applicable only for tuition to earn certain diplomas, advanced diplomas, graduate certificates and graduate diplomas. If you are pursuing a higher-level VET course, you have to be sure that the course is eligible for the loan, as well.
Most institutes within Australia are considered a part of the Department of Education and training-approved course providers for VET student loans, but you can refer to the entire list of currently approved course providers here.
The list will continue to expand as more colleges apply to be eligible course providers under this loan scheme. The eligible courses are categorised by the maximum loan amount of $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000. You can refer to the list of eligible courses here.
Limitations and Requirements
VET student loans can only be used to pay a student’s tuition fees in part or in full, and they cannot be used to pay for other study-related costs such as textbooks or accommodation fees.
Students who fail to apply for their VET student loan by the census date must wait for the next semester to apply again. Fees paid prior to the application will not be reimbursed under any circumstances.
How to Apply for a VET Student Loan
To apply for a VET student loan, you first must meet the minimum requirements for the loan – that is, you applied to and enrolled in an approved course and indicated your interest to apply for a VET student loans.
You will be provided with the required information such as the next applicable census day, which can be accessed via the electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) system.
The loan application form has to be completed and submitted by the first census day of your course and only after you have been enrolled for two days or more in the institute.
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