VET Student Loans

What is VET Student Loans (VSL)


VET Student Loans is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students studying Diploma level and above vocational education and training qualifications by offering income contingent loan. A person’s access to a VET Student Loan is approved by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. You access the loan for your course, and the debt is then managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You will repay your debt through the Australian tax system when you reach the minimum income threshold for repayment. A VET Student Loan will remain a personal debt until it is repaid to the Commonwealth; and the loan may, until the debt is repaid, reduce a student’s take home (after tax) wage or salary and may reduce the student’s borrowing capacity. Students may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying for a loan.

For complete information about VET Student Loans, also refer to the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business’ Website: https://www.employment.gov.au/vet-student-loans.

The loan is issued by the Australian Government to make higher education more accessible, by removing the burden of upfront tuition fees. Ongoing access to a VET Student Loan is dependent upon the student demonstrating that they are still engaged in and progressing through their qualification.

The VET Student Loans Scheme pays eligible students’ tuition fees. This means students can focus on their career and repay the Australian Government loan when their income is higher than the minimum repayment threshold. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) calculates and adjusts repayments each year. Students can also make voluntary repayments to the ATO. Best of all, there is no interest charged on VET Student Loans, however a 20% loan fee does apply for full fee paying students.

This Commonwealth Government program allows students to access loans for qualifications that:

  • Have a high national priority.
  • Meet industry needs.
  • Contribute to addressing skills shortages.
  • Lead to employment outcomes.

The loan applies to approved qualifications at a Diploma level or above. The Study Assist website has detailed information about VET Student Loan debts and repayments. Prospective students can also refer to the VET Student Loans Information Booklet for more information.

MIA is an approved provider under the VET Student Loan Scheme from the 1st July 2017. Eligible students can only access VET Student Loans for approved qualifications.

VET Student Loans are available for the following approved qualification offered through MIA:




What is needed to be eligible for VET Student Loan Scheme (Eligibility Requirements)


To be eligible to apply for VET Student Loans a participant must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be an Australian citizen, a qualifying New Zealand citizen*, or a permanent humanitarian visa holder who is usually resident in Australia. [the applicant must provide evidence to MIA]
  • Have NOT exceeded the FEE-HELP limit
  • meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements
  • Be enrolled on or before the first census date of your course (or entry point into the course) by completing an Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)
  • have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or are otherwise exempt.
  • have read the VET Student Loans information booklet: accessible here.
  • have given the required documents to MIA and submitted the loan application form by the first census day no less than two business days after enrolling.
  • Be academically suited to undertake the approved course on the basis of either:
    • Providing your Australia Year 12 Certificate; OR
    • Providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); OR
    • Displaying competence at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy through LLN Robot, an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy test system. (Results will be communicated to students upon completion via email and follow-up phone contact and/or face-to-face)

To see if you are likely to meet the eligibility requirements, check out the VET Student Loans Eligibility Tool on the My Skills website.

Detailed eligibility information can be found in the VET Student Loans Information Booklet. You should also speak to an approved VET Student Loans provider about accessing a VET Student Loan to pay for your studies. The provider will confirm if you are eligible to access a VET Student Loan.

* A qualifying New Zealand citizen is a New Zealand citizen who meets all of the following:

  • holds a special visa category, such as the New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV);
  • has been usually resident in Australia for at least 10 years;
  • was a dependent child when he or she was first usually resident in Australia;
  • has been in Australia for periods totalling 8 years during the previous 10 years; and
  • has been in Australia for periods totalling 18 months during the previous 2 years.

Please note: VET student loans will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirement.

Definitions in this section:

Course: refers to a course that has been approved for eligible Students to use a VET student loan to pay for all or part of their tuition fees. Tuition Fees: refers to fees paid for a Course.

Census Day: refers to a published date set by an approved course provider for each fee period that is at least 20% of the way through the fee period. it is the date by which enrolment may be cancelled without incurring tuition fees for the course or a part of the course (unit of study) is a census date. If a student withdraws before the census day for a course or part of a course, the student will not incur a VET student loan debt for the course or part of the course and will receive a refund for any tuition fees already paid for the course or part of the course.




Fees and Schedules of Tuition Fees (2020)


The amount a student can borrow on a VET Student Loan cannot exceed their remaining FEE-HELP balance or exceed the loan limit set for each qualification (refer to capped amounts specified below). The amounts which can be borrowed for eligible qualifications offered by MIA are:




How to apply for Vet Student Loans?


To access a VET Student Loan, a student must be enrolled at a VET Student Loans approved training provider that is approved to offer the VET Student Loans approved course. Once you have made the decision to apply for a qualification, you will need to complete MIA’s enrolment form. There will be an option to choose Vet Student Loans under VET Student Loan Section. MIA is committed in providing all students with equal and fair opportunity to pursue their training and development. MIA will treat fairly to all students seeking to enrol in an approved course. The following is the application process for VET Student Loans:

  1. Students are required to read the VET Student Loans information booklet before applying for a VET Student Loan. All students must read this booklet when applying for a VET Student Loan.

  2. MIA will assess the student’s eligibility for a loan (refer to Eligibility Requirements). If assessed as eligible, MIA will advise the Australian Government that the student wishes to apply for VET Student Loans. The Australian Government will email the student log in details and password to access and complete an eCAF (the Australian Government's electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form).

  3. A student cannot submit an eCAF earlier than two business days after the enrolment date in the eCAF. This ensures that students have adequate time to consider their decision to take on a loan.

  4. The eCAF must be submitted on or before the census day for the approved qualification.

  5. After submitting the eCAF, the student receives a receipt via email with confirmation that the application has been approved.

  6. The application process is now complete.

Please see eCAF Fact Sheet provided by The Australian Government, detailing the application and progression process for the student.

All students wishing to apply for a Commonwealth VET Student Loans must be assessed for academic suitability to undertake a high level VET qualification. This is aimed at ensuring students have the skills and knowledge to succeed in their qualification.




How will my course fees be charged?


Tuition fees are charged by unit of study (refer to our Schedule of Tuition Fees) and your course will have three fee periods, with payments spread proportionately across the duration of your course.

Your course may cost more than the VET Student Loan Cap. If so, you will need to pay the difference (referred to as a gap) between the course fees and the VET Student Loan Cap prior to your first census day. You may be able to access a payment plan through MIA to help you pay the gap amount by payment plans.

Once enrolled but prior to your first census day for your course, MIA will provide you with a Statement of Covered Fees and Fee Notice confirming that your enrolment has been accepted and the amounts of the course tuition fees that will, and will not, be covered under a VET Student Loan. The Statement of Covered Fees and Fee Notice will be sent direct to your nominated personal email address.

In addition to the Statement of Covered Fees, you will receive a VET Student Loan Fee Notice at least 14 days before each census day that will show you the amount of tuition fees that will, and will not, be covered under a VET Student Loan for that particular fee period. It is your responsibility to check the information and notify us of any errors.

Your debt is incurred on the day after the census day.

If you withdraw your enrolment on or before the census day, you will not incur the tuition fees for that fee period. This applies to fees covered by the VET Student Loan and any gap or upfront fees paid for that fee period.

After the census day has passed and you have submitted your Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF), MIA will send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) that provides you with further information about your debt. If you believe your CAN is incorrect, you should contact MIA immediately.




Student Progression and Engagement


From 1 July 2017, students must demonstrate to the Department of Education and Training that they are a genuine student, continuing with their studies. Ongoing access to a VET Student Loans is dependent upon students confirming they are still engaged in and progressing through their qualification.

Students must complete the 'VET Student Loans - Confirming enrolment and continued course engagement and participation' form in the eCAF system to demonstrate engagement and to continue to receive a loan for the duration of their qualification.

The form asks if students intend to continue studying and accessing a VET student loan, and contains a short survey. This student engagement and progression requirement process is part of the increased protection for students accessing the VET Student Loans program.

Please see Student Progression Fact Sheet provided by The Australian Government.

Please note: If students do not confirm their continuing engagement and participation using the Progression Form, they may be ineligible to continue accessing a VET student loan for the rest of their tuition fees.




Complaints


Commonwealth Ombudsman is established to investigate complaints about problems that students have with their provider in Australia, and from 1 July 2017 complaints about VET FEE-HELP debts and/or VET Student Loan debts will be handled by the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is separated from the Department and has its own legal powers to investigate and deal with complaints. More information about the Commonwealth Ombudsman is available at http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/How-we-can-help/vslo.

Please note, the Ombudsman will normally not commence an investigation of a complaint unless the student has first tried to resolve their complaint with their provider. If the student has not done so, the Ombudsman will advise the student to raise their complaint with their provider in the first instance.

Please refer to our Complaints and Appeals Policy available on our website for more information regarding complaints and appeals.




Support


If you have any questions or need additional information please visit the links below:




Withdrawing from your course or units of study


If you wish to change or withdraw from your course, or if you wish to withdraw from some units, you need to contact MIA to complete the relevant forms.

If you make these changes before the relevant census date of your units of study, the tuition fees will be cancelled and any relevant tuition fee amounts you have paid will be refunded.

If you make these changes after the census date, the tuition fees that have been added to your HELP debt under VET Student Loans cannot be cancelled and have to be repaid as normal. If there were special circumstances preventing you from acting before the census date, please read the relevant section in VET Student Loans – Information for Students (https://docs.employment.gov.au/documents/vet-student-loans-information-booklet-2017).

MIA’s VSL Withdrawal and Refund Policy and Procedure





2020 Vet Student Loan Information, Enrolments & Schedules

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