WHAT IS A VET Student loan?
From 1 January 2017, VET Student Loans will replace the VET FEE-HELP scheme. The new student loans program will be affordable, sustainable and student-centred. It will give eligible students access to quality level VET qualifications, particularly those students who could not otherwise afford to pay upfront.
VET Student Loans can be used to pay for all or part of an eligible student's Tuition Fees when studying in an approved VET course of study at the level of:
- Advanced Diploma
- Graduate Certificate
- Graduate Diploma
Students currently financing their studies through a VET FEE-HELP loan will not be automatically transferred to the new VET Student Loans program. Students currently accessing VET FEE-HELP will have the option to continue accessing VET FEE-HELP until 31 December 2017. For more information visit the Department of Education and Training VET Student Loans page.
As an approved VET provider CQUniversity must make publicly available all of its Policies and procedures related to VET Student Loans.
STUDENT FACT SHEETS
Please find a list of Student Fact Sheets at Subsidised Training.
VET Student Loans provides a loan for Tuition Fees only, and do not cover additional expenses such as textbooks, uniforms, Student ID, equipment, travel, tools, and accommodation or general living expenses.
The FEE-HELP limit is the maximum amount a person can borrow over their lifetime.
A FEE-HELP balance is impacted by loans accessed through both FEE-HELP (Higher Education) and VET Student Loans. This limit excludes any loan fee (20%). The FEE-HELP limit is increased each year according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The current limit for 2017 is $100,879 for most students.
If you are studying a medicine, veterinary science, or dentistry course the FEE-HELP limit is $126,101. The limit is indexed on 1 January each year. As a student uses VET Student Loans to pay their Tuition Fees, the amount they are able to borrow in the future is reduced. Once a student has borrowed their entire FEE-HELP limit (their FEE-HELP balance is zero), they may not access VET FEE-HELP or a VET Student Loan for future study even if they have commenced repaying their loan.
A FEE-HELP balance is impacted by loans accessed through both FEE-HELP (Higher Education) and VET Student Loans. Example: Fiona studies two units in her first semester and decides to use VET Student Loans assistance. Fiona has a FEE-HELP balance of $97,279.
Tuition Fee = $1,500 x 2 = $3,000
VET FEE-HELP debt = $3,000 + (3000 x 20%) = $3,600
FEE-HELP balance = $100,879 - $3,600 = $97, 279
Fiona's remaining FEE-HELP balance is $97,279.
Through the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform, the Australian and Queensland Governments are supporting expansion of the VET Student Loan scheme to improve access to higher-level qualifications.
VET Student Loans is an Australian Government loan scheme to assist eligible students studying diploma level and above qualifications to pay their tuition fees. It cannot be used for other study-related costs such as accommodation or text books.
Under the Higher Education Support Act 2003, a student must be able to defer their entire contribution through VET Student Loans, but may elect to pay a proportion of the upfront and defer the remainder. As a result, through state-subsidised VET Student Loan arrangements, if the student is eligible, a loan may be available to the student to cover all or part of their contribution towards the cost of a diploma or advanced diploma level qualification subsidised under the Higher Level Skills program.
The Queensland Government will pay the same level of subsidy for a qualification regardless of whether the student accesses a VET Student Loan loan or not.
The Queensland Government is required to manage state subsidised VET Student loans to a weighted average of $5000. As a result, CQUniversity is an approved VET Student Loan provider who is able to manage the level of state subsidised VET Student loans offered to an average of $5000 or less.
If you are enrolling in a VET Student Loans eligible qualification and applying for VET Student Loans funding, you must demonstrate competence at, or above, Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) in reading and numeracy. You can do this by:
- Providing a copy of your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.
- Completing a Basic Key Skills Builder (BKSB) - Further Study Program (if you do not have your Senior Certificate, or it does not demonstrate your competency). The BKSB is part of the pre-enrolments process and incorporates an Initial Assessment for Maths and English. To continue your study in these areas, and address any skills gaps you may have, you need to complete a Diagnostic Assessment in both areas and complete short, online activities.
A two-business day cooling off period will occur when you have enrolled in a VET Student Loans eligible course to provide you with some time to make sure of your choice to take out a loan for your tuition.
Please note if you enrol in a unit/s less than two business days prior to Census date you will not be eligible for VET Student Loans for those unit/s of study.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will take compulsory repayments through the taxation system when your income reaches the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment ($54,869 for the 2016-2017 financial year).
Repayments do not reset the maximum that can be borrowed, and once the VET Student Loan limit is reached, alternative payment methods must be used.
You only need to apply for VET Student Loans once in each VET course of study you have enrolled in. The original application form you have completed for a VET course of study will be used to manage payment of your fees using VET Student Loans in all following semesters, unless you choose to pay fees upfront in following semesters.
If your VET Student Loans balance is insufficient to cover the cost of all VET units of study in to which you are enrolling, you must pay the balance using another method of payment (e.g. credit card, EFTPOS, cheque or cash).
Please note, you are only able to use VET Student Loans to pay for eligible VET courses of study, and then only if you are an Australian Citizen, or a permanent humanitarian visa holder for the duration of study. Other methods of payment must be used if you are enrolling in a government subsidised course, or do not meet eligibility requirements.
To be eligible for VET Student Loans, you must be either:
- An Australian citizen, or
- Hold a permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia; or
- be a qualifying New Zealand citizen
The following students are NOT eligible for VET Student Loan, and must pay their Tuition Fees upfront or contact CQUniversity to discuss alternative payment methods:
- New Zealand Citizens
- Permanent visa holders (other than holders of a permanent humanitarian visa)
- Overseas students
You will be required to provide evidence of your citizenship or visa status through visual confirmation, or certified copy of your passport or birth certificate, when submitting your 'Request for VET Student Loans’ form.
In addition to meeting the citizenship or residency requirements, you must:
- Be enrolled in a full fee paying VET course of study approved for VET Student Loans
- Be enrolled on or before the Census date
- Meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements - that is, you must have provided your TFN or a Certificate of Application for a Tax File Number (TFN) - please visit the Australian Taxation Office website for further information on Tax File Number application or enquiry for individuals
- Have completed, signed and submitted a valid Request for VET Student Loans form on or before Census date
- have not exceeded the VET Student Loans limit ($97,728 in 2017)
The day after Census date is the day your debt for the semester is transferred to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). In order to use VET Student Loans to pay your fees you must submit your Request for VET Student Loans Assistance form to CQUniversity Student Advice Team at Rockhampton, Mackay, Gladstone, Emerald, Yeppoon or Biloela prior to Census date.
Whether you choose to pay your Tuition Fees upfront, apply for a VET Student Loan, or a combination of both, you are required to finalise all of these arrangements by the Census date.
If you have submitted an application for VET Student Loans Assistance, and elected to use VET Student Loans to pay all or part of your fees, you will be provided with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) within 28 days of the Census date. The CAN is a summary of your enrolment and associated fees for that enrolment period, including:
- units in which you are enrolled
- Tuition Fees against these units
- the total VET Student Loans assistance you are requesting for the semester
- the 20% loan fee, charged by the Australian Government for administration of your VET Student Loans debt
It is important to check all details on your CAN carefully. You must notify CQUniversity of any errors within 14 days of the issue date on the CAN.