VET Student Loans is a Commonwealth Government scheme which enables eligible students to have all or part of their tuition fees paid for them by the Australian Government in the form of a loan. This program (VET FEE-HELP) commenced on 1 January 2017.
The VET Student Loan Program enables eligible students to repay tuition fees for approved courses.
You can choose to:
Pay some of your tuition fees upfront and repay the balance when your income reaches the repayment threshold set by the Commonwealth Government
Repay all your tuition fees (up to the loan cap limit*) when your income reaches the repayment threshold set by the Commonwealth Government.
*The Loan Cap Limit is set by the Commonwealth Government, if your course cost is more than the cap limit you must pay the difference upfront to your course provider.
Your VET Student Loan is repaid through the Australian tax system (ATO) when your income reaches minimum threshold for repayment set by the Commonwealth Government. The Commonwealth Government publishes the amount on Study Assist (Loan Repayment) and in the VET Student Loans Information Booklet
Loans may have a 20% loan fee for full fee-paying students, however there is no fee for eligible students in some NSW Government subsidised (Smart & Skilled) training places.
Be aware that your loan remains a personal debt until it is repaid, this may reduce your take-home (after tax) wage and your borrowing capacity.*
*You may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying.
To be eligible, you must either:
*Holders of other permanent visas and temporary visas are NOT eligible for a VET Student Loan.
You must also:
In accordance with the VET Student Loan requirements, it is mandatory that all students provide documentation to confirm their identity and date of birth.
Students must supply an original document or certified copy of their:
For students who are under 18 years of age, a student loans parental consent form needs to be completed and supplied to Fly Oz. Below, is the link to this form:
Note: these documents will also be required by CASA for the issuing of your Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC).
Lifetime Loan Limit
The lifetime loan limit is the total amount you can incur in your lifetime under any Commonwealth HELP student loan scheme – whether it is Higher Education FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or a VET Student Loan. It is indexed each year, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). For 2022, the HELP loan limit is $109,206 for most students. Students can view their loan obligations by logging into myHELPbalance on the Study Assist website. https://www.studyassistgov.au/myHELPbalance
What is a Unique Student Identifier (USI)?
The Commonwealth requires all students studying in nationally recognised training courses to have a USI. If you already have one, please ensure you use this same USI whenever you enrol for any training. If you don’t have a USI, go to http://www.usi.gov.au/ to register before you apply to enrol, or you can apply as part of your enrolment.
New Zealand Citizens
The residency requirements for New Zealand citizens on a Special Category Visa are:
You will need to provide evidence of your eligibility to Fly Oz Pty Ltd before requesting a VET Student Loan.
A VET Student Loan is an agreement between you and the Commonwealth Government.
To apply for a VET Student Loan:
As with any loan you take, you must understand the terms and condition before you make a commitment. You must read the VET Student Loan information available on Study Assist https://www.studyassist.gov.au/ and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment https://www.dese.gov.au/vet-student-loans/vet-information-students/information-vet-student-loans-students website for students and consider seeking independent financial advice.
During your study, you may be contacted again by the /commonwealth to confirm your engagement and progression in your course and confirm that you wish to continue to use your VET Student Loan to pay your tuition fees for the course. It is important that you advise Fly Oz if any of your personal or contact details change during your study. Further information regarding the VET Student loan engagement progression process is available on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment https://www.dese.gov.au/vet-student-loans/vet-information-students/information-vet-student-loans-students website. If you do not complete the engagement and progression process, you will not be able to continue access to a VET Student Loan for your tuition fees.
All students wishing to apply for a Commonwealth VET Student Loan must be assessed for academic suitability to undertake a high level VET qualification. This is aimed at ensuring you have the skills and knowledge to succeed in your course.
To be assessed as academically suitable, you must either:
If you are not able to show appropriate evidence to satisfy the Fly Oz entry requirements, you will be required to complete the following assessment tool:
As a component of the Pre-Training Review process, Fly Oz ensures no student is required to repeat any unit or module in which they have already been assessed as competent unless a regulatory requirement or license condition (including industry licensing schemes) requires this.
Credit Transfer is a process that provides students with credit outcomes for components of a qualification based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes from previous studies.
Where a student provides suitable evidence, they have successfully completed a unit or module at any RTO, Fly Oz provides credit for that unit or module. In some cases, licensing or regulatory requirements may prevent a unit or module from being awarded through a credit process.
Fly Oz is not obliged however to issue a qualification or statement of attainment that is achieved wholly through recognition of units and /or modules completed at another RTO or RTOs.
Note that providing credit for previous studies is not a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. RPL is a form of assessment of the competence of a person while providing credit is recognizing the equivalence of studies previously undertaken and completed successfully.
Fly Oz recognizes varied testamurs from other Registered Training Organisations and USI Transcripts issued by the USI Registrar. This applies to all cases, including students seeking credit transfer for previous study and personnel documentation.
Before providing credit on the bais of a Qualification Certificate, Statement of Attainment, Record of Results or USI Transcript, Fly Oz authenticates the information in the document.
Document Verification Procedure
When verifying documentation, Fly Oz personnel are required to implement the following procedures:
“I confirm that I have sighted the original ID and this is a true and accurate copy” With inclusion of the Representative’s Name, Representative’s Signature and Date.
“I confirm that I have authenticated this document with the issuing organization” With inclusion of the Representative’s Name, Representative’s Signature and Date.
Authentication to be conducted by a representative that has USI Organisation Portal access.
“I confirm that I have authenticated this USI Transcript via the USI Organisational Portal” With inclusion of the Representative’s Name, Representative’s Signature and Date.
Student Request for Credit Transfer
If a student wishes to apply for Credit Transfer, it is mandatory that they complete the Credit Transfer RPL Application Form and include appropriate evidence to support the Credit Transfer Application.
All Credit Transfer applications must be supported by appropriate evidence. This may be in the form of Nationally Recognised Qualification or Statement of Attainment, indicating exactly the same code and title as those included in the student application, or other documents of equivalence.
Fly Oz’s personnel processing credit transfer results must:
Where appropriate evidence is provided with the Credit Transfer application Fly Oz must grant the Credit Transfer. Where Credit Transfer is granted, the student will be advised within five working days of completion of the assessment and the training program adjusted accordingly.
Where Credit Transfer is not granted, the student will be notified in writing of the outcome within five working days of the completion of the assessment. The written communication to the student includes a reason for refusal, and information on how to lodge a complaint or appeal if desired.
In all cases, a copy of the credit transfer application and verified copies of the relevant documentation evidence is retained in the student’s file.
Recognition of Prior Learning
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) means an assessment process that assesses the competency/s of an individual that may have been acquired through formal, not-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual meets the requirements specified in the training package or VET accredited courses.
RPL assess this prior learning against the requirements of a qualification, in respect of both entry requirements and outcomes to be achieved. RPL encourages an individual to continue upgrading their skills and knowledge through structured education and training towards formal qualifications and improved employment outcomes. RPL keeps the system of qualifications open to recognition of the value of learning achieved outside the formal system, as part of everyday living in a continuum of learning throughout one’s life.
In order to recognise prior learning, it is necessary to:
The processes used to assess RPL applications may take several (not mutually exclusive) forms, for example:
Fly Oz ensures that trainers and assessors remain current in their professional development and in their knowledge and understanding of issues related to recognition.
As a component of the Pre-Training Review process, Fly Oz implements a robust RPL process to ensure that:
To achieve RPL, students must:
Where students have gaps, or require additional mentoring and support, RPL is not applicable. In these cases learning is occurring, and a ‘Competent’ result is achieved on completion of assessment.
It is mandatory that students wishing to achieve RPL with Fly Oz provide their evidence submission for assessment. This assessment will ensure:
The official start date for a Unit of Competency through RPL is determined (by NCVER) as the date that the student submitted their evidence portfolio for assessment. This is the start date that all Fly Oz personnel are to record on the student’s training and assessment plan (actual start date section of each unit).
This date is critical for compliance in cases where financial subsidies are being received for the student’s course.
The RPL result date is the final date that the student provided all evidence required and was deemed to have achieved the unit ‘RPL-Granted’ result.
Financial Regulatory Implications
All Fly Oz personnel must ensure they are aware of RPL implications with regard to financial regulatory impacts in their region and projects. RPL in some jurisdictions is:
Depending on the region, when students are applying for RPL, it is critical that Fly Oz personnel understand any financial implications that may apply and discuss correct fees and charges with the student concerned.
Fees for courses eligible for VET Student Loans are charged by Units of Study. Your course will have at least three units of Study and your payments will be spread across the duration of your course. Each Unit of Study has a census day, set at no less than 20% into the Unit of Study.
You will be sent a VET Student Loan Fee Notice 14 days before each census day, indicating your fees and census day. Your debt is incurred on the day after the census day. After a census day has passed, Fly Oz will also send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) for each Unit of Study. The CAN will provide you with information about your debt, including the loan fee if applicable. If you believe you CAN is incorrect, you should contact Fly Oz immediately.
For some courses, there may be a gap between the course fee and the loan cap that the Commonwealth will allow for your course. You will be advised of this when you enquire, and also about other payment options that may be available. You must apply for a loan and pay any gap fee prior to the census date in order to finalise your payment for that Unit of Study.
A Census day is the last day you can cancel your enrolment in a unit of study without incurring a debt. A census day is also the last day you can apply for a VET student Loan for that unit of study. The census day will occur not less than 20 per cent of the way through the unit of study.
You repay your loan through the tax system when your income is above the minimum repayment threshold. Repayment thresholds are adjusted each year to reflect changes in average weekly earnings. The minimum repayment income threshold for 2021-22 is $47014.
A VET Student Loan is a personal debt obligation that can affect your credit rating and have wage and tax repayment implications. From 1 July 2017, all existing and future debtors from any Commonwealth student loan program who moves overseas must make compulsory HELP repayments. If you are living overseas and earning an income that exceeds the minimum repayment threshold, you will be required to make compulsory repayments towards your debt. Please refer to the ATO website for more information.
For more information regarding Commonwealth loan repayment thresholds, please visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.
If you are considering applying for a VET Student Loan, you should familiarise yourself with your obligations by reading the VET Student Loan information booklet.
Further information is available at:
If you choose to withdraw or defer, you may be entitled to a refund of any up-front payment you’ve made, or re-credit of your loan balance if you have taken a Commonwealth Student Loan.
The loan amount you incur will depend on the timing of your withdrawal or deferral. There are no penalties if you withdraw or defer on or before the census day. However, once a census day has passed, the loan amount for the Unit of Study is incurred.
For more information please download the Fly Oz Student handbook section 5.3 Cancellations, Withdrawals and Refunds.
If Fly Oz ceases to provide a course in which you are enrolled, Fly Oz will ensure that you are offered enrolment in a similar course of study. Alternatively, you will be provided a refund of any upfront payments or re-credit to your loan balance for any Units of Study.
The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) has replaced the former Tuition Assurance Scheme (TAS) from January 2020. TPS is an initiative of the Australian Government to assist international students and eligible domestic students accessing a VET Student Loan (VSL), FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP (HELP) loan, whose education providers are unable to fully deliver their course of study. The TPS ensures that these students are able to either:
Please see below for a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section which has been obtained from the TPS website.
You can also find this information here; https://tps.gov.au/Home
What do the tuition protection arrangements mean for FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP students? If you are a FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP student who is unable to complete your course due to your private higher education provider defaulting (ceasing to commence or deliver your course or closing entirely), you will be assisted under tuition protection arrangements. If your provider defaults, you will be offered the choice of either:
Who will assist me if my HELP provider defaults? If your private HELP provider defaults (ceases to deliver your course or closes entirely), the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) will contact you directly. The TPS will offer you the option to either receive a loan re-credit for eligible parts of the course, or assistance to move to a similar replacement course. The TPS can be contacted at: [email protected] or phone 1300 259 044.
Which students are eligible for HELP Tuition Protection? FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP students studying with private HELP providers are eligible for tuition protection assistance if the course has not commenced, or ceases after commencement but before completion, and the student has not previously withdrawn.
Students who pay their fees directly to their provider (i.e. do not use a HELP loan to support their studies) are not eligible to access HELP tuition protection assistance. Direct fee paying students should refer to the direct fees FAQ for further information.
My HELP provider closed in 2019 or earlier – who do I contact to discuss tuition protection assistance? You should contact the TPS at: [email protected] or phone 1300 259 044.
My public HELP provider has closed or ceased delivering my course – what assistance can I access? If your TAFE or Government-owned provider defaults (ceases to deliver your course or closes entirely), they are required to provide you with assistance. You should contact your provider to identify what assistance they are able to provide to you.
My provider might be closing or ceasing to provide my course soon – what should I do? You should discuss any potential default (ceasing to deliver your course or closing entirely), directly with your provider.
You should gather records of your course progression. Talk to your provider to request and print a copy of your academic transcript and print out copies of any course requirements, units of study, subjects, modules, assessments and work you have completed. You should gather copies of any invoices and/or receipts (HELP and direct payments) from your provider.
In the event that your provider defaults, this information will help the TPS and your replacement provider to appropriately place you in a new course or assess your loan re-credit eligibility.
I fees directly to my provider- what assistance can I access? If you paid fees directly to your provider and require assistance, you can contact the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s (TEQSA) on 1300 739 585 visit the TEQSA website.
If you believe you are owed a refund and the training provider or liquidator does not assist you, you may be able to seek advice by contacting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on 1300 302 502 or visiting the ACCC website. Your local state and territory consumer protection agency (sometime called ‘consumer affairs’) can also provide you with information about your rights and options. A list of state and territory consumer protection agencies can be found of the ACCC website.
I paid fees or made payments directly to my provider, in addition to my HELP loan – what assistance can I access? Eligible HELP students whose private provider defaults, will be assisted under tuition protection arrangements. For any fees or payments you paid to their defaulting provider, refer to the direct fees FAQ for further information.
What do the tuition protection arrangements mean for international students? There are no changes to tuition protection arrangements for international students. The current TPS arrangements will continue as a dedicated service for international students, with the same protections and support through placements and refunds. Please refer to the International TPS page for further information.
What do the tuition protection arrangements mean for domestic VET students? If you are an eligible VET Student Loans (VSL) student whose private provider defaults (ceases to deliver your course or closes), you will be supported under the tuition protection arrangements. Please refer to the VSL TPS page for further information.
If you are a domestic VET student who has made direct payments (including gap-fee payments) to a provider, information to help you understand your next steps are can be found on the ‘What to do when your training provider closes’ page on the Australian Skills Quality Authority’s (ASQA) website.
I want to receive a loan re-credit. What next? If your provider defaults, you will receive a TPS Notice which offers you the choice of either receiving a loan re-credit for eligible units of study, or assistance to move to a replacement provider, if suitable replacement course have been identified by the TPS.
You must follow the instructions in the TPS Notice, making sure you adhere to any time frames in the Notice. If you elect to receive a loan re-credit, the TPS will process your loan re-credit for the units of study you had received a HELP loan for and were undertaking, when your provider defaulted.
I want to continue my studies with a replacement provider. What next? If your provider defaults, you will receive a TPS Notice which offers you the choice of either receiving a loan re-credit for eligible units of study, or assistance to move to a replacement provider, if suitable replacement courses haven been identified by the TPS (the Notice will include information about these courses).
If you elect to continue your studies with a replacement provider, you will need to contact the providers listed in the TPS Notice as soon as possible to discuss your situation – there may be one or a number of providers/courses listed in the TPS Notice. You should ensure you are prepared to discuss the suitability of the provider and course, including your course progression with potential replacement providers. You should have copies of: your academic transcript; a list of completed subjects; assignments and assessments; and all invoices for your study (including HELP amounts), to support this discussion.
If you determine that a replacement course is suitable and wish to continue your studies with that provider, you must advise the TPS within the time frames in your TPS Notice and progress your enrolment with the provider.
If you have questions about what your need to do, or aren’t able to meet the time frames, you must advise the TPS.
If you are not satisfied with the replacement course/provider options in your TPS Notice, you can seek a reconsideration by contacting the TPS at: [email protected] or phone 1300 259 044 within the timeframes in your TPS Notice.
Remember, you will need to contact replacement providers and arrange to be enrolled with them, this does not happen automatically.
I elected to continue my studies with a replacement provider – what will I have to pay for? Your replacement provider is required to grant you course credits for units of study you successfully completed with your defaulting provider, or teach you replacement units at no additional cost, for units you had paid tuition fees or student contributions for, and were undertaking, when your provider defaulted.
If there are parts of the course you have not yet paid for, or parts of the course you failed or withdrew from with your defaulting provider, your replacement provider can charge you for those parts of the course.
Before you move to a replacement provider, you should discuss with the potential replacement provider(s): which parts of the course will and won’t be credited; which parts of the course you will have to pay for; if these additional units of study can be paid for using a HELP loan, or if they will have to be paid directly to the provider; the mode of delivery (on- campus, online, blended delivery); general course requirements and the expected time frame to complete your studies.
I chose to continue my studies in a replacement course, but now I’d rather receive a loan re-credit – is this possible? Under HELP tuition protection arrangements students are offered the option to either receive a loan re-credit for eligible parts of the course, or be assisted to move to a replacement provider to continue their course.
If you elected to continue your course, and now wish to change your chosen option, you should discuss this with the TPS as soon as possible. If you have already enrolled or commenced your replacement course, you may not be eligible to change to the loan re-credit option. You can contact the TPS at: [email protected] or phone 1300 259 044.
When you enroll at Fly Oz, the collection, storage, use and disclosure of any personal information you provide are as stated in the student handbook which can be found by clicking the link below and going to the student information tab.