Information for VET FEE-HELP Students

VET Student Loans commenced on 1 January 2017, replacing the VET FEE-HELP scheme. Provisions were made for continuing VET FEE-HELP students, who accessed VET FEE-HELP before 30 December 2017, to continue their studies under their existing VET FEE-HELP arrangements. Detailed information in regards to the "grandfathering" arrangements can be found in the Information for VET FEE-HELP Grandfathering students fact sheet.

Resources for Students


Information for VET FEE-HELP Grandfathering students

Information for grandfathered students about access to VET FEE-HELP in 2018

Ceasing VET FEE-HELP operations fact sheet for students and providers

Archived booklets and publications


Students can search for courses and course providers, including VET Student Loan Approved courses and providers at MySkills.

Information for students about government assistance for financing tertiary study is available at Study Assist

Frequently Asked Questions

Some grandfathered students who have accessed VET FEE-HELP and completed units in 2017, but have not yet completed their course, may be eligible to extend their VET FEE-HELP assistance into 2018 under exceptional circumstances. These arrangements are only available for units of study with census days occurring on or before 31 December 2018.

VET FEE-HELP providers are responsible for initiating the 2018 extension invitation being sent to students.

If you have accessed VET FEE-HELP in 2017 and believe you are eligible to apply to extend your access in 2018, but have not received an invitation to apply, please contact your provider. Make sure that the email address your provider has for you is correct, and check your spam/junk email folders.

If your invitation to apply for an extension in 2018 has expired, please contact your provider to have it re-issued. Again, make sure the email address your provider has for you is correct, and check your spam/junk email folders.

For information about 2017 grandfathered students, please refer to the information for VET FEE-HELP Grandfathering fact sheet.

For more information about access to VET FEE-HELP in 2018 please refer to the VET FEE-HELP – Access in 2018 fact sheet.

For information go to the Information for VET FEE-HELP Grandfathering Students fact sheet.

The Department of Education and Training publically announced the closure of VET FEE HELP in October 2016. There have been social media campaigns, letters and emails have been sent to all students, and VET FEE-HELP providers have been able to give their students the necessary information to ensure genuine students can opt in.

If you believe you meet the eligibility requirements and wish your case to be considered please make sure you provide clear details why you did not submit an enquiry before 31 March 2017. The department will consider your case. If you are a genuine student and satisfy the eligibility requirements, you may have the opportunity to opt-in (with all other requirements being met).

To have your case considered please submit an enquiry using the form below and select other under the field "what is your enquiry regarding" and type "Grandfathering" in the text field. You will need to provide information to support your case. You will also need to provide your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN). You can obtain your CHESSN from your provider if you do not have it.

The department sent out opt-in emails and letters progressively from December 2016 to all students with records reported by their providers.

VET FEE-HELP students who have finished their studies before / by 31 Dec 2016 or do not wish to access further VET FEE-HELP assistance, are not required to opt-in to VET FEE-HELP through the 'opt-in' process. Please consider the correspondence as information only. The transitional arrangements only impact current, continuing VET FEE-HELP students. The end of the VET FEE-HELP scheme and commencement of the new VET Student Loans program does not impact on repayment / relevant thresholds for those who have incurred a HELP debt.

If you receive an opt-in letter, choosing not to 'opt-in' to access VET FEE-HELP does not mean that you have withdrawn from the course. If you wish to withdraw from study, it is very important to follow your provider's withdrawal procedure which you will find on their website, a phone call or email is not usually sufficient. The department recommends keeping records of all correspondence with your provider.

If you do not believe you should have any of the debts you see reported please visit the Student Complaints page and submit an enquiry.

If you do not believe you should have a debt please visit the Student Complaints page.

Students must read the information provided in the Information for VET FEE-HELP Grandfathering Students fact sheet.

Eligible students who have opted-in will be allowed to continue accessing VET FEE-HELP for 2017 if they remain enrolled in their original courses*, with their original provider#.

*Note: superseded courses are recognised as the same course for the purposes of allowing continuing students to access VET FEE-HELP for the replacement course, provided other eligibility criteria are met.

#However, if you are a grandfathered VET FEE-HELP student and your provider has closed or is no longer offering your course, you will be assisted to find a replacement VET FEE-HELP provider and continue accessing VET FEE-HELP during 2017. This is part of tuition assurance arrangements. For more information around the Tuition Assurance arrangements, please visit the Provider closures page.

If students have a complaint or grievance about any matter relating to their academic study (e.g. quality of training) or non-academic matters (fees, charges, etc), they should submit their complaint directly to their provider through that provider's formal complaints process. Each provider will have instructions on how to submit a complaint on their website. This includes complaints asking for VET FEE-HELP debts to be remitted. A provider has the ability to remit or cancel a student's VET FEE-HELP debt depending on the nature of the complaint.

If the matter cannot be resolved by this process all providers have a review/appeal process. If you are still not satisfied you can ask that the matter be referred to an independent external arbitrator (mediator), nominated by the provider, for further consideration.

The VET Student Ombudsman will be in operation from 1 July 2017. From this date, complaints registered for VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans may be referred to the Ombudsman for investigation.

Complaints Regarding Quality: As the national regulator for VET, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is responsible for investigating allegations of issues with the quality of training or student treatment by VET FEE-HELP providers. ASQA uses information from the complaints process to determine how it regulates certain providers. Should you have concerns regarding your experiences, you may wish to submit a formal complaint to ASQA via their website.

When an education institute re-credits your VET FEE-HELP/VET Student Loans balance and remits the debt, the provider must tell the Department of Education and Training. Providers submit data to the department monthly. The department will advise the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), which then applies the revision to your tax records. Please note* there can be a time lag of some months between when your provider tells the department of the decision to cancel a debt and when the ATO removes it from a student's record.

On confirmation that your provider has submitted a revisions file** to the department, you may wish to contact the ATO area that takes care of HELP debts and advise the ATO that a revisions file has been forwarded to the Department of Education and Training in relation to your debt. If you have concerns you can discuss options available to you with the ATO regarding your tax matters.

Contact details for the ATO:

  • visit
  • use ATO online services to view loan accounts and other information such as Payment Reference Number (PRN) and voluntary repayment options,
  • call 13 28 61 for information about your HELP account and personal tax topics,
  • call 13 36 77 TTY or 1300 555 727 TTY for hearing or speech impaired students, or
  • write to: Australian Taxation Office PO BOX 1032, ALBURY NSW 2640.

Please note, the ATO will conduct identification checks for your enquiry, so remember to have your Tax File Number handy.

Additional information about repaying your HELP loan is available on the StudyAssist website at

*The data on VET FEE-HELP/VET Student Loans debts incurred or cancelled from 1 January 2017 will only be transferred to the Australian Tax Office in late 2017 so the data will not be accurate until after this data transfer

** Due to a retrospective validation process applied to data reported by providers, this may result in the data being revised up to eight weeks after it has been reported. This revised data is then transferred to the Australian Taxation Office

All approved VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans providers must have policies and procedures in place that protect students in the event that their provider closes. These protections are required under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and VET Student Loans Act 2016.

If a provider closes or ceases VET FEE-HELP operations, tuition assurance is activated. Tuition Assurance allows students to either continue their studies or in some cases get a refund/debt remission for any incomplete units. Please refer to the 'Tuition Assurance' and 'Ceasing VET FEE-HELP operations' fact sheets, as well as the Tuition Assurance and Provider Closures page for more information.


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