Information for VET FEE-HELP Students

VET Student Loans commenced on 1 January 2017, replacing the VET FEE-HELP scheme. Some grandfathered VET FEE-HELP students, who accessed VET FEE-HELP before 30 December 2017, and had ‘exceptional circumstances’ were eligible to extend their VET FEE-HELP assistance during 2018.

Under subparagraph 43(3)(b)(ii) of Schedule 1A to the Higher Education Support Act 2003 an entitlement to access VET FEE-HELP under the exceptional circumstances provisions ceases on 31 December 2018. Grandfathered students will not be able to access VET FEE-HELP assistance to pay tuition fees for units of study with a census date on or after 31 December 2018.

Detailed information about the end of special circumstance eligibility period for VET FEE-HELP can be found in the VET FEE-HELP grandfathering concludes – information for students fact sheet.

Resources for Students

Factsheets

Archived booklets and publications

Websites

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

The eligibility period for grandfathered students accessing VET FEE-HELP under exceptional circumstances ends on 31 December 2018. Grandfathered students can continue studying units into 2019 with access to VET FEE-HELP only if the census date for the unit/s is on or before 31 December 2018. Grandfathered students will not be eligible to access VET FEE-HELP for any unit of study with a census date on or after 1 January 2019.

Students should discuss payment options, including the whether or not they have the ability to transition to a course approved for VET Student Loans, with their provider.

Further information about your payment and study options see the VET FEE-HELP grandfathering concludes– information for students fact sheet.

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

If your complaint is not resolved by your provider you may refer your complaints to the VET Student Loans 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 www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Study-and-training-support-loans/.

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 studyassist.gov.au/sites/StudyAssist/.

** 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 delivery of the course, 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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VET FEE-HELP Students

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