VET Student Loans is a new Australian Government program which replaces the VET FEE-HELP scheme from January 1, 2017.
VET Student Loans provides income contingent loans to eligible students undertaking vocational education and training (VET) in approved Diploma and above courses.
SGSCC has been granted provisional approval by the Australian Government to provide VET Student Loans to students enrolling in the CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
The Australian Government VET Student Loan website provides information about financial assistance for tertiary study http://www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans including the 2017 VET Student Loans Information booklet 2017.
To be eligible to get a VET Student Loan for CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care you must meet all of the following criteria:
- You are:
- An Australian citizen, or
- A New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder who meets the long term residency requirements, or
- A permanent humanitarian visa holder
- You have not exceeded the FEE-HELP limit
- You have been assessed by SGSCC as academically suited to undertake the qualification by either:
- Providing your Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (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 an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy test
- In addition, SGSCC must reasonable believe you show competence in completing the course
- You meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements
- You have a Unique Student Identifier (USI)
- You have read the 2017 VET Student Loans information booklet (available at http://www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans)
- You have given the required documents to SGSCC and submitted the loan application form by the first census day no less than two business days after enrolling.
If you have lost your NSW Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12 Certificate) (since 1967) you may apply for a copy at http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/hsc-results/replacement-exam-results.html
The VET Student Loans Program
You may be interested to know that:
- if you use a VET Student Loan, you will not have to make any repayments in the 2016–17 income year unless your income is $54,869 or above, and
- if there is a direct connection between your work and your study, you may be able to claim your tuition fees as a tax deduction. Contact the ATO for more information on how to claim self-education expenses, including eligible study, and applicable caps on the amount you can claim,
- or you can check your eligibility by visiting www.studyassist.gov.au and entering your details in the eligibility tool.
VET Student Loans are only available for eligible courses, including CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care as stated on the courses and loan caps determination at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2016L02016
- Where can I obtain information about VET Student Loans?
Please read and understand the VET Student Loans Information for 2017 issued by the Australian Government prior to applying for a VET Student Loan available at http://www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans)
You can also access information at www.studyassist.gov.au
- Is SGSCC an approved course provider?
Yes. SGSCC has been approved as a VET Student Loans provider – transition period, to offer CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care. Our other diploma courses may be paid on a payment plan.
- How much can I borrow? What is the FEE-HELP limit?
You can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay your tuition fees. You can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay your tuition fees. The FEE-HELP limit is the total amount available to you under VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and FEE-HELP over your lifetime. Any amount you borrow under VET Student Loans, VET FEE‑HELP or FEE-HELP will be added together until you reach the FEE-HELP limit.
For 2017, the FEE-HELP limit is $100,879 for most students.
The FEE-HELP limit is a lifetime limit and is not reset or ‘topped up’ by any repayments that you make.
- What is the FEE-HELP balance?
The FEE-HELP balance is the available amount of VET Student Loans, VET FEE‑HELP and/or FEE‑HELP that you have left to use before you reach the FEE-HELP limit. You are responsible for keeping track of your FEE-HELP balance and for advising SGSCC if you do not have enough left to cover your tuition fees.
- Will I be charged interest?
There is no interest charged on HELP debts. Your HELP debt is, however, indexed each year. It increases annually on 1 June to maintain its real value, adjusting in line with changes in the cost of living (as measured by the Consumer Price Index figure released each March).
Debts are not indexed until they are 11 months old. You can find current and past indexation rates on the ATO website.
- Is there a loan fee?
Yes, for some students. A 20 per cent loan fee applies to VET Student Loans for full fee paying / fee for service students. The loan fee does not count towards your FEE-HELP limit.
You do not have to pay the loan fee upfront – it is reported by your provider and is added to your HELP debt at the ATO.
For example, if you are undertaking a course that costs $1,000, the loan fee is $200 (i.e. 20% of $1,000). So your VET Student Loans debt for that course will be the cost of the course ($1,000) + the loan fee ($200) = $1,200.
You do not pay the loan fee if you are a student who is subsidised by a state or territory government. If you are not sure if you are a subsidised VET student, contact SGSCC directly.
- How do I apply for a VET Student Loan?
- Enrol with SGSCC and indicate your wish to access a VET Student Loan.
- SGSCC will then give the Department of Education and Training your enrolment information, including the nearest applicable census day, through the eCAF system
- You will receive an email from the Department allowing you to sign into the eCAF system. Once you sign-in you will need to verify the pre-populated information and complete the mandatory fields. Submit the eCAF which will cause the system to send you an email with your completed form.
- Hand the form to SGSCC.
- If you do not complete the eCAF by the required date for your course you will have to wait until the next study period.
- What is the census day?
The census day is the most important date for you to know about!
The census day is the last day you can:
- complete the eCAF to access a VET Student Loan, or
- withdraw your enrolment without incurring the cost or debt for that course.
Every part of a course (what is called Units of Study, consisting of one or more unit of competency) has its own census day, so that you incur debts as you progress through your course, not for the whole course at the beginning. You will be notified by SGSCC prior to enrolling your Schedule of Tuition Fees and Census Dates and when the census date for each unit of study will be.
If you are unsure of your census days, refer to the SGSCC website or contact SGSCC direct to confirm the census day for each unit you enrol in and whether withdrawal is limited to your provider’s business hours.
You will be sent an invoice before the census day so that you have all the information you need to make your study and payment decisions.
- How do I keep track of my VET Student Loan?
- You will be asked for or be allocated with a Commonwealth Higher Education Support Number (CHESSN). Your CHESSN is a unique identification number that stays with you for the whole of your student life.
Your CHESSN helps providers, such as SGSCC, and the Australian Government provide you with information about any HELP loans you may have used. Your CHESSN is printed on your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN).
- You will be issued by SGSCC with a VET Student Loans fee notice for the unit of study, as a whole course, for which you have enrolled at least 14 days before the census day and this is sent to your nominated email or postal address. The invoice details a range of information including:
- the cost of the unit/s you are enrolled in for that part of your course,
- the census day/s on which you will incur the debt,
- your CHESSN, and
- the loan fee (if applicable).
You will also be issued with a notice of the total course fee and how much will be covered by the loan amount.
More information about keeping track of your VET Student Loan is available at www.studyassist.gov.au
- SGSCC, within 28 days after the census day, for each unit of study period that you are using the loan, will send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) to confirm your tuition fees, any upfront payments you have made and any VET Student Loan you have used for that study period.
- What happens if I fail/withdraw from a unit of study?
If you correctly withdraw from the unit of study by the census day, you will not incur a debt for that part of your course. If you have already made an upfront payment of your tuition fees, you will receive a refund from your provider.
Fail or withdraw incorrectly and you will get a HELP debt! But, you may be able to cancel the debt in special circumstances or if SGSCC has engaged in unacceptable conduct or is in breach of its obligations.
If you fail a part of a course (a unit of study including one or more units of competency), or withdraw from a unit of study after the census day, you will still have to pay the tuition fee for that unit. If you used a VET Student Loan you will incur a HELP debt. If you made an upfront payment you are not eligible for a refund of that payment.
If you failed the unit or withdrew after the census day because you became seriously ill or because of other special circumstances, you can apply to SGSCC to have your HELP debt removed. If you paid for your units upfront, you will need to contact your provider for information on the refund process for upfront payments.
- How do I withdraw from a Unit of Study?
To withdraw from a unit or course without getting a HELP debt or forfeiting an upfront payment, you need to complete SGSCC’s withdrawal process and withdraw in writing by the census day.
Approved SGSCC Courses
Eligible SGSCC courses and units of study:
Schedule of Tuition Fees & Census Dates, Term 1, 2017:
The following SGSCC VET FEE-HELP Policies are available:
- P005 Discrimination and Harassment Policy
- P018 Student Enrolment Policy
- P029 Re-credit of fee help balance and remission of VET FEE-HELP debt Policy
- P030 VET FEE-HELP Statement of VET Tuition Assurance
- P031 VET FEE-HELP Refund and Withdrawal Policy
- P032 VET FEE-HELP Grievance procedure for Academic and Non Academic matters and Appeals Policy