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VET Student Loan

VSL is a loan provided by the Australian Government. It allows eligible students to borrow some or all of their tuition fees to study VSL approved Diplomas at Australis College.

Key Information

  • The course is split into three stages (census periods).
  • The VSL debt is progressively incurred as you activate each stage.
  • To activate each stage you must meet minimum course progression requirements.
  • The Commonwealth apply a one-off 20% loan fee to the total amount you borrow.
  • The loan balance is indexed to inflation each year, but no other interest is charged.
  • The loan is repaid through the tax system once you start earning above $45,881*.
  • The loan remains a personal debt to the Commonwealth until it is repaid in full.
  • Until repaid, it may reduce your take‑home (after‑tax) wage and your borrowing capacity with lenders.

* The income threshold changes each year. It includes taxable income + total net investment losses + reportable fringe benefits and super contributions + exempt foreign employment income.

Before using VSL we recommend you obtain independent financial advice, and also consider other payment options that may be more suitable for you.

Eligibility Requirements

Please select the relevant Tab to check eligibility requirements.

There are a number of eligibility requirements for using VSL.

  • General enrolment requirements (Refer below)
  • Citizenship and residency criteria (Refer Tab)
  • Academic suitability (Refer Tab)
  • Course Progression (Refer Tab)

Approved Provider and Course

Check if Australis are VSL approved for the course you want to study by clicking on the ‘Price’ tab on our webpage for the course you are interested in.

Click HERE to view the Australis College course fees and schedules.

How much can I borrow?

There is a maximum amount of student loan you can borrow, both in total and per course. Our course prices are all below the maximum loan amounts, but if you have borrowed before and are not sure if you have enough left, check the loan limits in the VET Student Loan Handbook or call our course consultants.

How do I repay the loan?

Your VSL debt is repaid through the tax system once your repayment income is above the minimum repayment threshold for compulsory repayment, even if you are still studying.

Visit the ATO website at www.ato.gov.au for further information about debt repayments.

Making Application

To apply, you need to complete and submit an online Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) before your first census date.

Your link and login details for the eCAF are emailed two business days after your enrolment in the course is initiated. You will need to verify the pre-populated information in the eCAF as well as add additional details.

One of the additional details required is your Tax File Number (TFN). If you don’t have one yet, apply at the ATO then obtain a TFN Certificate of Application to include with your application. For more details, you can also call our Course Consultants.

Before you sign and submit the eCAF you must read the VET Student Loan Student Information Booklet. You should also read the eCAF fact sheet.

If you under 18 years old, please also ensure you return the completed parental consent form signed by your parent or guardian prior to submitting your eCAF form.

Please note: If you do not submit your eCAF by the first census date, you will not receive the VET Student Loan funding and will be removed from the course.

Helpful Links & Documents

The VET Student Loan Student Information Booklet is designed to assist students in understanding VET Student Loans, and their rights and responsibilities when accessing a VET Student Loan. Click here.

VET Student Loans Information Booklet from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. Click here.

Study Assist. Click Here.

Citizenship and Residency

To access VSL you need to provide evidence for one of the categories listed below:

You need to provide a current Australian Passport OR an Australian Birth Certificate issued by the Registry for Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM).

You need to provide a current Australian Passport OR an Australian Birth Certificate issued by the Registry for Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) that shows at least one parent was born in Australia before 20/08/1986.

If the parent was born after 20/08/1986, the parent’s full birth certificate must be supplied (issued by the RBDM).

If neither parent was born in Australia, you can provide a parent’s Australian Citizenship certificate to prove they were a citizen at the time of your birth.

You need to provide a current Australian Passport OR an Australian Citizenship Certificate.

If neither parent was a permanent resident or Australian citizen at the time of your birth, they can instead evidence that they spent the first 10 years of their life in Australia.

You need to provide a current Australian Passport, OR an Australian Citizenship Certificate, OR an Australian Certificate of Registration by Descent.

You need to provide an Australian Citizenship Certificate issued on or after 01/01/2009.

Your birth date in Papua New Guinea will be verified with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

You are eligible as a New Zealand citizen if you hold a Special Category Visa (SCV) and:

  • have usually been resident in Australia for at least 10 years; AND
  • was a dependent child aged under 18 when first usually resident in Australia; and
  • have been in Australia for periods totalling 8 years out of the previous 10 years; and
  • have been in Australian for periods totalling 18 months during the previous 2 years.

Further information about HELP eligibility criteria for New Zealand Special Category Visa Holders is available at www.education.gov.au/faqs-new-zealand-special-category-visa-holders.

Evidence of eligibility and residency requirements

  • New Zealand Passport, OR
  • New Zealand Birth Certificate
  • International Movements Record; These must prove you:
    • have usually been resident in Australia for at least 10 years; and
    • was a dependent child aged under 18 years of age when first usually resident in Australia; and
    • have been in Australia for periods totalling eight years during the previous 10 years; and
    • have been in Australia for periods totalling 18 months during the previous two years
  • VEVO Check conducted to search Visa status (NZ SCV subclass 444)

A VEVO (Visa Entitlement Verification Online) check will need to be conducted with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection  www.border.gov.au/vevo.

Academic Suitability

There are two ways you can demonstrate your Academic Suitability to access VSL:

1 – Provide one of the following documents:

  • Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education for Year 12, OR
  • Qualification at an AQF level 4 or higher (delivered in English) or at a level in a framework that preceded the AQF that is equivalent to level 4 or above in the AQF, OR
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) diploma, OR
  • Certificate of an overseas Qualification (delivered in English) AND a letter or certificate issued by a Federal, State or Territory government agency which assesses overseas qualifications (or an organisation contracted by such an agency to undertake such assessments), that evidences the qualification has been assessed and determined to be equivalent or comparable to a qualification in the AQF at level 4 or above

OR

2 – If you cannot provide one of the above, you can undertake the ‘ACER Core Skills Profile for Adults’ to demonstrate you have reading and numeracy skills at Exit level 3 or higher.

Australis College must also be satisfied that we believe you are capable of completing the course you intend to enrol into and that you genuinely intend to study. We reserve the right to decline VSL applications or require the completion of an internal Core Skills Assessment before enrolment.

Each course is broken into three stages, known as Census Periods.

Each census period contains a set number of subjects which you are expected to complete within that census period. We provide you with a training plan at the start of each census period, along with almost unlimited online support, to help you achieve this.

However, we also understand that one of the reasons you are studying online is flexibility and that sometimes you may want to study or faster slower than the schedule. You are permitted to do this, but to retain access to VSL you must achieve at least the following:

Census 1

To activate your enrolment and commence Census 1 you must:

  • Return all enrolment forms and documents
  • Log into iTRAIN (our online learning platform) and access your first subject
  • Complete any Progression notifications emailed to you by the Commonwealth

Census 2

To commence Census 2 you must:

  • For Business and Community Diplomas, have completed at least two subjects
  • For IT Diplomas, have completed at least one subject
  • Complete any Progression notifications emailed to you by the Commonwealth

Census 3

To commence Census 3 you must:

  • For Business and Community Diplomas, have completed at least four subjects
  • For IT Diplomas, have completed at least two subjects
  • Complete any Progression notifications emailed to you by the Commonwealth

About 3-5 weeks into each census period is the Census Date. This is the date your VSL loan will draw down to pay your tuition fee for that census period. This is also the latest date by which you must achieve the minimums for the prior census period in order to stay enrolled.

Please note, if you withdraw or are cancelled from the course before the census date, you will not be charged for that census period.