VET Student Loans

VET Student Loans commenced on 1 January 2017, replacing the VET FEE‑HELP scheme, which ceased on 31 December 2016.

VET Student Loans are provided by the Australian Government through the Department of Education and Training. Your VET Student Loan becomes part of your Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt and must be paid back at the relevant repayment rate when your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year. The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2016-2017 income year is $54,869. This means you will only begin to repay your HELP debt once you earn over $54,869 (this amount is adjusted each year).

If you are an eligible student, the Department of Education and Training (the department) may approve your VET Student Loan for an approved course. The department will pay your loan directly to your approved course provider. You will be responsible for any gap amount in the tuition fees, which are not covered by the loan. You will owe a debt to the Australian Government for the loan, which will be managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

To be an eligible student, you must meet ALL of these criteria.

You are:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • a qualifying New Zealand citizen[1], or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia.
  • Your FEE-HELP balance (the amount of your FEE-HELP limit you have left) will sufficiently cover the required course costs.
  • You are enrolled with an approved course provider in an approved course and have enrolled in accordance with the application requirements.
  • You are studying the approved course primarily at a campus in Australia.
  • You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course on the basis of either
  1. providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate; OR
  2. providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); OR
  3. 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. You will complete this test at NIDA.
  • In addition, your approved course provider must reasonably believe you show competence in completing the course.
  • You meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements.
  • You have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or are otherwise exempt.

NIDA is currently approved to offer VET Student Loans for the following courses:

  • Diploma of Musical Theatre
  • Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services
  • Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services)

Further information about specific fees and charges for these courses are contained in each course section on the NIDA website.

For more information regarding VET Student Loans click HERE


[1] a qualifying New Zealand citizen is a New Zealand citizen who meets all of the following:

· holds a special visa category, such as the New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV);

· has been usually resident in Australia for at least 10 years;

· was a dependent child when he or she was first usually resident in Australia;

· has been in Australia for periods totalling 8 years during the previous 10 years; and

· has been in Australia for periods totalling 18 months during the previous 2 years.

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