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what is vsl?
The VET Student Loans program is an Australian federal government loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in approved courses at approved course providers pay their tuition fees.
Students who use VSL to pay their tuition fees incur a HELP debt with the Commonwealth that remains a debt until it is repaid in full.
what courses are approveD?
NOT SURE IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE?
To receive a VET Student Loan, you must:
- be an eligible student;
- be studying an approved course;
- be studying with an approved course provider;
- apply to the government using the approved form, which will be managed through your provider; and
- submit progression forms to confirm your ongoing engagement with your studies and continue accessing the loan throughout your course.
To be an eligible for VSL, you must meet ALL of the following criteria.
- You are:
– an Australian citizen;
– a qualifying New Zealand citizen;² or
– a permanent humanitarian visa holder who is usually resident in Australia.
- Your HELP balance (the amount of your HELP loan limit you have left) is more than $0. This means you have a sufficient remaining HELP loan limit for your proposed studies to be covered by the loan. The HELP loan limit is the limit on how much you can borrow. Any borrowing under FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans, and, from 1 January 2020, HECS-HELP will count towards your HELP loan limit.
- 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.
²A 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 eight years during the previous 10 years; and
- has been in Australia for periods totalling 18 months during the previous two years.
- You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course on the basis of either:
– providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate;
– providing your International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) diploma;
– providing a copy of a certificate showing you have been awarded a qualification at level 4 or above in the Australian Qualifications Framework (where the language of instruction was English)³ or at a level in a framework that preceded the AQF and is equivalent to level 4 or above in the AQF; 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, 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.
- You have given the required documents to your approved course provider and submitted the loan application form by the first census day, no less than two business days after enrolling.
To be an eligible student, a student must:
- meet the citizenship and residency requirements:
- be an Australian citizen and their provider reasonably expects they will undertake at least some of the course of study in Australia, or
- a qualifying New Zealand citizen or
- a permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia.
- be 18 years of age or older or,
- If not, have a parental consent form signed by a responsible parent of the student or,
- the student has received youth allowance on the basis that the student is independent within the meaning of Part 2.11 of the Social Security Act 1991 (Provider’s should receive from the student evidence of this assessment in the form of their Centrelink Income Statement noting this assessment.)
- be enrolled with an approved course provider in an approved course and have enrolled in accordance with the application requirements have been assessed by the approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course on the basis of either [Rules s 80]:
- providing their Australian Year 12 Certificate OR
- VET Student Loans |Manual for Providers| Version 1.2 – June 2017| -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, the approved course provider must reasonably believe the student shows competence in completing the course meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements [Act s 17].
- have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or be otherwise exempt have given the required documents to the approved course provider and submitted the loan application form by the first census day no less than two business days after enrolling [Rules s 10].
- providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English)
A student is not entitled to a VET student loan if:
- the course is undertaken by the student primarily at an overseas campus [Act s 10(2)] or,
- if the student intends on studying overseas via distance education for their entire course, they would not meet the requirement to undertake the course primarily at an Australian campus or,
- if they have a VET Student Loan balance that is more than $0