VET Student Loans Information Booklet – Australian Government

VET Student Loans Information Sheet

VET Student Loans – Statement of Fees and Charges

Census Dates

eCAF Fact Sheet

The VET Student Loans (VSL) program is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students pay their Tuition Fees for our approved course – HLT54121 Diploma of Nursing.

If the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (the Department) approve your VSL for this course, they will pay your loan directly to us.  If the course Tuition Fees cost more than the value of the loan you are approved for, you are responsible for paying the difference (gap amount) directly to us.

A VET Student Loan has income-contingent repayment arrangements, which means you start making repayments when you earn above the minimum repayment income threshold.

  • The 2023–2024 compulsory repayment income threshold is set at $51,550
  • The 2022–2023 compulsory repayment income threshold was set at $48,361

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is responsible for managing your VSL debt (referred to as a Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt). You pay back your HELP debt through the tax system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold, however you can choose to make voluntary repayments at any time to pay down your debt.

A VSL may reduce your take-home (after-tax) wage or salary and may reduce your borrowing capacity. You will owe a debt to the Australian Government for the loan until it is repaid to the Commonwealth, which will be managed by the ATO.

For more information about when you must repay your loan, go to

You may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying for a loan.

Applying for a VET Student Loan

  1. You must first enrol in our HLT54121 Diploma of Nursing qualification.
  2. Let us know that you want to access a VSL so that we can determine if you meet the eligibility criteria.
  3. If we are satisfied that you are eligible and have provided all of the documents we need to prove you meet the eligibility criteria, we make you wait 2 business days before providing you with our VSL Application Form. We do this so that you have time to reflect upon and consider your decision to take on a loan.
  4. Upon submitting your completed application form, we provide the Department with your enrolment information via the Governments Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form system, referred to as eCAF.
  5. You will receive an auto-generated email from providing you with details about how to sign into eCAF so that you can submit a Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF which is your formal application for a VET Student Loan. eCAF provides a student with a secure and easily accessible way to complete their application for Commonwealth assistance.
  6. Check your spam/junk email folder if you cannot see the email in your inbox.
  7. Once signed in, you will need to verify the pre-populated information and complete the mandatory fields.
  8. You must submit your eCAF on, or before, your first Census day.
  9. Once you submit your eCAF, you will receive an email confirming your loan approval and a copy of your completed form which you should keep for your records.
  10. If you do not submit your eCAF on or before the Census day, you will not be able to access a VSL for that fee period.

If you are having any difficulties submitting your eCAF, please scroll to the top of the page to download the eCAF FACT SHEET or speak to our Student Administration Manager at our Shepparton Head Office by phoning 1300 664 601.

Eligibility for a VET Student Loan

When enrolled in the HLT54121 Diploma of Nursing with us, you are eligible for a VET Student Loan if you meet the below criteria.

Citizenship and residency requirements

The VSL program has strict citizenship, visa and residency requirements. It is not available for all Australian residents. To be eligible, students must be either:

  1. an Australian citizen, or
  2. a permanent humanitarian visa holder who is usually resident in Australia, or
  3. a qualifying New Zealand citizen for which they:
    • hold a Special Category visa, and
    • have been usually resident in Australia for at least 10 years, and
    • have been a dependent child when they were first usually resident in Australia, and
    • have been in Australia for periods totaling 8 years during the previous 10 years, and
    • have been in Australia for periods totaling 18 months during the previous 2 years.

Academic Suitability:

  1. You have been assessed by us to undertake the course on the basis of providing us with:
  • a copy of your Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12 Certificate), or
  • a copy of your Victorian VCAL Senior or VCAL Intermediate Certificate, or
  • a copy of your International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) diploma, or
  • a copy of a certificate showing you have been awarded a qualification at level 4 or above in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) or at a level in a framework that preceded the AQF and is equivalent to level 4 or above in the AQF (where the course was delivered in English). The certificate must be:
    • a document issued by a body registered to award the qualification in the AQF in Australia, or
    • a letter or certificate issued by a Federal, State, or Territory government agency which assesses overseas qualifications, and which shows that your qualification has been determined to be equivalent or comparable to a qualification in the AQF at level 4 or above.

If you cannot provide any of the above evidence:

  • we will organise for you to sit an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) test. You will be considered academically suitable if the test shows you to be competent at or above Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both Reading and Numeracy.

Further requirements:

  1. Your HELP balance is more than $0 which means you have enough HELP balance remaining for your proposed studies to be covered by the loan, and
  2. You are studying this course at our Shepparton or Sale campus, and
  3. You have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or are otherwise exempt, and
  4. You have a Tax File Number (TFN), or can provide a Certificate of Application for a TFN, and
  5. We reasonably believe you show a commitment to complete the course, and
  6. You have provided all of the required documents to us.
  7. You have submitted your Application for a VSL by 11:59pm AEST on or before the Census Day for the first unit of the course for which you are requesting a loan, and no less than 2 business days after enrolling.

VET student loans will not be approved for students who do not meet the above stated eligibility requirements.


As each individual’s circumstances are different, we will advise you about any further documentation we need you to provide so that we are able to confirm your eligibility for a VET Student Loan.

You must supply us with an original or a certified copy of the original of your:

  1. Current Australian Passport, or
  2. Full birth certificate issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM); or
  3. Australian Citizenship certificate (accepted only in certain circumstances), or
  4. Extract of Citizenship certificate (accepted only in certain circumstances), or
  5. For First Nations Applicants not registered at birth by the relevant state/territory authority who do not have a current Australian passport: a Statutory Declaration Form – citizenship – First Nations student – birth not registered, or
  6. For New Zealand SCV holders: evidence that you began living in Australia as a child at least 10 years before applying for the loan. You can obtain copies of your international movement records from the Department of Home Affairs by lodging a Request for International Movement Records form, or
  7. For Permanent humanitarian visa holders: confirmed by the Australia Department of Home Affairs’ Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system. The email should be sent from VEVO to the requested PTA email address directly)

AND an original or certified copy of the original of your:

  • Year 12 Certificate, or VCAL Senior or VCAL Intermediate Certificate, or
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) diploma, or
  • Certificate showing you have been awarded a qualification at level 4 or above in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) or at a level in a framework that preceded the AQF and is equivalent to level 4 or above in the AQF (where the course was delivered in English).

Note – if you are unable to provide any of the above academic documents, you must sit an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) test.


If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must complete and sign a VET Student Loans Parental Consent Form. The completed parental consent form must be given to us before you can be issued with an eCAF application form. The parental consent form is not necessary if you have been assessed by Centrelink as meeting the requirements for receiving the independent rate of Youth Allowance under part 2.11 of the Social Security Act 1991. You will need to provide evidence of this assessment in the form of your Centrelink Income Statement, which you can request by logging into myGov and selecting your Centrelink online account. For more information, visit Centrelink online account help – Request a document.


A VET Student Loan may only be used to pay for all or part of your course TUITION FEE. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as an administration fee, materials fees, training resources, accommodation or for other charges (e.g. RPL).  Any additional costs must be paid by you to us prior to course commencement.

There is a limit to how much a student can borrow which is referred to as the Loan Cap.  The 2023 VSL Loan cap is $16,788, and the 2024 Loan cap is $18,097.  Before you enrol in this course, we’ll provide you with information regarding the value of Tuition Fees above the loan cap as well as any associated payment arrangements.

The amount of the VSL you can be approved for will not be greater than your available HELP balance. Your available HELP balance is your HELP loan limit of that given year, minus your HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and/or VET Students Loans borrowing.

Taking out a loan will reduce your available HELP balance, and making repayments will increase your available HELP balance. For more information about how combined HELP loan limits are calculated, go to

If your course Tuition Fee is more than your available HELP balance, you will be required to pay the difference (gap) direct to us in accordance with our payment arrangements.

A 20% loan fee applies to Fee For Service students which does not count towards your HELP limit.

This loan fee is not charged to Skills First Government subsidised students who access a VET Student Loan.

Scroll to the top of this page and click on VET Student Loans Statement of Fees and Charges to view our HLT54121 Diploma of Nursing course fees and charges. Fees charged may vary depending on an individual’s circumstances at the time of enrolment.

If you do not want to access a VET Student Loan to pay for your course Tuition Fee, refer to our HLT54121 Course Information Sheet which details other available payment arrangements for Tuition Fees. You will need to fill in the online form to view it and a copy will be automatically emailed to your email address.


Your total course Tuition Fee is divided by 3 Census days which is the number of Units of Study in this course (3 semesters). You will be liable for the value of the Tuition Fees for each Unit of Study as those Census days occur. This means that you incur debt as you progress through your course, and not for the whole course at the beginning.

We provide you with a VET Student Loans fee notice at least 14 days before the Census day so that you have all of the information you need to make your study and payment decisions.

The CENSUS DATEs for your course are very important dates for you to know! These dates are a STRICT deadline set by us and are the FINAL DATE by which you can:

  1. complete the eCAF to access a VET Student loan for your course, or
  2. withdraw your VSL enrolment without incurring a debt for the course OR part of the course.

You may withdraw your VSL for the entire course OR for a Unit of Study. This must be emailed to us by you in accordance with the Withdrawal Policy and Procedures set out in our Student Handbook. Withdrawing from your VSL does not mean you withdraw your enrolment in the course but rather that you prefer to pay for your Tuition fees without using a VSL.

You must withdraw your VSL correctly by the Census day to avoid a debt!

  • Withdrawal on or before a CENSUS DATE for a Unit of Study means you do not incur a HELP debt for that part of your course. If you made an upfront payment of your Tuition fees, you will receive a refund.
  • Withdrawal after the CENSUS DATE for a Unit of Study means you will incur a HELP debt regardless of whether you attend any training sessions or submit assessments. If you made any upfront Tuition Fee payments, you are NOT eligible for a refund of those payments.
  • If you fail a Unit of Study OR withdraw after the CENSUS DATE because you became seriously ill or because of other special circumstances, you can apply with us to have your HELP debt removed.

IMPORTANT! For more detailed information about withdrawing from your VSL and Refunds, refer to Section 10. VET Student Loans in our Student Fees and Charges Policy/Procedure as well as section 15.2 Student-initiated withdrawal in our Student Handbook at


You must meet engagement and progression requirements by completing a Progression Form to continue accessing a VET Student Loan. There are 3 fixed progression points (Feb, Jun & Oct) throughout the year, at four-month intervals. You are required to complete a Progression Form issued to you via the eCAF system within 2 weeks of receiving the invitation email. Failure to submit your Progression Forms will impact your VSL payments.


‘Tuition Protection’ refers to the protections and assistance available to support VSL students in the event their private education provider defaults (ceases delivering or does not commence, a course).
If we default before you are able to complete your course, Tuition Protection Service (TPS) will assist you to:
• continue your studies with a replacement provider in an equivalent or similar course; or
• if TPS can’t find you a suitable replacement course, you may be entitled to receive a loan re-credit for parts of the course you were unable to complete because of your provider’s default.

A provider default occurs in relation to a VSL student when either a course, or part of a course:
• fails to start on the day on which it was scheduled to start; or
• ceases after commencement but before completion; and
• the student has not withdrawn.

Key steps after a private VSL provider defaults:
• provider defaults – you should print or save a copy of your study information and documents
• students contacted – TPS will identify, and contact affected students
• replacement course options – TPS will advise whether a suitable replacement course is available
• replacement course suitability and reconsideration – you can ask TPS to reconsider the above decision if you do not think your replacement options are suitable
• choosing a course and commencing your studies – you must enrol and commence your studies in the replacement course.

If Partners In Training Australia defaults, TPS will contact you within 7 days with information about the next steps. If you do not hear from them, you should contact TPS by email at  or call 1300 980 434. For more information on Tuition Protection Service, please go to



We are committed to providing you with affordable training by offering a variety of funding options. Depending on your eligibility, location, qualification/units of competencies/modules and individual circumstances at the time of enrolment, Partners in Training will assist you to explore your funding options.


Partners in Training are contracted with the Victorian Government to deliver training under the Skills First Program. We have access to Skills First for eligible students training in a vocational training course in Victoria.

Victorian Skills First program provides Australian citizens and permanent residents the opportunity to access Government-funded qualifications. The funding makes vocational training more accessible and cost effective. The recent change to the eligibility means it does not matter what prior qualifications you hold you can access our Skills First government funded courses. Through the Victorian Skills First program, eligible applicants may access Victorian and Commonwealth government-subsidised funding for courses at Partners in Training. You can potentially gain access to a Certificate IV or Diploma level qualification for less $200.

Please refer to our Fees and charges for 2023 for details on the fees and costs for your qualification.

government subsidised training

For further information on Skills First funding please refer to our Skills First Program Information Sheet available here and our Student Fees and Charges Policy and Procedures available here.

To find out more about the Skills First Program from the Victorian Government visit



Prior to enrolment and commencement of a course, Partners in Training holds an information session which you are required to attend. By attending this information session you receive all the information you need to make an informed choice about your learning and complete a pre-training review to confirm your course is right for you.

Your enrolment will be finalised upon payment of your administration fee, tuition fees and any other applicable charges. You must undertake a Pre-Training Review prior to your enrolment and course commencement.

For Diploma of Nursing and VET Student Loan students, you must sit an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) test and be assessed as competent at Exit Level 3 in the BKSB (from 1 August 2021) test in both reading and numeracy. If you wish to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and/or Credit Transfers (CT) please read our guide and application forms here. You must bring the form with you to your enrolment session.

You can enrol via zoom or face-to-face. To find out when the next information session for your course is being held and what you need to bring to that information session, please call our office on 1300 664 601.

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