VET FEE-HELP loans are for eligible vocational education students and can be used to cover up to 100% of your tuition fees.
What it covers
The maximum amount you can borrow is fixed by the Australian Government and includes all FEE-HELP and VET FEE-HELP loans you have taken out in your lifetime. The limit cannot be increased even if you have repaid your previous loans. If your tuition fee exceeds your FEE-HELP balance you can only get a loan equal to your balance and will need to pay the rest upfront. You can check your FEE-HELP balance with myUni Assist.
You may be eligible for VET FEE-HELP if you are:
- an Australian citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa, or
- a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets long-term residency requirements, or
- studying as a full-fee paying vocational education student enrolled in a diploma, advanced diploma, vocational graduate certificate or vocational graduate diploma program, or
- a student subsidised by the Victorian State Government and enrolled in a diploma or advanced diploma program, or
- a student subsidised by the Victorian, South Australian, Queensland, Western Australian or New South Wales Government studying in specified certificate IV program as part of the Certificate IV Trial that concluded in December 2016.
Changes to eligibility
In addition to the above criteria, you must complete a pre-training review and attain Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in literacy and numeracy. This is a new requirement introduced by the Australian Government for 2016. Details of how to sit the evaluation will be provided after you accept your RMIT offer.
In 2016, the Australian Government has also capped the amount of VET FEE-HELP available to students so it cannot exceed 2015 levels.
RMIT anticipates that funding levels will be sufficient but cannot guarantee that VET FEE-HELP will be available for all students in 2016. Should availability be limited, the University will communicate this to affected applicants and students as early as possible.
Students not eligible for VET FEE-HELP
You will not eligible be for VET FEE-HELP if you are:
- a New Zealand citizen and permanent resident
- a Victorian Government subsidised student studying a vocational graduate certificate or vocational graduate diploma
- studying a certificate I–IV.
If you are not eligible for VET FEE-HELP you must pay your tuition fees upfront.
Loan payment and repayment
If your loan application is successful the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your tuition fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.
You only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government, even if you are still studying. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.
In addition to the compulsory repayments, you can:
- at any time make voluntary repayments to the ATO
- benefit from a bonus of 5% added to any repayments you make of $500 or more.
The Australian Government’s Study Assist website has more information about paying back your HELP loan.
Costs and charges
- If you are a Victorian Government subsidised student there is no fee for taking out a VET FEE-HELP loan.
- If you are a full-fee student a loan fee of 20% will be added to your VET FEE-HELP loan.
- No interest applies to VET FEE-HELP loans but your HELP debt will be indexed annually by the ATO to maintain its real value in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
How to apply
Before you apply:
- you MUST READ the Australian Government’s VET FEE-HELP information booklet and Important changes for students accessing VET FEE-HELP.
- you must complete a pre-training review and attain Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in reading and numeracy. Details of how to complete the evaluation will be provided after you accept your RMIT offer.
- please note that you can only apply two days after you have enrolled. This is to ensure you have time to properly consider whether this is the right option for you.
- log in to myRMIT and select Enrolment Online
- select the My student record button
- under Financial details select View / apply for Commonwealth Assistance (eCAF)
- fill in the VET FEE-HELP eCAF
- provide your tax file number (TFN)
- submit your completed eCAF.
- If you are applying for VET FEE-HELP and do not provide your TFN by the course/s census date you will not be entitled to a VET FEE-HELP loan and will need to pay your tuition fees upfront to the University.
- You must complete a separate eCAF for each program for which you want VET FEE-HELP. If for any reason you change your enrolment and commence a new program of study, you will need to submit a new Request for VET FEE-HELP assistance form for that program, in order to defer your tuition fees.
- You must apply for VET FEE-HELP before the census date/s for courses for which you are seeking assistance. If you do not, you will be unable to defer your fees with VET FEE-HELP and will have to pay your fees upfront to the university.
After you apply
Approval and notification process
RMIT will assess your VET FEE-HELP application after you submit it. If your application is approved, RMIT will send an email to your RMIT student email account that advises you to view your HELP approval letter in Enrolment Online.
Your HELP approval letter contains important information about the terms of your HELP loan. To view and print your HELP approval letter, log into myRMIT and select the Enrolment Online link. Select the My student record button. Under Financial details, select View HELP approval letters.
Your tax invoice and making payments
You will still receive a tax invoice each semester outlining your tuition fees and charges. If you choose to make upfront payments, they will be deducted from the amount that the government lends you through the loan scheme. There is no discount available on these upfront payments.
If you wish to defer all or part of your tuition fees, you are not required to make a payment for that amount. The amount that you wish to defer will be deferred after the semester census date. However, you are still required to pay all other fees and charges by the original due date listed on your invoice e.g. material or administration fees.
Enrolments in certificate I–IV are not eligible for VET FEE-HELP. These enrolment charges must be paid upfront to the university by the invoice due date.
Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)
Your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) is an official statement from RMIT outlining the HELP loan or student contribution payment option you have chosen and any HELP assistance you have received.
Removal of debt due to special circumstances
If, because of special circumstances, you need to withdraw from your program/course after the census date then you can apply to have your HELP debt remitted.
For more information, including a definition of special circumstances and by when your application must be submitted, please download the form below.