If you are studying a higher education course at TAFE SA, you may be eligible for a HELP loan from the Australian Government to pay all or part of your tuition fees.

Some TAFE SA higher education courses have places subsidised by the Australian Government. These are known as Commonwealth supported places (CSPs).

If you're enrolled in a CSP, you will still need to pay some of the fees. You may be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan to pay these fees.

If you aren't enrolled in a CSP, you might be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan to help pay your fees.

If you are studying a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course and want information about Australian Government loans, please visit VET Student Loans.

What is a Commonwealth supported place?

If you are enrolled in a CSP, the Australian Government will pay a subsidy directly to TAFE SA. You don’t need to pay this subsidy back.

You will need to pay the rest of the course fee, known as the ‘student contribution’. If you are eligible, you may be able to use a HECS-HELP loan to help pay your student contribution.

In 2021 TAFE SA has CSPs available in the following courses:

Am I eligible for a CSP?

To be eligible for a CSP, you must be one of the following:

  • An Australian citizen, who will be resident in Australia for at least one unit of study contributing to your course
  • A New Zealand citizen, who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your units of study
  • A permanent visa holder, who will be resident in Australia for the duration of your units of study.

What is HECS-HELP?

You may be able to access a HECS-HELP loan to help pay the student contribution if you are enrolled in a CSP.

Further information about HECS-HELP loans is available on the Study Assist website.

Am I eligible for a HECS-HELP loan?

To be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan, you must:

  • Be enrolled in a CSP
  • Be one of the following:
    • An Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia
    • A New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements
  • Be enrolled in your units of study by the census date.

How do I apply for a CSP or HECS-HELP?

If you plan to enrol in a higher education course at TAFE SA, you will receive pre-enrolment counselling. This counselling will include information about CSPs and HECS-HELP loans. You may let TAFE SA know during your counselling that you are interested in a HECS-HELP loan to pay your tuition fees.

You will need to provide evidence that you are eligible for a CSP (and HECS-HELP if you wish to apply for a loan). TAFE SA will assess your evidence to make sure it meets the eligibility criteria.

After TAFE SA has confirmed your eligibility you will receive an email from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) with instructions about completing an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)

You must submit an eCAF by your earliest census date even if you have paid your fees upfront, otherwise you will lose your CSP and full fees will apply.

If you are applying for HECS-HELP, it is important that you receive confirmation from DESE that your application for a loan has been successful before your earliest census date.

If the census date for a unit of study passes before your application is successful, you won’t be able to get a HECS-HELP loan for that unit of study.

What is FEE-HELP?

For TAFE SA higher education courses with no Australian Government subsidy, you may be able to access a FEE-HELP loan to help pay all or part of your tuition fees.

Further information regarding FEE-HELP is available on the Study Assist website.

Am I Eligible for a FEE-HELP loan?

To get a FEE-HELP loan, you must:

  • Be one of the following:
    • An Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia
    • A New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements
  • Be enrolled in your units of study by the census date.

How do I apply for FEE-HELP?

If you plan to enrol in a higher education course at TAFE SA, you will receive pre-enrolment counselling. This counselling will include information about FEE-HELP loans. You may let TAFE SA know during your counselling that you are interested in a FEE-HELP loan to pay your tuition fees.

You will need to provide evidence that you are eligible for a FEE-HELP loan. TAFE SA will assess your evidence to make sure it meets the eligibility criteria.

After TAFE SA has confirmed your eligibility, you will receive an invitation email from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) with instructions about completing an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF). When you are completing the eCAF you will need to provide a valid tax file number that matches the details held with the Australian Taxation Office.

It is important that you receive confirmation from DESE that your application for a loan has been successful before your earliest census date.

If the census date for a unit of study passes before your application is successful, you won’t be able to get a FEE-HELP loan for that unit of study.

How much can I borrow?

You can borrow up to the ‘combined HELP loan limit’ to pay your tuition fees. This includes all FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans and any HECS-HELP loans incurred from 1 January 2020.

Once you begin using your HELP loan limit, the amount of HELP you have left to borrow is known as your available HELP balance.

Your HELP balance is renewable, meaning that repayments you make can be re-borrowed in the future.

For up-to-date information about the combined HELP loan limit and HELP balance, see the Study Assist website.

What does a HELP loan cover?

A HELP loan helps you to pay the tuition fees for subjects you enrol in that lead towards a higher education award. It only covers subjects you are enrolled in by the census date.

The loan does not cover textbooks, materials, equipment, travel, accommodation or general living expenses, or any additional costs identified as incidental fees.

What is the census date?

Your must have lodged a successful application for a HELP loan by the earliest census date for your units of study.

The census date is the also last date on which you can withdraw from a unit of study without incurring a debt for that unit of study. 

Your census date is calculated as the start date for that unit of study, plus 20% of the duration of the unit of study.

You can use the Census Date Calculator to find the census dates for your units of study. 

What is a Commonwealth Assistance Notice?

If your application for a HELP loan is successful, you will receive a CAN within 28 days of your census date.

Your CAN contains information about the units of study covered by your HELP loan. An up-to-date CAN for each semester can be found in your MyTAFESA account.

If you believe that the information in your CAN is incorrect, you must, within 14 days of the date on which the CAN was issued, submit a CAN review request via the contact us form or by emailing feehelp@tafesa.edu.au. You should include evidence showing why you think the CAN is incorrect.

You will be re-issued the CAN if the original is incorrect.

Will I get a refund or re-credit if I withdraw?

If you withdraw from a course before or on the census date, you will receive a refund of any tuition fees that you have paid up-front. If you have applied for a HELP loan, you will not incur a HELP debt for the unit(s) of study from which you are withdrawing.

If you withdraw from a course after the census date, you may still be eligible for a refund of up-front fees and/or re-credit of your FEE-HELP balance, if you meet the ‘Special circumstances’ criteria. You will need to complete and submit a Higher Education application for refund and/or HELP loan re-credit form.

TAFE SA will advise you of the decision in writing. If you are not satisfied with the decision you can apply for a review of the decision by completing the Higher Education application to review a refund and/or HELP loan re-credit decision within 28 days.

If, after completing all of the steps above, you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review. Your application to the AAT must be made within 28 days from the day you receive notification from TAFE SA about the outcome of the review. The AAT may charge you a fee for reviewing a decision made by TAFE SA.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Level 2 1 King William St Adelaide SA 5000
P: 1800 228 333

See withdrawals and refunds for more information.

If you have any queries, please contact us or call 1800 882 661.

Schedule of Higher Education Fees

Statement of Tuition Assurance

Policies and Procedures

FEE-HELP related policies and procedures cover fair treatment, personal information, academic grievance, student complaint resolution and refunds/re-credits.

If you require further information, please contact us.

 

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