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VET Student Loans


VET Student Loans commenced on 1 January 2017, replacing the VET FEE-HELP scheme. The VET Student Loans program offers greater protection for students and focuses on courses that address industry needs, creating better opportunities for employment. VET Student Loans offers income contingent loan support to eligible students studying certain diploma level and above vocational education and training qualifications. Eligible students are entitled to loans up to a capped amount.

All students must read the Institute’s VET Student Loans Handbook and VET Information for Students when applying for a VET Student Loan.

To understand your obligations under the VET Student Loans program please see this page here, which includes information on the application process, ongoing student obligations, and how to cease accessing a VSL.


To receive a VET Student Loan, you must:

  1. be an eligible student
  2. be studying an approved course
  3. be studying with an approved course provider
  4. apply to the government using the approved form, and confirm your engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout your course.

To be an eligible student, you must meet  the citizenship requirements and ALL of the additional requirements detailed below (evidence that you meet these requirements will be requested and retained when completing your online application):

  • an Australian Citizen, or
  • a qualifying New Zealand citizen, or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder who is usually resident in Australia, and
  • Your FEE-HELP balance (the amount of your FEE-HELP limit you have remaining) is more than $0, and
  • You are enrolled with an approved course provider in an approved course and have enrolled in accordance with the application requirements, and
  • You are studying the approved course primarily at a campus in Australia.

If you are under 18 years of age at the time of submitting your application, then you must also have your parent or guardian co-sign. Students who have received Youth Allowance as an independent (as defined under 2.11 of the Social Security Act 1991) will not need to have the application co-signed.

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; OR
  • providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework
  • Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); 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.

Additionally, students will need to demonstrate their suitability for studying prior to a course offer by completing:

  1. Core Skills Profile for Adults (online)
  2. Upfront Assessment of Need (interview).

This test will be supervised where possible. In all cases it is expected that testing is both conducted by the Institute, and completed by the student, with honesty and integrity. The results of the Core Skills Profile for Adults will be reported to the student upon completion and also to the Secretary (VSL – DESE) in the form, manner and by the time requested by them. 

Loan Caps

A list of current VET Student Loans approved courses and maximum loan amounts is available in the VET Student Loans 2023 Course List and Loan Caps (for students).

Eligible Courses

Relationships Australia South Australia Ltd (trading name – Australian Institute of Social Relations) is an approved course provider for the following VET Student Loans:

CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling
Loan Cap Band 2 – $11,191 (maximum)

CHC51115 Diploma of Financial Counselling
Loan Cap Band 2 – $11,191 (maximum)

CHC81115 Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution
Loan Cap Band 2 – $11,191 (maximum)

Census Dates

Every part of a course (unit or subject) has its own census day, so that you incur debts as your progress through your course, not for the whole course at the beginning. Every course will have at least 3 census days spread reasonably evenly throughout your course.

The census day for a course, or a part of a course, is the last day you can:

  • complete the eCAF to apply for a VET Student Loan for your course, or;
  • withdraw your enrolment without incurring a debt for the course or part of the course.

Contact the Australian Institute of Social Relations to confirm census days for the modules you are planning to enrol in.

More information about Census Days can be found here.

You must withdraw by the census day to a avoid a VET Student Loans debt!

For more information about withdrawal or deferral please refer to the Student Handbook pg. 13-14.

A Deferral/Widthdrawal/Transfer Form is available here.

Cancel (re-credit) your HELP Debt for a Unit of Study ‘Special Circumstances’

For more information regarding how to apply to cancel (re-credit) your HELP debit for a Unit of Study because of Special Circumstances, use this link for more information

Complaints and Appeals

Information on VET Student Loans debt issues and complaints concerning a provider is available here

Further Information

Becoming a student of the Institute as a ‘Replacement Provider’

In cases where your former provider has ceased delivery of a course then the Institute may be selected as your replacement provider under the VSL scheme.

Any units or units of study that were completed prior to cessation of training will be credited in the replacement course upon provision of a copy of either a Statement of Attainment or an Academic Transcript issued by the previous provider.

You will not be charged tuition fees for any replacement component of a replacement course where these fees have already been paid.

You must accept the new course offer and be enrolled in the replacement course as soon as practicable.

The Institute will notify the VSL Tuition Protection Director in writing within 14 days of acceptance.


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