From 1 January 2017 VET FEE‑HELP will cease and VET Student Loans will commence.
Tougher restrictions on eligible private college courses, loan caps and student engagement requirements are among the changes due to come into force in 2017. The new scheme will have a maximum $15,000 cap on loans, which is less than the typical price for, say, a diploma of nursing. The existing VET FEE-HELP scheme has no loan caps. Under the new system, courses will be sorted into bands with fees covered by the government capped at $5000, $10,000 or $15,000 depending on delivery costs.
Public VET providers, including TAFEs, will automatically be able to offer the revamped commonwealth loans but all private providers will have to reapply to be eligible.
The government’s plans also include bans on using recruitment brokers or cold-calling potential students; requirements for students to log in to an online student loans portal to ensure they are active and legitimate and a much higher bar for providers that want to offer government loans, including examining their relationships with industry.
Senator Birmingham wants the new system of VET student loans in place by the start of next year.
If legislation passes the Senate, the new VET Student Loans program will start on January 1. The 144,000 students with existing VET FEE-HELP loans will be grandfathered to the end of 2017.
A compulsory review will be held after 12 months of the new scheme with the minister able to change the loan caps at any time during the first year.
Do you have any questions regarding VET FEE‑HELP? Contact one of our consultants at 1800 266 160 to assist you with meeting your compliance and quality assurance requirements.