VET Student Loans

VET Student Loans is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students pay their tuition fees.

The loan is repaid through the Australian tax system when you reach the minimum income threshold for repayment. The minimum income threshold for repayment is set by the Australian Government each year and is published on Study Assist. Repayments continue until you have repaid your entire debt. It is important to note that your loan will remain a personal debt until it is repaid and it may reduce your take-home (after tax) wage and your borrowing capacity. You may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying.

A VET Student Loan is only for tuition fees and doesn’t cover additional costs such as textbooks, equipment, materials or travel/accommodation. VET Student Loans also attract an additional 20% Loan Fee.

The amount you can borrow for each qualification is determined by the Australian Government and indexed annually. The loan cap is set by the Australian Government and is the maximum amount you are able to loan for that qualification. The maximum loan cap amount must not exceed your remaining FEE-HELP balance. If there is a gap between the course cost and the loan cap – you will be required to pay this directly to Aviation Australia.

Aviation Australia has the below approved qualifications:

  • AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilots Licence – Aeroplane)
  • AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating)
  • AVI60219 Advanced Diploma of Aviation (Pilot in Command)

A full list of approved courses is provided in the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016.

Before applying for a VET Student Loan, ensure you read & understand this information.

You must meet the below criteria (and provide documentation) to be eligible to apply for a VET Student Loan:

  • Meet citizenship and residency requirements;
    • Be an Australian Citizen; or
    • A qualifying New Zealand Citizen; or
    • A permanent Humanitarian Visa holder who resides in Australia.
  • Be 18 years or older, or
    • Have a responsible parent of the student sign the parental consent form, or
    • The student is receiving youth allowance on the basis they are independent as identified within the Social Security Act – Centrelink Income Statement will confirm this assessment.
  • Meet Language, Literacy and Numeracy requirements;
    • Australian Year 12 Senior Secondary Certificate; or
    • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) diploma ; or
    • Successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate IV level or higher qualification (delivered in English); or
    • If you cannot provide any of the above documents, you will be required to display competence at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy.  Aviation Australia will offer the Australian Government approved assessment tool – Basic Keys Skills Builder (bksb) to students to undertake this assessment. You will be required to complete this testing with honesty and integrity, and without any assistance. You will be notified of the results of the assessment as soon as practical following completion.
  • Meet academic suitability requirements listed for the course and show reasonable grounds that you are able to successfully and competently complete the course;
  • Meet the Tax File Number requirements (provide Tax File Number or Certificate of Application for a Tax File Number);
  • Provide your Unique Student Identifier (USI).

You must also meet the below criteria:

  • Provide your documentation and loan application submission no later than two (2) business days after enrolling;
  • Have no current outstanding fees with Aviation Australia;
  • Have available FEE-HELP balance;
  • Have read and understood the Information for VET Student Loan Students

You can check if you’re eligible and calculate your loan using the MySkills Eligibility Tool and Loan Calculator


If you are considering applying for a VET Student Loan, it’s important to familiarise yourself with your rights and responsibilities:

  • Aviation Australia communicates with students via email and text message – it is your responsibility to keep your contact details up to date and access your emails regularly;
  • If your course contains online training, you must log in regularly to the Learning Management System to remain active and progress your study;
  • Progression – the Australian Government will contact you throughout your study to verify your enrolment and progression in the course. This is a requirement of accessing the Loan and must be done within 2 weeks of the email request. Failure to do this may result in you becoming ineligible for your Loan;
  • Aviation Australia’s policies and procedures apply to all enrolments.

Further information:

Course fees will be reasonably apportioned over a minimum of three study periods. Each study period has one (1) census date – which is the due date that you are able to apply for a VET Student Loan for that study period (or pay tuition fees directly) and the due date for withdrawal of the study period without a loan for that study.

If you choose to withdraw from the study before the census date, you will not incur a loan debt, and any fees you have paid will be refunded in full. We must receive notification in writing of your withdrawal on or before the census date for that study period.

There may be additional fees and resources that will be required to complete certain courses. A sample of these fees is listed below – please note this is not an exhaustive list and a full list will be provided to you prior to enrolment into the course:

More information can be found in the Schedule of Fees for each course:

Step 1

Enrolment is open to applicants who have successfully completed the course pre-requisite entry requirements. If you have not yet completed this, please contact us.

Step 2

Submit your online enrolment application – you will be provided with an enrolment link after Step 1 has been successfully completed.

  • Place a comment in the ‘Notes’ section that states VET STUDENT LOAN if you want to apply for a Loan.
  • Select ‘Pay by Phone’ – do not make any payments online if you are applying for a Loan.

Once you have submitted your online enrolment application, there is a cooling off period of 3-business days.

NOTE: Applying for a course does not guarantee you a place in that course. Enrolling means that you are committing yourself to study and to paying the associated fees. Your place is only guaranteed once you have met all eligibility requirements.

Step 3

Submit your VET Student Loan application – you will be provided with an enrolment link after Step 2 has been completed.

You will need supporting documentation, which includes:

    1. Tax File Number
    2. Passport (current and valid) or Birth Certificate
    3. Year 12 Certificate OR AQF Certificate IV or higher.

Step 4

Once you have submitted your online enrolment application, there is a cooling off period of 3-business days. During this time Aviation Australia will check your Loan eligibility.

  • A Statement of Covered Fees will be issued that will contain information regarding your course, census dates and applicable fees. Your information will then be provided to the Commonwealth Government to advise that you have applied for a Loan.
  • An electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) will be issued by the Commonwealth Government. You must log into the eCAF system to review, accept and submit your eCAF. This is only done once and must be done prior to the first census date. If you do not submit this by the census date, you will not be eligible for a loan and will be required to either pay your fees direct to Aviation Australia, or defer to the next intake (if you wish to access a Loan for the fees).
  • A Fee Notice will be issued by Aviation Australia for each Study Period. You have until the Census Date to nominate if you would like to withdraw from the course or self-fund the Study Period (not using a Loan).
  • After each Census Date, a Commonwealth Assistance Notice will be issued by Aviation Australia, to confirm that you have a Loan for the Study Period. Aviation Australia report to the Commonwealth Government the loan details of the Study Period.

You will be required to start re-paying the Loan once your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold. The Australian Tax Office will calculate this and include it on your income tax Notice of Assessment.

If you withdraw from a study period after the census date, you will incur the VET Student Loan debt for that study period.

If you are unable to successfully complete a study period and believe this is due to Special Circumstances, you may apply to have your VET Student Loan balance re-credited for the study period.

Special Circumstances are:

  • Beyond the student’s control; and
  • Did not make their full impact on the student until on, or after, the census date for the course, or part of the course; and
  • Made it impractical for the student to complete the requirements for the course, or part of the course, during the student enrolment.

To make a re-credit review application, you need to submit a VSL Re-crediting Application form.

Any re-credit review application must be submitted within 12 months from the date you withdrew from the course.

Aviation Australia will consider a student’s re-credit application and notify the student of it’s decision and the reasons for making the decision within 28 days of receiving all the information required to support the application.

If you are eligible for a re-credit, Aviation Australia will re-credit your VSL balance for the appropriate amount.

If you are not eligible for a re-credit, Aviation Australia will notify you of this decision in writing.

Where you are not satisfied with the decision made by Aviation Australia, you may apply for a review of the decision.

The application for review must be made in writing within 28 days of receipt of the original decision, and specify the reasons for applying for the review and include any additional relevant evidence or documentation. Aviation Australia will consider the matter and respond to you within 45 days.

If you are still not satisfied with the decision, you may have the right to take the matter to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for an external appeal.

A student may apply to the Secretary of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to have their VSL balance re-credited under section 71 of the Act because:

  • Aviation Australia, or a person acting on Aviation Australia’s behalf, engaged in unacceptable conduct in relation to the student’s application for a VET student loan, or
  • Aviation Australia has failed to comply with the Act or an instrument under the Act and the failure has adversely affected the student

Applications for re-crediting under section 71 of the Act must be made within 5 years after the census date for the course, or the part of the course, concerned, of within that period as extended by the Secretary.

The Secretary may re-credit a student’s VSL balance in relation to special circumstances if a course provider is unable to act or is being wound up or has been dissolved; or has failed to act and the Secretary is satisfied that the failure is unreasonable.


The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) assists students whose education providers are unable to deliver their course of study.

Action when Aviation Australia ceases to provide a course

Should Aviation Australia be required to cease the provision of an approved course, the affected students will be notified in writing that an approved course is no longer being provided. The Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment (or a consultant engaged by them) will work with affected students to identify a replacement course and arrange for students to be placed with replacement providers.

A student who accepts the replacement course offered will not be required to pay the replacement provider for the replacement components of the replacement course. However, the fees payable for the remainder of the replacement course may be different from the fees payable for the original course. A student who accepts the replacement course offered will also receive course credits for parts of the original course successfully completed by the student, as evidenced by a statement of attainment issued in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework

Procedures as a replacement provider

Should Aviation Australia be selected as a replacement course provider for a student, Aviation Australia will ensure that the student:

  • Is granted course credits for parts of the original course successfully completed by the student, as evidenced by a statement of attainment issued in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework; and
  • Is not charged tuition fees for a replacement component of the replacement course.