VET Student Loans

VET Student Loans

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

Sarina Russo Institute is an approved provider for VET Student Loans (VSL), which can assist eligible students with their tuition fees for approved Diploma courses. 

SRI is covered under the National Tuition Protection Assurance Scheme.

For more information, please refer to SRI VSL Fact Sheet & the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s Information for VET Student Loans Students



What is a VET Student Loan?

The VET Student Loans program is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in approved courses at diploma level or above, at approved course providers pay their tuition fees. The loan has income-contingent repayment arrangements, which means you only need to make repayments if you are earning above the minimum repayment threshold. You can make voluntary repayments at any time.

If you are an eligible student, the department may approve your VET Student Loan for an approved course. The department will pay your loan directly to your approved course provider. You will be responsible for any gap amount in the tuition fees, which are not covered by the loan. You will owe a debt to the Australian Government for the loan, which will be managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Are you eligible for a VET Student Loan?

To be eligible for a VET Student Loan, you must:

  • Meet citizenship and residency criteria (be an Australian Citizen, qualifying New Zealand Citizen or permanent humanitarian visa holder who is usually resident in Australia. 
  • Meet the academic suitability requirements
  • Be studying with an approved course provider
  • Be studying an approved course and be undertaking the course primarily at a campus in Australia
  • Apply using the approved Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)
  • Confirm your commitment throughout the duration of your course to continue to access the loan by submitting progress surveys
  • Have a HELP balance more than zero ($0) (i.e.have not used all your HELP loan limit)
  • Be eighteen (18) years of age or older unless you have a parental consent form signed by a parent or guardian, 
  • Meet Tax File number requirements
  • Have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or is otherwise exempt as per the VSL Student Handbook 
  • Supply the required evidence and documentation to your course provider as requested during the application process.

Contact one of our Career Advisor to check your eligibility. 

What are the VET student loan academic suitability requirements?

Students must provide evidence of one of the following documents:

  • Australian Year 12 Certificate or
  • Evidence of successful completion of a qualification that has been delivered in English and was at a Certificate IV or above in the Australian Qualifications Framework or a qualification which is assessed as equivalent to a Certificate IV from another framework
  • An overseas qualification that has been assessed by a Federal, State or Territory government agency as equivalent or comparable to a certificate IV or above in the Australian Qualifications Framework.
  • A Government Approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy assessment test result, Exit level 3 or higher or
  • An International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) diploma.

If the above cannot be provided, then students must complete the Government Approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy assessment prior to course commencement and successfully complete to an Exit level 3 or higher. 

How can you apply for a VET Student Loan?

To apply for a VET Student Loan, you will need to complete an online Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) and will require your tax file number (TFN). Your eCAF form will be emailed to you after you commence your course. Before you sign and submit your eCAF form, you must read the VET Student Loan Student Information Booklet 2020. The link to the VET Student Loan Information Booklet is provided in the helpful links section of this fact sheet. 

You must submit your eCAF form by your census date. If you do not submit your form on or before the census date, you will not be able to access a VET Student Loan for that study period. 

What is an eCAF form?

An Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) is an online system for students to request a VET Student Loan. You will receive an email asking you to complete the Request for a VET Student Loan Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) by your census day. Once you submit your eCAF form, you will receive an email confirming your VET Student Loan approval.

What is Census Date?

The census date is the day you incur the financial liability (VETSL debt) for the unit/s of study you are completing for the study period. If you withdraw from units of study before the census date, you will not incur the debt for those units.

What is a Loan Fee Notice?

A Loan Fee Notice is a document that will outline a range of information about your course and your VET Student Loan. You will be emailed a Loan Fee Notice in the first week after you are enrolled and will include your census date for the study period. You will receive a Loan Fee Notice for each fee period of the course you are enrolled into.

What is a CAN Notice?

A Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) is sent to you within 28 days from your census date and is sent to you for each study period of your course. Your CAN confirms the tuition fees for your course and the VSL amount you have used for that study period.

What is a progression survey?

While you are studying you will be required to complete Progression Surveys. These surveys are important and are emailed to you to confirm you are still enrolled and enjoying your course.

How can I withdraw from my course?

If you are wishing to withdraw from your course you must email us at: Please remember to take note of your census date. If you withdraw after your census date you will have incurred a VETSL debt.

Can I defer my studies?

Sometimes, due to personal circumstances, you may need to place your course on hold. You can do this for a maximum period of 3 months. Please email us at

Can I study part-time?

Courses at Sarina Russo Institute are full time. It is expected that at least 15-20 hours a week is dedicated to your course.

More Information 

If you need more information about the VET Student Loans program please visit the Study Assist website or contact us at 

Contact Us

VSL Census Dates

Census dates are provided for all VSL approved courses at Sarina Russo Institute.

VSL Census Dates