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VET Student Loan – Pre-enrolment Information | Aviation Australia


What is a VET Student Loan?

VET Student Loans are offered by the Commonwealth Government to provide eligible students access to quality VET qualifications. This is a personal debt to the Commonwealth Government (with a 20% loan fee).

Before applying for a VET Student Loan – please ensure that you read and understand the important information below.

NOTE: Your loan application is separate to your enrolment with Aviation Australia.

We recommend that you seek independent financial advice before applying for a VET Student Loan – repaying the loan may reduce your take home (after tax) wage or salary and may reduce your borrowing capacity in future.

Aviation Australia is an approved provider for the below qualifications:

  • AVI50215 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilots Licence – Aeroplane)
  • AVI50415 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating)
  • AVI60216 Advanced Diploma of Aviation (Pilot in Command)

You can find a list of all available courses here:

The loan cap is set by the Commonwealth Government and is the maximum amount you are able to loan for that qualification. If there is a gap between the course cost and the loan cap – you will be required to pay this directly to Aviation Australia.

The maximum loan cap amount must not exceed your remaining FEE-HELP balance.

Eligibility / Entry Requirements for a VET Student Loan


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
    • Successful completion of a Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate IV level or higher qualification (delivered in English); or
    • Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) Level 3 or higher in reading and numeracy through an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy Test. Aviation Australia offers testing that meets this requirement.
  • 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 eCAF for VET Student Loans.
  • Have read and understood the VET Student Loans Information Booklet.

Course Fees for VET Student Loan

Course fees will be spread over a minimum of three study periods. Course fees will be reasonably apportioned across these study periods. Each study period has a minimum of one (1) census date – which is the due date that you are able to apply for a VET Student Loan for that study period, and the due date for withdrawal of the study period without attracting a VET Student 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. See our Change of Course Enrolment policy for more information.

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:

For the Advanced Diploma of Aviation (Pilot In Command):

  • CASA ATPL Theory Examination Fees (Estimated cost for all subjects AUD $1,120)

For the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot) and Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating):

  • Pilot uniform/s (estimated AUD $300)
  • Closed in shoes (not steel caps)
  • CASA documentation, flight maps and charts (estimated AUD $900)
  • Personal headset (estimated AUD $250-$700)
  • CASA examinations (fee estimated AUD $1,100.00)

The below items are also recommended to support your study:

  • Access to a computer / tablet (research and online study)
  • Stationery (i.e. notebooks, pens)
  • Calculator
  • Wrist watch (optional – strongly recommended)

Enrolment Process

Once you have read and understood all the information available to you, and you are ready to enrol, follow the steps below:

  1. Read the Aviation Australia Student Handbook (available under Policy & Governance)
  2. Read the VET Student Loan Student Information handbook (link above)
  3. Check you meet the course eligibility requirements, and gather your supporting documentation:
    1. Unique Student Identifier
    2. Passport (current and valid)
    3. Year 12 Certificate OR Certificate IV or higher
  4. Go to the Aviation Australia website, and complete your online enrolment application.
    1. Upload your supporting documentation – including course pre-requisites and Loan eligibility documents.
    2. Place a comment in the ‘Notes’ section that states VET STUDENT LOAN if you want to apply for a Loan.
    3. Select ‘Pay by Phone’ – do not make any payments online if you are applying for a Loan.
  5. Once you have submitted your online enrolment application, we will be in contact with you within 3 working days
  6. Aviation Australia will issue you with a Statement of Covered Fees that will contain information regarding your selected option, census dates and what fee’s will apply (both under a VET Student Loan and other fees). Your information will then be provided to the Australian Government to advise that you have applied for a Loan.
  7. The Australian Government will issue you with a login for the Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) system (via email). You must log into this system, where you can then accept and submit your eCAF – this must be done prior to the census date of the study period. If you do not complete this by the census date, you will not be eligible for a loan for the study period, and will be required to either pay your fee’s direct to Aviation Australia, or defer to the next intake (if you wish to access a Loan for the fees).
  8. Once you have submitted your eCAF, the Loan becomes approved. Aviation Australia will then issue you with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN), which confirms that you have a Loan for the course/study period. You must start re-paying the Loan once your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold (even if you are still studying). The Australian Tax Office will calculate this and include it on your income tax Notice of Assessment.

What happens if I am approved for a VET Student Loan?

Once you are approved for a VET Student Loan, Aviation Australia receives your course fees from the Commonwealth Government – and you repay your loan through your tax. You will be required to repay your VET Student Loan when you income reaches the compulsory repayment threshold.

You will be provided with a number of documents including an Enrolment Confirmation, Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN), Statement of Covered Fees and Fee Notice. We will also create your Commonwealth Higher Education Support Student Number (CHESSN) that will be used to identify you with the Commonwealth Government.

  • You must submit an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) prior to the first census date for the study period you wish to apply for a loan. The details on this submission must match your enrolment details. If the eCAF is not submitted, you will be provided with an invoice as a full fee paying student;
  • Aviation Australia communicates with students via email – it is your responsibility to keep your contact details up to date;
  • If your course contains online training, you must log in regularly to the Learning Management System to progress your study;
  • The department will contact you to verify your enrolment and progression in the course. You may be required during the course to communicate to the Commonwealth Government that you progressing through your course;
  • Cancellation for poor engagement/attendance/insufficient progress


If you withdrawal 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.


Under the provisions of Schedule 1A of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA), Subdivision C, Section 102 of the VET Student Loan Rules 2016 and Chapter 3 of the VET Guidelines, Aviation Australia must comply with the VET Tuition Assurance requirements. This is to protect VET students in the event that Aviation Australia ceases to provide a VET course of study in which a VET student is enrolled. The meaning of ‘ceasing to provide a VET course of study’ is set out in the VET Student Loan Rules and Higher Education Support (VET) Guidelines.

Aviation Australia has met the tuition assurance requirements as specified in both the VET Guidelines and the VET Student Loans Rules through its current membership with the Australian Council for Education and Trainings (ACPET) Australian Student Tuition Assurance Scheme (ASTAS).

The contact details for ACPET are:
Australian Council for Education and Trainings (ACPET)
PO Box 551, East Melbourne, VIC, 8002
Phone: 03 9412 59010

In the event that Aviation Australia ceases to provide a VET course of study in which a VET student is enrolled the VET student is entitled to the below options dependent on the funding they are utilising.

For VET Student Loan Students – an offer of a place in a similar VET course of study with a Second Provider whereby students will receive course credits for the parts of their original course successfully completed and that students are not charged tuition fees for the replacement components of the replacement course (this is known as the “VET Course Assurance Option”).

If the tuition assurance scheme operator determines that there is no replacement course available for the student, the operator must issue to a student a notice advising them of this – also outlining their right to seek a review of this decision.

Once it has been concluded that no replacement course is available the student is entitled to a refund of their up-front VET tuition fee payments and/or a re-crediting of any FEE-HELP balance for any VET unit of study that the VET student was enrolled or commences but does not complete because Aviation Australia ceases to provide the VET course of study of which the VET unit forms part (this is known as the “VET tuition Fee Repayment Option”).

Replacement Tuition Option

  • Under the Replacement Tuition Option, a VET student will be offered a place in a similar VET course of study by ACPET. If the VET student accepts this option, ACPET will make all necessary arrangements to ensure a VET student is able to enrol with a Second Provider in the similar VET course of study.
  • This offered VET course will lead to the same or a comparable qualification without any requirements on the part of the VET students to pay the Second Provider any VET tuition fee for any replacement VET units of study (that is, VET units of study that the VET student has commenced but not completed because the VET course of study ceased to be offered). A VET student will receive full credit from the Second Provider for any Vet units of study successfully completed at the First Provider.
  • A student has 6 months to accept the offer from ACPET, they are also entitled to seek a review of a decision about whether or not a course is a replacement course that meets the requirements outlined in the VET Students Loan Rules 2016.
  • The Second Provider nominated by ACPET may have different VET tuition fees to the fees the VET student would have paid for VET units of study which were part of the VET course of study that Aviation Australia ceased to provide but which the VET student had not yet started studying.
  • A VET student is not obliged to enrol in a VET course of study with a Second Provider offered by ACPET under the VET Course Assurance Option. However, if he/she enrols with any other VET provider there is no obligation on that VET provider to offer full credit transfer for the VET Units of study completed with Aviation Australia or to offer any replacement VET units of study free of charge.

Repayment and Re-Crediting Option

  • Under the VET Tuition Fee Repayment Option, ACPET undertakes to pay the VET student the total of any up-front VET payments already paid by the VET student for any VET units of study the VET student has commenced but not completed because the VET course of study ceased to be provided