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VET Student Loans

VET Student Loans (VETSL) is an Australian Government loan scheme available to you if you are studying approved courses at the diploma level or above, whether you are paying fees at the Victorian Government-subsidised rate or at the fee-for-service rate.

If you meet the VETSL eligibility criteria (see below) you can apply to the Australian Government to pay fees on your behalf. You will then have to repay this loan through your income tax when you start earning above a certain minimum threshold amount. This threshold is adjusted each year by the government. Further information is available via the Australian Taxation Office website.

To be eligible for VET Student Loans you must:

  • be an Australian citizen, hold a permanent humanitarian visa or be a qualifying New Zealand citizen; and
  • be a resident in Australia during your training; and
  • have (or have applied for) a tax file number (TFN), and
  • have not have exceeded the HELP Loan limit ($108,232 in 2021).
  • For more information refer to the StudyAssist website.
  • Over the age of 18 – As per the Alpine Institute entry requirements for the Diploma qualification.

VET student Loans Entry Procedure

In accordance with the VET Student Loans Act 2016, all students wishing to apply for a Commonwealth VET student loan must be assessed for academic suitability to undertake a high level VET qualification.

This academic assessment is in addition to any entry requirements that may be required for the specific course you are undertaking. If you are applying for a Diploma level course at the Alpine Institute you will need to satisfy one of the following requirements.

  • Provide a copy of your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education that has been awarded by an Australian agency or authority indicating your completion of Year 12, OR
  • Provide evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English) OR
  • Undertake a reading and numeracy assessment using an approved assessment tool that demonstrates a minimum Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). The CSPA is the LLN assessment tool used by the Alpine Institute, that was developed by Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).Please note that Alpine Institute will provide you with details on how to undertake this assessment when you apply and will notify you of the results of this assessment as soon as possible.

Note: If you are not able to meet any of these requirements, you will not be eligible to apply for a Commonwealth VET Student loan.

We will review your application and if you meet the entry requirements you will be admitted into your chosen course. If you do not meet the entry requirements for the course we will work with you to identify other learning opportunities that may assist in preparing you to meet the requirements.

It is also important to note that the Alpine Institute is required to retain a copy of the relevant certificate or assessment results for at least five years, as per the AI – Records Management Procedure.

How to Apply

Before you apply for VET Student Loan assistance, you must read the VET Student Loans information booklet which is designed to assist students to understand VET Student Loans and their rights and responsibilities when accessing VET Student Loans assistance.

The information in the booklet should be kept for reference. VET Student Loan - Information Book

After you have read the booklet, contact the Alpine Institute Administration for an AI - Vet Student Loan declaration Form. By signing and submitting the form you are declaring that you have read the booklet and you are aware of your obligations under the VET Student Loans program.

Census dates

The census date is the most important date for you to know about in terms of your loan. The census date is the last day you can:

  • complete the eCAF to access a VET Student Loan, or
  • withdraw your enrolment without incurring the cost or debt for that unit of study.

Every part of a course (unit/subject) has its own census date so that you incur debts as you progress through your course, not for the whole course at the beginning. You will be enrolled in multiple census dates over the period of your course with a minimum of 3 census dates per full course enrolment. Census Dates can be viewed on the Alpine Institute website.

Unit or Course Withdrawal/Refund

For students that do not want to continue their studies in the Diploma course the following rules apply.

  • If you withdraw from the unit on or before the census date you will not incur a debt for that part of your course. If you have already made an upfront payment of your tuition fees you will receive a refund for these fees.
  • If you fail a part of a course (unit or subject), or withdraw from a unit after the census date, you will still have to pay the tuition fee for that unit. If you used a VET Student loan, you will incur a HELP debt. If you made an upfront payment, you are not eligible for a refund of that payment.
  • If you failed the unit or withdrew after the census date because you became seriously ill or because of other special circumstances, you can apply to have your HELP debt removed or your fees refunded. Please refer to AI – Fee’s and Refund Policy
  • If you withdraw from an approved course, or a part of an approved course, the course provider must not, after the withdrawal, enrol the student in an approved course or a part of an approved course without the written permission of the student (which must be given after the withdrawal).
  • A refund of unused materials will be at the discretion of the Corporate Services Manager.

If you wish to withdraw from the Diploma course or unit please contact the Student Services Coordinator or the Alpine Institute Administration Officer.

For more information on the withdrawal procedure please see this document: AI - Administration of Government Funded Programs Procedure & AI - Course Withdrawal and Refund Form

 Census Dates

2022 Census Dates – Cohort 4

Fee Period

Start Date

End Date

Census Date/s

















*please note the above census dates apply to the HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing Cohort 4, commencing on the 1st of March 2022.


For fee information refer to the 2022 Fee Scedule. 



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