Review of the VET Student Loans Approved Course List and Loan Caps Methodology


This page includes information about the Government's Review of the VET Student Loans (VSL) Eligible Course List and Loan Caps.

Students can only access VSL for approved courses offered by approved course providers. The VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 (the Determination) sets out the approved courses and loan caps.

In February 2017, the Government began a comprehensive review of the methodology of the VSL approved course list and loan caps. The aim of the review was to ensure the program was well placed to support the ongoing skills development needs of Australian workplaces.

The review included the release of a public discussion paper. The department received over 300 written submissions and conducted stakeholder consultations and analysis.

The review is now complete.

Review Outcome:

There was no compelling evidence to warrant significant change to the loan cap amounts at this early stage of the program. The Government will continue to monitor the operation of the program and explore the possibility for some minor adjustments once more data becomes available.

From 1 January 2018, loan cap amounts will be indexed as provided for by the VET Student Loans Act 2016 and according to the provisions set out in the Determination.

The Determination will also be updated in early 2018.Students who commenced studies and had loans approved prior to the update will continue to access the loan to complete their course of study.

Frequently Asked Questions

VET Student Loans are income contingent loans provided by the Australian Government to students to support them to undertake high quality training for skills that are aligned to workplace needs.

Courses that are approved for loans, and the caps on the loan amounts that students can borrow per course, are set by the Government. This is in addition to the process to approve which Registered Training Organisations can deliver a VET Student Loan approved course and the limits which apply to how many students can be enrolled with the assistance of VSL.

In setting limits on which courses students study with the help of a VET Student Loan, and the amount students can borrow, the Government is seeking to ensure that students are not incurring an inflated level of debt for a course, and that loans are only being provided for courses that are closely aligned to the skills that employers need in their workplace, thereby enhancing the opportunities for graduates to work, and to repay the money lent to them by taxpayers.

The current methodology for approving courses looks at those which have a high national priority, meet industry needs, contribute to addressing skills shortages and align with strong employment outcomes.

Courses are approved if they are current (in other words not superseded) and on at least two state and territory subsidy lists, or are a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) course (as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Office of the Chief Scientist) or tied to licensing requirements for a particular occupation.

Exemptions to this methodology were given to specific listed and not-for-profit providers who presented evidence of good employment outcomes, employer support, and a track record of student progression and completion through a particular course.

At the time of the review there were 350 approved courses on the Determination which VSL approved training providers could apply to offer. An additional 34 courses were listed in Schedule 3 of the Determination, which can only be offered by specified training providers.

Loan caps apply to all approved courses. At the time of the review there were three loan cap bands of $5000, $10,000 and $15,000, which apply irrespective of whether the course is being delivered face-to-face, online, or via mixed delivery modes. Exceptions to this methodology apply to courses in the aviation training package, which are allocated to a separate $75,000 loan cap due to their higher delivery costs. The loan cap for the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Nursing courses is $15,000.

Need more information?

If you cannot find the answer to your question on this website you are encouraged to use the Department’s dedicated VET Student Loans online enquiry form.

You can also call the Department’s Student Enquiry line on 1800 020 108.