VET Student Loans

What is VET Student Loan?

The VET Student Loans (VSL) program is an Australian Government loan program that assists students who meet eligibility requirements and are enrolled in approved higher-level (Diploma and above) VET courses provided by the approved provider to pay their tuition fees. The program is designed to provide financial support to students undertaking higher-level training in courses that address workplace and industry needs, creating better opportunities for employment.

For more information, including on the loan fee that is incurred by FEE-HELP loans, please visit the Department’s VET Student Loan website.

SITCM is an approved VET Student Loan Provider

Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SITCM) (RTO #5143) is an approved VET Student Loan (VSL) provider.

Approved course

Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine is approved as a provider for VSL applications for the following course:

HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage

Note that VET Student Loans are not available for any other course offered by SITCM, and the loans are not automatic, student need to advise the SITCM administration office at the admission that they wished to apply for VET Student Loans for the approved course or part of the course.

It is at the discretion of the Australian Government to approve or refuse approval of an application for VET Student Loans. There are criteria for applying for a loan (described below).


Am I eligible?

You are eligible for VET Student Loans assistance if you:

  • are you an Australian citizen, or
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa and usually reside in Australia, or
  • are a New Zealand citizen on Special Category Visa and meet the long-term residency requirements.
  • study in an approved VSL course (which, for SITCM is the HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage)
  • have not already exceeded your FEE-HELP balance. Your FEE-HELP balance is the maximum loan amount the Australian Government will loan you over the course of your life, for all studies you undertake. For more information, please visit the Government Study Assist

You must also:

  • meet the academic suitability requirements of the VET Student Loans Student Entry Procedure;
  • have a tax file number (TFN) or be applying for one;
  • have a Unique Student Identifier (USI);
  • have a Commonwealth Higher Education Support Number (CHESSN); and
  • Before requesting a VET Student Loan, you will need to provide evidence of your eligibility to SITCM.

What is a Unique Student Identifier (USI)?

A USI is a unique reference number that creates a secure online record of your recognised training and qualifications gained in Australia. If you don’t have a USI, visit to register before you apply to enrol.

What is a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN)?

A CHESSN is allocated to all students when they first access a Commonwealth loan. Any Commonwealth student loan you take is recorded against your CHESSN. If you already have a CHESSN, please supply that number.

Who decides whether I will grant a VET student Loan?

Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine does not decide whether you are granted a VET Student Loan. That is a decision that the Department makes, based on the information you provide.

How do I apply?

To apply for a VET Student Loan:

  • you must be enrolled in the HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage course at SITCM.
  • you must meet both entitlement requirements and academic suitability requirements for the course in the VET Student Loans Student Entry Procedure and Fees Schedule; and
  • you must advise SITCM that you wish to apply for a VET Student Loan for the course.

SITCM will advise the Commonwealth that you wish to apply for a VET Student Loan. The Commonwealth will then email your login details and password to access the eCAF system. You will need to verify the pre-populated information and complete all mandatory fields on the form “Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF”, then submit the eCAF form. Once submitted, you should receive a copy of your eCAF confirmation letter via email. You must provide a copy of this letter to SITCM.

A request for VET Student Loans assistance will only be given at least two business days after a student enrols in a unit of study. You will not be able to receive VET Student Loans assistance for the module if you enrol in a unit of study less than two business days before the census date. This is to ensure that students have had time to fully understand the details of their course enrolment and consider the fee payment options available to them.

Eligible students who fail to pay their tuition fees in full or who do not apply for VET Student Loans will be at risk of having their enrolment terminated.

Where can I find further information?

As with any loan you take, you must understand the terms and conditions before you make a commitment. Further information on VET Student Loans can be found in the VET Student Loans information booklet which provides further material for use by student applicants.

Loan Fee

Students who are accepted into the VET Student Loans program by the Department will be charged a 20% loan fee. That loan fee, i.e., 20% of the full loan amount, is in addition to the principal of the loan itself and must be repaid with the principal amount to the Government.

Note that the loan fee (20%) is not part of your lifetime FEE-HELP limit. Only the loan principal contributes towards your FEE-HELP balance.

Tuition Fee

Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine charges tuition fees for each of the VET courses. The VET course tuition fees published on the SITCM website can be found in the VET Schedule of Tuition Fees or the VET Student Prospectus. This schedule will be updated from time to time, to reflect the current fee period.

Charges not covered by tuition fees

Charges which are not covered by tuition fees are set out in the VET Student Prospectus, pages 18 to 21.

How do I pay back the loan?

You start repaying your accumulated debt through the Australian Taxation Office when your income is above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment. Repayment thresholds are adjusted each year to reflect changes in average weekly earnings.

Check out the Loan repayment page for information on how and when to pay back your loan.

Fee period

The HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage course offered by SITCM is split into four periods, each of which contains a “census day”. You have four fee periods in your course. Each is approximately the same length, and each fee period contains three units of study.

Please access the VET Schedule of Tuition Fees to check the “census day” for the unit of study and the fee period.

What is the Census Day?

The census day is the last date on which students can withdraw from the relevant unit(s) relating to a fee period without incurring a VET Student Loan debt for that/those unit(s). Once the Census Day passes, you can no longer able to withdraw from a unit enrolled without incurring a VSL debt.

Will I receive notice of the VSL debt before it is incurred?

Yes. Every time Census Day is approaching, the SITCM finance officer will send you a Fee Notice. This will ensure that you are informed that Census Day is approaching. The finance officer will send you a Fee Notice at least 14 days before each census day. The Fee Notice will specify the fees of each of the units you have enrolled in and the upcoming census day.

How will I know how much VSL debt has been incurred?

Your VSL debt is incurred the day after your census day (for each fee period) and you will be issued with a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (“CAN”) within 28 days of the census day via email indicating the debt which has been incurred. The CAN will include details of the unit(s) covered by the VSL, you can keep track of what debt relates to what units of study, and your progress in your course.

What if the CAN notice contains incorrect information?

If you consider that the information in your CAN notice is incorrect, you must, within 14 days of the CAN issue, inform the SITCM finance officer at You should include evidence demonstrating why you think your CAN is incorrect.

What are the eCAF progression forms?

Students who applied for VSL assistance for their studies are required to maintain regular progress in your course. The Department uses “progression forms” to monitor your continued enrolment and engagement. SITCM will send these progression forms to you.

How often do I have to complete an eCAF progression form?

You will be required to complete a progression form to show progression in your course, every 4 months, to satisfy Department requirements.

Withdrawal before census day

If you withdraw from the VET course or any unit on or prior to the unit Census Date may be eligible for a refund of any tuition fees (excluding any incidental costs) you have paid in advance for the study period related to that census day, and you will not incur a VSL debt for the study period related to that census day.

Withdrawal after census day

If you withdraw from the VET course or any unit after the unit census day, you will incur a VSL debt for the census dates that have already passed, unless the debt is remitted under special circumstances. If special circumstances apply, you will need to apply for a re-credit of your VSL balance, pursuant to SITCM’s Special Circumstance Refund Policy and Procedure.

For further information about refund and re-credit after withdrawal from the course or unit of study please refer to the Deferral Suspension and Withdrawal Policy and Produce and Refund Policy.