Student fee exemptions and concessions

Students who are eligible for government subsidised training may also be eligible for a fee exemption or concession. There are no concessions or exemptions available for students in non-subsidised courses.

Fee Exemptions

If you are eligible for a government subsidised course, you will be exempt from paying fees if you are:

  • an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • a student with a disability (or a dependant of a Disability Support benefit holder).

Concession fees

Concession fees are available in government subsidised courses up to Certificate IV. There are no concessions for Diploma or Advanced Diploma students, who can apply for VET Student loans.

In 2017, if you are eligible for a government subsidised place, you will pay the Smart and Skilled concession fee if you are:

  • a Commonwealth welfare recipient. The concession fee may also be available for your dependant, spouse or partner.

Concession fees apply to the whole qualification and are a flat fee for each qualification level. Concession fees for 2017 range from $80 to $240.

When you enrol, you will be asked to provide your Centrelink Reference Number (CRN) to validate your eligibility for a concession fee.

Eligible benefits include:

Eligible benefits - column 1 Eligible benefits - column 2
  • Age Pension
  • Austudy
  • Carer Payment
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Family Tax Benefit Part A (maximum rate)
  • Parenting Payment (Single)
  • Newstart Allowance (except for NSW apprentices and New Entrant Trainees)
  • Special Benefit
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Veterans’ Children Education Scheme
  • Veterans’ Affairs Pensions
  • Widow B Pension
  • Widow Allowance
  • Youth Allowance
  • Wife Pension
 

Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarships

Concession students may also be eligible for a Fee-Free Scholarship. This means you can complete your study without paying fees.
To be eligible you must:

  • have begun training after 1 July 2015 in a Smart and Skilled Certificate I to Certificate IV
  • be between 15-30 years old (inclusive) at the start of training
  • be eligible for a government subsidised place
  • be a Commonwealth Welfare recipient (or the dependant of a welfare recipient)

OR starting training from 1 January 2016 and meet the Out-of-Home Care definition at the time of enrolment and are:

 - aged 15-17 years and currently in out-of-home care,

 - or aged 18-30 years and previously in out-of-home care.

OR aged 15 and over, commencing in training 1 July 2016 and be able to disclose (self-declare) at enrolment that they meet the domestic and family violence definition.

Scholarships are limited to 50,000 students across the state each year. This limit does not apply to eligible students living in NSW Social Housing (or on the waiting list for social housing), who will be granted a fee waiver even after the yearly allocation of scholarships has been exhausted.

Individuals are eligible for one scholarship per financial year (starting 1 July 2015) and a maximum of two scholarships over four financial years (ending 30 June 2019).

If you think you are eligible, simply enrol or apply for the course as normal. Once your enrolment is submitted and your age and eligibility for concession has been verified you will automatically be granted a fee waiver.

For students not in social housing, the scholarships will be granted on a first-in, first-served basis until the state-wide limit is reached, so be sure to start your enrolment process as soon as you can.

Proof of eligibility for a concession or exemption

You must provide the following proof to support your eligibility for a fee exemption or concession fee.

Welfare recipient - concession

At the time of enrolment the recipient of a specified Commonwealth benefit or allowance must provide the following proof of eligibility for a concession:

  • a letter from the Department of Human Services (Centrelink) confirming receipt of the benefit. The letter should clearly show the Centrelink Reference Number (CRN); or
  • a current concession card that shows the CRN; or
  • a current Centrelink income statement that clearly shows the benefit or allowance category and the CRN; or
  • any other evidence that clearly shows the CRN and the benefit or allowance category; or
  • for people applying for Austudy or Newstart allowance, an approval letter from Centrelink that shows the CRN and indicates that commencement date of their benefit is within two weeks of their enrolment or two weeks within the date of the first class attendance or participation in training.

An individual who is seeking a concession as a dependent child, spouse or partner of someone who is receiving a specified Commonwealth benefit or allowance must provide documentary evidence that Centrelink recognises the individual as the dependant. The evidence should clearly show the CRN of the benefit or welfare recipient.

Students with a disability - exemption

A student who seeks a fee exemption on the basis of disability will need to provide:

  • a letter from Centrelink confirming receipt of the Disability Support Pension. The letter should clearly show the Centrelink Reference Number (CRN); or
  • a current Disability Pensioner Concession Card that shows the CRN; or
  • a current Centrelink income statement for the Disability Support Pension, which clearly shows that income is for the disability pension and also shows the CRN; or
  • any other evidence that clearly shows the CRN and confirms receipt of the Disability Support Pension; or
  • documentary evidence of support needs due to the student’s disability. This evidence must be a letter or statement from:
    • a medical practitioner; or
    • an appropriate government agency such as Veteran’s Affairs or a TAFE NSW teacher consultant (for students with a disability), a school counsellor or special education coordinator, Centrelink, a Disability Service Provider, or a Job Capacity Assessor; or
    • a specialist allied health professional (including a rehabilitation counsellor, psychologist, speech pathologist, or occupational therapist).

An individual who is seeking an exemption as a dependent child, spouse or partner of someone who is receiving a Commonwealth Disability pension must provide documentary evidence that Centrelink recognises the individual as a dependant. The evidence should clearly show the CRN of the Disability Pension Recipient.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students - exemption

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students prove their status and eligibility for a fee exemption through descent, self-identification and community identification. Students will need to declare their status and be able to provide documentary evidence of community identification, if required.

Further Information

If you have any questions about your eligibility for a concession or exemption, or would like to discuss your study and fee options, please contact us, we’re happy to help.