We understand that many students are confused by different fees for similar courses, and want to reassure you that studying with TAFE NSW won’t damage your hip pocket.
What is Smart and Skilled?
The Smart and Skilled reforms, introduced on 1 January 2015, will provide more consistent skills training to better meet students' and industries' needs. Students apply for a government subsidy for courses on the 2017 Skills List. Many of which are offered by TAFE NSW.
You can find out more information about the qualifications and calculate your course fee on the Smart and Skilled website.
Subsidised training eligibility
To access government-subsidised training in TAFE NSW, including fee exemptions or concessions, you must be:
- an Australian citizen or meet the criteria of being an Australian permanent resident, a humanitarian visa holder, or a New Zealand citizen
- aged 15 years or older
- no longer be at school and
- living or working in NSW OR
- registered as a NSW apprentice or new entrant trainee.
Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students who live or work within NSW and who live at identified postcodes which border NSW shall have access to government subsidised training places in TAFE NSW.
Eligibility for Smart and Skilled – NSW government subsidised training – is available to humanitarian visa holders, and has been extended to individuals who hold a bridging visa, temporary humanitarian stay visa or temporary humanitarian concern visa commencing training on or after 1 January 2017.
Eligibility for Smart and Skilled - NSW government subsidised training - is extended to registered home-schooled students (PDF) whose training commences on or after 1 January 2017
When you enrol in a government subsidised TAFE NSW course you will be required to pay the Smart and Skilled student fee, unless you qualify for a fee exemption or fee concession.
You may also be eligible for a Smart & Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship.
If you are not a resident of NSW or working within NSW, you have the option of paying the commercial, or fee-for-service, fee.
How the fees are applied
Under Smart and Skilled you are charged one fee for the whole qualification. This means you'll know the total cost of your course before you start. The fee you pay will depend on your eligibility and your previous study history.
The fee you pay, or the fee exemption or Smart & Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship you receive, only covers your first attempt at your course, and the first attempt at any unit of competency within your course. If you want to repeat a unit of competency you should discuss this with your head teacher as soon as possible. A separate fee will be charged for any second or further attempt to successfully achieve a unit of competency and as this fee will be determined on your specific circumstances and training needs, this fee would not be known at time of enrolment.
When your enrolment is complete and you have paid the applicable fees you will be entitled to attend class, participate in training, sit for examinations, receive educational awards, use amenities and services or receive an active TAFEcard (which provides access to library resources).
If you have outstanding fees, please contact your college or campus to discuss and organise alternate arrangements.
All Smart and Skilled student fees are subject to change by State Training Services NSW.
All TAFE NSW fees and charges are subject to change.
Students studying at Diploma or above level may be able to apply for a VET Student Loan in approved courses.
- In addition to the Smart and Skilled student fee, concession fee or fee-for-service amount, some courses have additional costs
- The Smart and Skilled student fee does not apply to existing worker trainees, school-based apprentices and school-based trainees who are covered by separate funding arrangements
- TAFE-delivered HSC Vocational Education and Training courses for school students (TVET) are subject to separate funding arrangements
- Courses offered on a fee-for-service basis have different fees. Most courses are offered as fee-for-service, including Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma courses, and some short courses
You can also visit the Smart and Skilled website to view the 2016 Skills List qualifications, check your eligibility and calculate your course fee.
For more information, contact your nearest TAFE NSW campus.
Fee for service courses
Many TAFE NSW courses are offered on a fee-for-service basis. Fees for these courses vary from course to course and from campus to campus depending on the nature of the course, the attendance mode and the course duration.
All TAFE NSW fees and charges are subject to change.
If a course is being offered on a fee-for-service basis, the price will be displayed as part of the course details. More information may also be available under the fee details section for your course.
Fees for additional subsidised qualifications and courses
As the State's public provider TAFE NSW provides training and services for specific groups to meet government priorities outside the Smart and Skilled fee arrangements. Courses are offered across the key programs of:
- TAFE NSW HSC Studies and Educational Pathways
- Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation (TPC)
- Aboriginal Education and Language qualifications
- Foundation Skills for Learner Drivers
Click here for more information on the student fees for these courses.
Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders:
Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are eligible to be exempt from paying the Smart and Skilled student fee if they live or work in NSW or live at identified postcodes which border NSW.
Students with a disability:
Students who live or work in NSW and who receive a disability support pension and students with a disability (clients of a Teacher/Consultant for students with a disability or a specialist professional) are exempt from paying the Smart and Skilled student fee.
Students who are the current dependent child, spouse or partner of a recipient of a Disability Support Pension are exempt from paying the Smart and Skilled student fee.
Where you are in receipt of a disability support pension, a check of your CRN will be made with Centrelink to validate your eligibility for a fee exemption. The consent and authorisation for validating your CRN with Centrelink is given when accepting the conditions of your enrolment.
To complete your enrolment, you may need to fill in the TAFE NSW Fee Exemption application form. Contact or go to your chosen college. Your eligibility for a fee exemption is determined at time of enrolment.
Students who hold a humanitarian visa, a bridging visa, temporary humanitarian stay visa or temporary humanitarian concern visa, and are commencing in NSW government subsidised training, at Certificate I to Certificate IV level, on or after 1 January 2017 will be eligible to have their Student Fee waived.
Students who live or work in NSW and who receive one or more eligible Commonwealth benefits or allowances at the time of their enrolment may be eligible to pay the Smart and Skilled concession fee for their qualification rather than the relevant Smart and Skilled student fee.
Smart and Skilled concession fees are available for Certificate I to Certificate IV qualifications, and are not available for Diploma or Advanced Diploma qualifications.
If you are eligible for a Smart and Skilled concession fee and aged between 15 years and 30 years, you may also be eligible to receive the Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship.
Eligible benefits include:
- Age Pension
- Carer Payment
- Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment
- Family Tax Benefit Part A (maximum rate)
- Farm Household Allowance
- Newstart Allowance
- Parenting Payment (Single)
- Sickness Allowance
- Special Benefit
- Veterans' Affairs Payments
- Veterans' Children Education Scheme
- Widow Allowance
- Widow 'B' Pension
- Wife Pension
- Youth Allowance
If you are a recipient of an eligible benefit or allowance, the concession fee may also be available to your dependent child, spouse or partner.
To complete your enrolment, a check of your CRN will be made with Centrelink to validate your eligibility for a concession fee. The consent and authorisation for validating your CRN with Centrelink is given when accepting the conditions of your enrolment.
In some circumstances, you may need to fill in the TAFE NSW Concession Fee application form, and provide documentation to support your application. (Your documentation may be provided via the Centrelink/Express Plus mobile app.)