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Understanding Course Fees in TAFE NSW

Understanding Course Fees in TAFE NSW

Studying with TAFE NSW is an affordable investment in your future. We know that fees can seem complicated and we understand that you may want more information about budgeting for your studies. That’s why we’ve put this quick summary together to help explain all the options for paying for your TAFE course.

Fees Summary

Course fees are different for each individual student depending on your personal circumstances but in basic terms they are split as follows:

  • Subsidised courses – you pay a contribution towards your full qualification and the government pays the rest
  • Full fee paying courses (fee-for-service) – you pay in full for your whole qualification (remember, there are flexible payment plans, scholarships, and loan schemes available to help you)
  • Apprenticeship courses – you pay $2000 or less over your whole apprenticeship and the government pays the rest
  • Traineeship courses – new trainees (who are not existing workers) in 2016 will pay $1,000 or less for a traineeship and the government pays the rest.

Course fees are shown on individual course pages once you've selected what you want to study.

NB There are different fees for international students and the subsidies, scholarships and entitlements mentioned on this page are not available. Further details specific to international student enrolments and fees can be found at the TAFE NSW Australia website.

Why are fees so different now?

The NSW Government subsidises courses that will provide the skills that businesses and the community in NSW need, and those that support important priority areas for the state, through its Smart and Skilled policy introduced in 2015.

The biggest change is that you now know the full course fee when you enrol, rather than paying fees annually like before.

Fees for traineeships have been halved in 2016, and apprenticeships have been capped at $2,000 since 2015, meaning you only have to pay the equivalent of $10-15 per week.

Many courses may seem more expensive because you now see the full course fee, however if you add together the previous annual fee for each year you study, the course fee may still be very similar, or even lower than before, especially for part-time students.

What does subsidised actually mean?

There are a range of courses subsidised by the NSW Government which means you only pay a small part of the cost of the course as a fee and the government pays for the rest. How much you pay depends on you as an individual – e.g. whether this is your first qualification, if you qualify for a concession etc.

Examples include:

Course Name You Pay Government Subsidy

Certificate I in Access to Work and Training

$220 ($80 concession)

$2,120

Certificate II in Foundations for Vocational and Further Study

$320 ($80 concession)

$3000

Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery

$2000 apprenticeship

($240 concession)

$12,360

Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery

$2,340 ($240 concession)

$11,120

Financial assistance may also be available to some students through Centrelink and the Commonwealth Government student loan scheme. You may also be able to pay by instalment or even defer your fees depending on your individual circumstances.

How can I qualify for a place in a subsidised course?

To qualify for a place in a subsidised course, you must meet the eligibility criteria of the NSW Government's Smart and Skilled program. The Skills List shows which qualifications are subsidised. The course fees and eligibility criteria are the same across all training providers in NSW. They are not set by TAFE NSW.

If you also meet other eligibility criteria, your course fee may be:

  • NO COST  to you if you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student
  • NO COST to you if you have a disability
  • NO COST to you if you are between 15-30 years old and are on welfare (as part of a Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship)
  • LOW COST to you ($80-$240) if you are receiving identified welfare or other allowances at the time you enrol.

A further 18 courses, covering prevocational training, are at NO COST to eligible students. This prevocational training includes courses in spoken and written English, tourism, engineering, construction, animal studies, hospitality, business and more.

Others courses are subsidised because they are recognised as an important priority for the community. They include:

What happens if I'm not eligible for a place in a subsidised course?

TAFE NSW offers many specialist courses and qualifications that are not government subsidised.  This means you pay in full for your qualification, and this is called 'full fee paying' or a 'fee-for-service' course.

Some subsidised courses have 'capped places' which means there is a limit to the number of people who will receive a subsidised fee.

TAFE NSW offers many of its courses as both government subsidised and full fee paying qualifications, to ensure everyone has the chance to study their way. This gives you the choice to study the same or similar qualifications with the added ability to choose a faster pace, different elective subjects, specific facilities etc.

Our prices are very competitive and vary depending on the type of course you choose. The full fee price will be displayed as part of the course details with more information available under the fee details section. 

What support does TAFE NSW provide to help me pay my fees?  

For students studying full fee paying or subsidised courses, TAFE NSW has a range of flexible payment options available. You may be able to set up a personal payment plan, defer or split payments to help you balance your budget.

There are also a range of scholarships that could help you meet all or part of your course fees and expenses.

If you're studying a Diploma or higher level course, you may also qualify for the Commonwealth Government student loan scheme known as VET Student Loans. This means you could study now and pay later.

Degree students have access to the Commonwealth Government FEE-HELP loan scheme.

Don't forget to check if your employer or job service agency will help you pay for your fees. We can provide an invoice and receipt if needed.

For more information about course fees and help with payment options, contact your local TAFE NSW Institute.