Carrying over fees-free entitlement

Carrying over fees-free entitlement

Last updated 18 February 2021
Last updated 18 February 2021

This page details how learners can use their fees-free entitlement across years.

Provider-based study

Fees Free is capped at $12,000 (including GST) per learner

  • There is no equivalent full-time student (EFTS) or credit cap in a learner’s first calendar year of study.
  • So, a learner eligible for Fees Free can receive up to $12,000 (including GST) of fees-free payments for any eligible provider-based study they undertake in the calendar year (see Figure 1) regardless of how many EFTS they undertake.

Figure 1: In year fees-free entitlement

Figure 1: In year fees-free entitlement

Eligible learners cannot opt to pay fees and bank their fees-free entitlement for future use

If a learner is eligible for Fees Free and is undertaking eligible study, they are automatically using their fees-free entitlement.  

Learners can carryover their remaining entitlement

Learners who undertake less than 1 EFTS (120 credits) and use less than $12,000 (including GST) of fees-free payments in their first calendar year of study will have their remaining fees-free entitlement (in dollars and EFTS) carried over for any future years study.

After the first year, eligible learners are entitled to the remainder of $12,000 (including GST) or 1 EFTS (120 credits) of eligible fees-free study – whichever cap the learner hits first. A learner’s entitlement will stop when they reach either $12,000 (including GST) or 1 EFTS.

Figure 2: Across year fees-free entitlement

Carryover diagram 2

Carryover is based on calendar years

Each year we will calculate how much fees-free entitlement eligible learners have used in EFTS and dollars. Entitlement use is calculated up until the 31 December, therefore carryover amounts will be confirmed early in the following year.

The methodology we use to calculate remaining entitlement can be found on the Guidance page.

Provider-based carryover examples

Usually, 0.125 EFTS is equivalent to 15 credits or points.

Credits and EFTS used in 2018

Fees-free payments used in the 2019 calendar year

Note dollar figures include GST

Does the learner have carryover?

How much carryover is the learner allowed in 2020 (or future years)?

Note dollar figures include GST

30 credits (0.25 EFTS) $1,600 Yes

90 credits (0.75 EFTS) and up to $10,400.

The learner’s fees-free entitlement will stop when they use either 90 credits or $10,400 – whichever is used up first.

60 credits (0.5 EFTS) $4,000 Yes

60 credits (0.5 EFTS) and up to $8,000.

The learner’s fees-free entitlement will stop when they use either 60 credits or $8,000 – whichever is used up first.

105 credits (0.875 EFTS) $12,000 No – they have reached the dollar cap. N/A

120 credits (1 EFTS)

$8,000 No – they have reached the EFTS cap N/A
120 credits (1 EFTS) $0 – for example, because the learner undertook level 3 Youth Guarantee study. No – they have reached the EFTS cap. N/A
135 credits (1.125 EFTS) $12,000 No – they have reached the EFTS and dollar caps. N/A

Industry training organisations

Eligible learners and their employer’s training costs are covered for the first 24 months of their training programme up to the value of $12,000 (including GST).

The 24-month entitlement is calculated:

1.   from the start date of the first programme in which the eligible learner is enrolled, and

2.   by only including the months in which the learner received industry training in an eligible programme or programmes.

Learners who have undertaken both provider-based study and industry training

The TEC will check whether the learner has used:

1. 1 EFTS, and/or
2. $12,000 (including GST), and/or
3. 24 months of industry training.

If a learner has not reached any of the above caps, their remaining fees-free entitlement will be carried over to any future study.

Guidance on carryover

A carryover information sheet and carryover FAQs can be found on the Guidance page.