Carrying over Fees Free entitlement

Carrying over Fees Free entitlement

Last updated 27 October 2022
Last updated 27 October 2022

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 year’s 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.

This is so learners who start their study part way through the year or study part time are not disadvantaged and can still receive a full year Fees Free.

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.

Work-based learning 

Eligible learners and their employer’s training and assessment 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 where the learner is reported as ‘Active’ or ‘Grace’ on the last day of the month in the Industry Training Register.

Training covered by the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund is not counted as part of a learner’s Fees Free entitlement use.

Learners who have undertaken both provider-based study and work-based learning

The TEC will check whether the learner has used:

1 EFTS, and/or
2. $12,000 (including GST), and/or
3. 24 months of work-based learning.

If a learner has not reached any of the above caps, their remaining Fees Free entitlement will be carried over into any future study or training.

Guidance on carryover

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