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Here are some definitions for study related words. If there are any other words you would like us to clarify, email us in the form below!

Offer round

There are different types of offers:

  • Early Offer round (only for non-Year 12 applicants)
  • Round 1 offers (January)
  • Round 2 offers (February)
  • Mid-year offer round (June)

If you did not get an offer for a course in Round 1, there is still a chance you will be offered a place in Round 2, or you can apply again for mid-year entry.

The dates for all offer rounds change from year to year. For the latest information, click here to go VTAC website about offer rounds and dates.


For Semester 1 Round offers (to start in February) - everyone must apply through VTAC.

If you are applying for mid-year entry, you can apply directly to the TAFE or University.


When you receive an offer (or a few!) to study at a private college, TAFE or university, first choose which course you want to study.

To pick the course you want to study, you accept the offer.

For example:
Tom applies for two different courses: Electrotechnology Studies and Business Management. A few months later, he receives offers for both courses. Holmesglen TAFE offers Tom a place in the Electrotechnology course, and Box Hill Institute offers him a place in the Business Management course. Now Tom needs to choose which course he wants to do. A few days later, he decides he wants to become an electrician, so he accepts the offer for the course at Holmesglen TAFE.


When you have accepted your offer, you need to complete the process of selecting the subjects you will study, paying fees if you need to, and registering your details with the institution you are studying at. You cannot attend classes until you have followed these steps. This process is called enrolment.

If you need assistance with any stages of the enrolment process, contact the department that is running the course, or follow links for enrolment support in the on-line enrolment guide.

For example:

Tom accepts the offer to study at Holmesglen TAFE. He gets an email with instructions about how to enrol on-line. He will need some documents to prove his identity, as well as his Tax File Number and Centrelink Concession Card. He completes an online Language, Literacy and Numeracy assessment and creates a student record. Then he completes the steps for enrolment on-line.


If you have not yet accepted your offer into a course, you can defer your study for six months or one year. This is called deferral. This means the course keeps a place for you to study six months or one year later.

If you have enrolled into a course, or you want to take a study break during your course, then you can apply for Leave of Absence. This is similar to the 'defer' option. Leave of Absence can also be six months or one year. 


If you decide the course is not what you wanted or you cannot continue for other reasons, you can withdraw from the course completely.

This means you cannot return to study the course later on. If you decide to go back to the same course, you will have to apply again. It is therefore suggested you talk to your DLO or teacher before you withdraw.

If you withdraw before Census date, then you may not be charged any subject fees. If you withdraw after Census date, then you may have to pay full fees even though you will not be finishing the course.

Census Date

All TAFE and universities have Census Dates each semester. After the Census Date, you cannot change your subjects and subject fees will be added to your HECS or FEE-HELP account.

Prior to this date (usually 4 weeks into the semester) you can withdraw from the course, defer or change the subjects you are studying.

If you need more information, please ask the Student Centre at your educational institution.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

If you already have experience, qualifications or have completed units of study in a similar area, you may be able to shorten the length of time you study. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

This means that you won’t have to do some subjects in your course as you already have knowledge of that subject.

For more information about RPL, click here.

To learn what kind of documentation you need to apply for RPL, click here.

Government-subsidised training place

A government-subsidised place may be available in some courses offered by TAFE and private colleges. This means the Australian Government will pay part the cost of the course. The student paying the other part of the fees can also apply for VET FEE-HELP if they cannot afford to pay the fees.

For more information about government-subsidised training place, click here.

To check which courses are funded by the Government, please click here.



VET FEE-HELP is a loan from Australian Government that is available if a student cannot afford to pay course fees. The student repays their VET FEE-HELP loan when they start working. For more information about this, click here.

Fee paying place

Fee paying place means the student has to pay full fees for their course. There is no government funding available for this place.


FEE-HELP is the Australian Government loan that may be available if the student cannot afford to pay full course fees. For more information about this, click here.

The student can apply for this loan if they do not have a Government-subsidised training place or a Commonwealth Supported Place for their courses.

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

CSP means the government pays part of the fees for your course. You will need to pay the rest of the fees. For more information about CSP, please please click here.

If the student cannot pay their part of the course fee with the government, then the student may be able to apply for HECS-HELP. For more information about this, click here.


If the student is enrolled as a Commonwealth Supported Place and cannot pay their part of the course fee, the student can apply for HECS-HELP. HECS-HELP is a loan from the Australian Government. The loan is repaid when you start working.

For more information about HECS-HELP,  click here.

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