Remedial Massage Therapy Courses: The Pros and Cons of Getting a VET Student Loan
Do you dream of a new career path in remedial massage therapy? Are you wanting to return to study in 2019 but are deterred by the cost of higher education and think you can’t afford it? Think again.
There is help at hand with a VET Student Loan. This Australian Government initiative aims to help people like you return to study by covering fees for vocational education and training (VET) courses. ‘What is a VET Student Loan?’ we hear you ask and is it right for you? Well, read on and decide for yourself. We’ve done all the hard work and examined the pros and cons of getting a VET Student Loan, which can help get you on your way to becoming a fully qualified remedial massage therapist.
What is a VET Student Loan?
The VET Student Loan (VSL) is an Australian Government loan scheme that was introduced on 1 January 2017 and replaced the VET FEE-HELP scheme. The VSL assists eligible and academically suited students students to pay their tuition fees. However, in order to access VET Student Loan assistance, you must study a vocational education and training (VET) qualification at an approved VSL provider (source: studyassist.gov.au).
To become an approved provider, courses must ‘have a high national priority, meet industry needs, contribute to addressing skills shortages and align with strong employment outcomes’ (source: Department of Education and Training). This means the Australian Government is targeting its investment in courses that provide skill sets in areas with strong growth and employment opportunities.
If you enrol in an approved VSL provider course like the Diploma of Remedial Massage course offered at the Australian College of Fitness & Bodywork (ACFB), you can be confident that you are learning and developing in-demand skills. But what are the pros and cons of getting a VET Student Loan?
Study Now; Pay Later: The government pays the course fee, so if you are an eligible student, you usually do not pay anything initially – you can jump straight into an approved course and pay back the loan later, once you complete your studies and start working. This is because VET Student Loans are income-contingent, meaning that your salary has to exceed a minimum threshold before you begin to repay the VSL debt.
No Financial Barriers: The VSL government scheme aims to make VET training more accessible for all people, not just the wealthy. By removing these initial financial barriers, anyone can return to VSL-approved study because you do not need to pay hefty upfront fees.
Eligible Courses in Growing Industries: Only approved courses aligned with strong employment outcomes offer VET Student Loans, as the government is investing in skills training that meet growing industry needs.
Overall, the positives of getting a VET Student Loan are that anyone can add to their existing skill set or embark on a new and rewarding career without worrying how they will pay the full amount of upfront fees. In addition, by enrolling in an approved course, you can be confident that you are learning new skills in a growing area with strong employment opportunities.
Capping: The amount of money you can borrow for an approved VSL course is capped, and the loan cap amount differs from course to course. As the loan is limited, it may not cover all your course tuition fees. For example, if a provider offers a course that costs more than the loan cap, you will be responsible for paying the difference between the course cost and the loan cap amount.
Your Name; Your Debt: You need to remember that if you take out a VET student loan, you are borrowing money from the Australian Government. Consequently, this debt will remain a debt until it is paid off and will go against your name and be considered if you try and take out future loans, for example, if you apply for a home mortgage or a personal loan.
Limited Approved Courses: As this government loan scheme initiative focuses on eligible courses that address skills shortages and are aligned with strong employment outcomes, some courses that were previously funded under the old VET-FEE HELP scheme are no longer eligible for the VSL scheme. Therefore, if you wish to study a non-approved course, you will have to pay full upfront fees.
Financial Assistance Alternatives
At the Australian College of Fitness & Bodywork (ACFB), we want our students to be able to learn without the pressure of worrying about how they will pay for their courses. This is why we offer high-quality, industry renowned courses and training approved for VET Student Loans. However, we also understand that not everyone is eligible for VSL funding assistance.
There are some alternative funding schemes available. Skills First, a Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding scheme, subsidises high-quality training aligned to workforce needs. This funding helps eligible students get ready for employment by teaching them current and future in-demand skills.
There is also our popular Student Scholarship Program which was developed for students who are not eligible for other funding, helping them to reduce their course fees whilst gaining practical hands-on experience in our massage clinics. This scholarship program is available to all ACFB students studying a massage course, regardless of their financial situation.
Why Become A Remedial Massage Therapist?
The health benefits of massage are increasingly being recognised worldwide. Consequently, complementary therapy like remedial massage is growing in popularity and there is a demand for highly-qualified therapists. The professionals at ACFB understand the skills required to become a massage therapist – this is why our college is a VET Student Loan approved provider. Studying at ACFB not only means you can be confident you are learning in-demand skills from the industry’s leading massage professionals; it also means that our courses meet industry needs and are aligned with strong employment outcomes. Thus, you will gain the theoretical and practical knowledge that employers are looking for in an area that is growing!