Government Subsidised

What is a government subsidised course?

A subsidised course means that the NSW Government will pay a part of the student fee on your behalf – all you need to do is pay the balance, which is a lot less than what the actual qualification price is.

The government has chosen to fund part of those selected courses based on the state’s current workforce needs and future demand for jobs. The NSW Government's Smart and Skilled Skills List defines the courses that the government has decided will be funded in 2017.

Under Smart and Skilled, TAFE NSW offers two types of government subsidised courses:

  1. Entitlement qualifications include full qualifications at Certificate III and below, including foundation skills, apprenticeships and selected traineeships.
  2. Targeted priority qualifications, which include a selection of full qualifications at Certificate IV and above, prevocational and part qualifications.

Please note:

  • In addition to the TAFE NSW fee, concession fee or commercial fee, some courses have other charges
  • International students and temporary visa holders may be required to pay a tuition fee in addition to the TAFE NSW fee.
  • The TAFE NSW fee does not apply to existing worker trainees, school-based apprentices and school-based trainees who are covered by separate funding arrangements.
  • TAFE-delivered HSC Vocational Education and Training courses for school students (TVET) are subject to separate funding arrangements.

What government subsidised courses are on offer?

You can find out what we offer with our handy Course Search Tool by following these simple steps:

  1. Visit the Course Search Tool
  2. Select the qualification level you want to study under the drop down option ‘All Qualifications’
  3. Select ‘Smart and Skilled (Government Subsidised)’ option under the drop down option ‘All Course Types’
  4. Choose the course you would like to study and hit  ‘Apply or Enrol’.
The search results will then show you what subsidised courses are available and open for enrolment.

Additional subsidised Qualifications and Courses

Visit the TAFE NSW page to check on additional subsidised qualifications and courses.

How do I pay?

You can pay your fees and other enrolment costs at your Campus by:

  • Credit Card (Visa card or MasterCard)
  • Cheque or money order payable to 'TAFE NSW - Illawarra Institute'
  • BPAY

Note. You cannot pay with cash due to safety reasons.

Or, you can opt to pay for your course with TAFE NSW's Instalment Plan.

Third Party Payments

You can elect a third party to be invoiced for payment of your TAFE NSW fee (and other charges).  Please complete a TAFE NSW Third Party Payment Form and return to your local TAFE NSW Customer Service Centre with your “Payment Notification” for processing.

TAFE NSW Third Party Payment Form

Fee exemptions

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders:

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are eligible to be exempt from paying the Smart and Skilled student fee if they live or work in NSW or live at identified postcodes which border NSW.

Students with a disability:

Students who live or work in NSW and who receive a disability support pension and students with a disability (clients of a Teacher/Consultant for students with a disability or a specialist professional) are exempt from paying the Smart and Skilled student fee.

Students who are the current dependent child, spouse or partner of a recipient of a Disability Support Pension are exempt from paying the Smart and Skilled student fee.

Where you are in receipt of a disability support pension, a check of your CRN will be made with Centrelink to validate your eligibility for a fee exemption. The consent and authorisation for validating your CRN with Centrelink is given when accepting the conditions of your enrolment.

To complete your enrolment, you may need to fill in the TAFE NSW Student Fee Exemption Form. Contact or go to your chosen college. Your eligibility for a fee exemption is determined at time of enrolment.

Concession fee

Students who live or work in NSW and who receive one or more eligible Commonwealth benefits or allowances at the time of their enrolment may be eligible to pay the Smart and Skilled concession fee for their qualification rather than the relevant Smart and Skilled Student fee.

Smart and Skilled concession fees are available for Certificate I to Certificate IV qualifications, and are not available for Diploma or Advanced Diploma qualifications.

Eligible benefits include:

  • Age Pension
  • Austudy (including Veterans' Children Education Scheme)
  • Carer Payment
  • Disability Support Pension (second or subsequent course enrolment per year, first enrolment is exempt)
  • Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment
  • Family Tax Benefit Part A (maximum rate)
  • Farm Help Income Support
  • Mature Age Allowance
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Parenting Payment (Single)
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Veterans’ Affairs Payments
  • Widow Allowance
  • Widow Pension (including Widow ‘B’ Pension)
  • Wife Pension
  • Youth Allowance.

If you are a recipient of an eligible benefit or allowance, the concession fee may also be available to your dependent child, spouse or partner.

To complete your enrolment, a check of your CRN will be made with Centrelink to validate your eligibility for a concession fee.

In some circumstances, you may need to fill in the TAFE NSW Concession Fee application form, and go to your local TAFE NSW location with the documentation to support your application. (Your documentation may be provided via the Centrelink/Express Plus mobile app.)


Under exceptional circumstances you may be granted a refund. For full details please visit Refunds and Withdrawals or call Course Information on 131 601 for more information.

What else do I need to know?

In addition to your course fee, you may be required you to purchase additional resources.

Find out more about other charges.

What happens if I fail, get a “Not Yet Competent” result or withdraw from a unit of competency more than once?

If you have failed to achieve competence or have withdrawn from a particular unit of competency  more than once within a three year period and you wish to re-enrol in that unit, you will need to submit a request in writing to the Campus Manager where you are studying setting out the reasons as to why you should be permitted to re-enrol.  Please note this may incur a fee.


  • Most TAFE NSW courses are nationally accredited and are therefore GST-free.
  • Courses that are not nationally accredited, but are likely to add to your employment skills, will be GST-free.
  • Course materials that you must purchase from TAFE NSW to undertake your course are GST-free.

Tuition Assurance

If TAFE NSW ceases to provide a course in which you are enrolled, TAFE NSW will ensure that you are offered enrolment in a similar course of study. Alternatively, TAFE NSW will:

  • refund any upfront payment for any unit of study that you have commenced but not completed because TAFE NSW ceased to offer that course
  • re-credit your FEE-HELP balance for the affected unit.