1. What is Free TAFE for Priority Courses?

    Free TAFE for Priority Courses is a Victorian Government program offering tuition-free study in 30 non-apprenticeship courses and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses as of 1 January 2019.

  2. Am I eligible?

    You may be eligible for a free TAFE priority course if you’re under 20 years old or if you’re enrolling in a course at a higher level than you’ve completed before.

    Please choose your course carefully because once you enrol in a tuition-free priority course, you will not be able to enrol in another tuition-free priority course, even if you didn’t finish your first tuition-free priority course.

    Exemptions
    If you don’t meet these criteria you may qualify for an eligibility exemption. An exemption will enable you to receive a Free TAFE place in 2019. Enquire now to find out if you qualify.

    Please note: The Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative will pay your tuition fees for only one course. Once you have enrolled in a tuition-free priority course, you cannot get a tuition-free place again, even if you do not finish your first tuition-free priority course

    If you’re unsure about applying for a free TAFE priority course, please contact us or visit our Skills and Jobs Centre at our Warrnambool campus.

    Contact us to check your eligibility.

  3. When can I start my free TAFE priority course?

    South West TAFE's tuition-free TAFE priority courses start on 1 January 2019.

  4. Which South West TAFE courses will be tuition-free from 2019?

    So far, South West TAFE is offering the following tuition-free TAFE priority courses in 2019:

    Non-apprenticeship courses

     Apprenticeship pathway courses

  5. Does the government cover all my fees?

    If you’re eligible for Free TAFE, the Victorian government will pay the tuition fees for your whole course. You’ll still need to pay all other fees, such as materials.

  6. I am doing training now in a course on the Tuition Free Priority Course list. Will I get a refund on fees I pay for this year?

    No. Free TAFE only applies to eligible students who enrol in a tuition-free priority course that commences after 1 January 2019. 

  7. I am doing training now. Should I drop out and re-enrol next year, when Free TAFE for Priority Courses come in?

    If you are currently doing training and you are happy with your course, you should complete it, especially if you have a Victorian Government-subsidised place. There are limits on the number of times you can commence courses and stay eligible for subsidised training, so dropping out and restarting could mean you become ineligible.

  8. Can I do a course that’s not on the Free TAFE for Priority Courses list?

    The Victorian government will only pay tuition fees for courses on the Free TAFE for Priority Courses list. We still have over 150 more courses on offer, some of which are government-subsidised or may offer a concession rate.

  9. What’s the difference between government-subsidised training and the Free TAFE for Priority Courses?

    Some of our courses are already government-subsidised. This means the government funds a large portion of tuition fees and you may be paying the smaller remaining amount.
    If you’re eligible under the Free TAFE for Priority Courses program, the Victorian government will pay all of your tuition fees for the duration of your priority course.

  10. How many free TAFE priority courses can I do?

    If you are eligible, the Victorian government will pay your tuition fees for one priority TAFE course in your lifetime, even if you don’t finish the course. If you’re unsure about applying for a tuition-free TAFE course, please contact SWTAFE or visit our Pathfinders Skills and Jobs Centre at our Warrnambool campus.

  11. What happens if I access Free TAFE for Priority Courses and decide to change training organisations?

    If you’re continuing in the same course at a TAFE or dual sector provider, the course will continue to be tuition-free.

    If you’re continuing in the same course – but not at a TAFE or dual sector provider – you’ll pay the standard tuition fees at that institute.

  12. Can high school students access Free TAFE for Priority Courses?

    If you’re enrolled in high school, you won’t be able to access Free TAFE for Priority Courses (unless you’re doing a school-based traineeship.), noting that Apprenticeships are not covered under Free TAFE for Priority Courses.

  13. Where can I find out more?

    You can find out more by contacting us or visit the Department of Education and Training website.