A Verification of Study (VoS) request is a file that is sent to an education provider, asking for confirmation of the student's study details.
When VoS requests are sent
The initial VoS request is sent when:
- a Student Allowance application is pre-approved (meaning that all requested information has been supplied) or
- when a Student Loan application has had an acceptable contract returned to StudyLink.
At these stages StudyLink has received enough information and evidence from the student to determine their eligibility and confirmation of their study details is usually the final information required to finalise a student’s application.
VoS requests can be issued when one application is ready to issue a VoS request, but another is not. For example, the student may have a Student Allowance that is pre-approved, but the Student Loan application is still waiting for the student to return their contract. The VoS request can still be issued for the Student Allowance.
If a student is studying at multiple education providers, then VoS requests will be issued to each education provider.
Each education provider will receive their first VoS request a set period prior to the student’s declared study start date. This is known as the ‘VoS Lead in Days’ and is detailed further in the Parameters section.
The default setting is for the initial VoS request to be sent six weeks prior to the student's declared study start date, provided the student’s application is at a stage where a VoS request can be issued. This is the preferred timeframe because it allows StudyLink (where all information has been supplied) to confirm the student's details well before their study starts.
This also allows StudyLink plenty of time to complete any final checks before the student is due to commence payment. Where this period is set to, for example, one week, this cuts down the time that StudyLink has to process and complete any checks, which can delay payment to the student.
Frequency of VoS requests
VoS requests will continue to be issued for a set period of time or until we receive a confirmed VoS response. This period is known as the ‘VoS cycle’.
The frequency of these requests is determined by individual education providers. The default is that these reminder requests will be issued every seven days. This is known as the ‘VoS Request Frequency’ and is detailed further in the Parameters section.
A VoS cycle runs for 12 weeks or up until two weeks after the students declared study start date, whichever is the later.
The VoS Responses section talks about the types of responses that an education provider may return. Responses of ‘pending’, ‘not known’, or ‘unregistered’ will mean that the VoS cycle will continue as these are not confirmed responses. Similarly, if no response at all is received, the VoS Cycle will continue.
A VoS cycle will automatically be closed if a confirmed VoS response is received or if all the applications at that education provider are closed (at student request) or declined.
Where an education provider responds to ‘study and fees’ VoS request with just study information, the VoS cycle will continue as StudyLink still requires the fees information. More information about this is below.
Where a provider is positive that a student is unknown, prior to the close of the VoS cycle, the VoS cycle can be closed manually. You will need to contact StudyLink to request this.
Contents of a VoS request
A VoS request contains:
- The student's family and given names.
- The student's date of birth.
- The student's StudyLink client number.
- The student's Student ID number (where supplied by the student).
- VoS Study Start Date.
- Fees flag.
Following is more information about each element within the VoS request:
A student may supply StudyLink with a number of different names. This could include their legal name, an education provider alias, the name that they want on their StudyLink record, and any other alias or previously used names.
When a VoS request is sent, the name on that VoS request is chosen based on the following order;
1) Legal name (if this explicitly exists as an alias. Most often, the StudyLink record name is the same as the student’s legal name, so the legal name is not recorded as a separate alias).
2) Education provider alias (if this exists).
3) StudyLink record name (primary name used by the StudyLink system, will always exist).
4) Any other alias not yet used.
StudyLink asks for a student’s Student ID number at the time of their application. This is not always a compulsory requirement in order for the student to receive payments from StudyLink. Where the student has supplied their Student ID number to StudyLink, this will be included in the VoS request.
An education provider can request that it is mandatory for the Student ID number to be provided with a VoS request. This means that no VoS requests are sent until StudyLink has received a Student ID number. More information about this option can be found in the Parameters section.
VoS Study Start Date
The VoS Study Start Date is the date from which StudyLink is requesting all enrolment information for.
The VoS Study Start Date is one calendar month prior to the study start date the student has declared on their application. This is to allow for student error in the programme start date that they supply on their application.
StudyLink requests all study details for every programme of study that commences on or after the VoS Study Start Date.
For example, the student states their study start date as 3 March 2014, the VoS will request all study which commences on, or after, 3 February 2014
StudyLink does not provide an end date for what should be covered by the VoS response. This is because the VoS request is asking for all study details from the VoS Study Start date onwards. The study details to be provided will be for an enrolment period – generally up to 52 weeks.
Where the VoS Study Start date is after the student’s confirmed start date, the student will have to contact StudyLink to have this changed. If you notice that the VoS Study Start Date is incorrect we suggest you contact the student to change their start date with StudyLink. For more information about this, see the ‘One-month rule’ section.
A VoS request will also notify the education provider of whether fees information is required or not. If the VoS is for Student Allowance only, or for a Student Loan where the student has not requested fees to be paid then the VoS request will be a ‘Study Only’ VoS request. These VoS requests will not ask for fees information. You will not be able to provide a VoS response requesting that fees be paid for the Student Loan. In these cases, the fees flag on the VoS request will be set to ‘V’.
Where a VoS is required for a Student Loan that the student has requested fees to be paid the VoS request will be a ‘Study and Fees’ VoS request. These VoS requests will ask for fees information. In these cases, the fees flag on the VoS request will be set to ‘F’.
An education provider can respond to a ‘Study and Fees’ VoS request with just study information (if fees information is not yet available).