Government income support
There are a range of government payment schemes to help you with the costs associated with going to university.
These include ABSTUDY, Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY and Rent Assistance, all provided through Centrelink.
ABSTUDY is a payment scheme specifically for Indigenous students. The amount of your payment will vary according to your age, study load and whether you're considered to be independent of your parents' income.
If you are receiving ABSTUDY you may be able to have your payment converted into a Residential Costs Option. This means that you live in approved accommodation (often on campus) and your ABSTUDY is paid directly to the accommodation provider to cover your residential fees. In addition, you may receive a reduced amount of living allowance.
The Government also recognises that some university students require additional financial support with their studies, particularly those who relocate for their studies. All university students receiving ABSTUDY, AUSTUDY or Youth Allowance are entitled to a Student Start-up Scholarship for each year of their course to assist with the up-front costs of textbooks and specialised equipment.
Factors that may affect your payments
Receiving a scholarship may affect your eligibility or rate of payment for each of the government payment schemes including ABSTUDY. Check out the Centrelink website to assess how a scholarship may affect your payment.
Be aware, if you are working and earn over a certain amount of income your ABSTUDY entitlements may be reduced. For example, for a single student living away from home, the limit is approximately $236 per fortnight before your payments are affected.
If you are living away from home you may be eligible for Rent Assistance. The amount of Rent Assistance you are entitled to will depend on individual circumstances.