The Australian Government offers financial assistance for Australian students, apprentices, job seekers and sometimes for people with a disability.
Check eligibility and requirements carefully, ensuring you understand this before making important decisions.
You can generally apply for financial assistance through Centrelink.
Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP)
If you want to study at university or TAFE, you may be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP). This means that the government pays for some of your fees. If you want to apply for a CSP, make sure you first:
check the eligibility requirements
check that CSPs are offered at your chosen education provider
apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) if you haven’t already done so.
While this is subsidised, you’ll still need to repay the rest of your fees. To do this, many students use a loan scheme. Generally, this means that you won’t need to pay for your education upfront – instead, it will be taxed out of your income once you’re earning over a certain amount. You can also choose to make voluntary repayments at any time.
Some of the common loan schemes include:
If you’re studying at an approved public university, you may be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan
If you’re studying at an approved private university or college, you may be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan
VET Student Loans (VSL)
While each of these loan schemes have a limit on how much you can borrow, the HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP limits are rather high. However, VSLs have a lower limit, which means that you’re likely to need to pay for some of your course out-of-pocket.
Other financial support
You can also apply for general financial support through Centrelink. This can help you with your day-to-day living expenses. Some of the common support schemes include:
You may be eligible for Youth Allowance if you’re aged between 16–24 years, and are either studying full-time, looking for work, unable to work, or in a full-time apprenticeship
You may be eligible for Austudy if you’re aged 25 years or over and are either studying full-time or in a full-time apprenticeship
You may be eligible for Abstudy if you’re a student or apprentice of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background
You may be eligible for JobSeeker Payment if you’re aged 22 years or over and are either looking for work or unable to work
You may be eligible for Rent Assistance if you get any existing payment from Centrelink (such as one of those listed above), and need to move away from home to study or work.