Student Income Support

Student Income Support Benefits

There are a range of means tested payments available to support eligible students who are undertaking, or who are planning to undertake, approved study or an Australian Apprenticeship, including:

Youth Allowance (opens in a new window) (Students and Australian Apprentices) - a means tested payment for full-time students and Australian Apprentices generally aged 16 to 24 years old.

Austudy (opens in a new window) (Students and Australian Apprentices) - a payment made to full-time students and Australian Apprentices who are aged 25 years and older.

ABSTUDY (opens in a new window) (Students and Australian Apprentices) - a living allowance payment plus a range of supplementary benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students aged 16 years or older.

Higher education students receiving student payments may also be eligible to receive the Student Start-up Scholarship or Student Start-up Loan (opens in a new window) and the Relocation Scholarship (opens in a new window).

Please note: From 1 January 2016, the Student Start-up Scholarship is no longer available to new student payment recipients (Youth Allowance (student), Austudy or ABSTUDY Living Allowance) undertaking higher education. Students instead may apply for an income contingent loan, called a Student Start-up Loan.

Students are required to repay the Loan once their income exceeds the minimum repayment threshold, currently at $54,126 for 2015-16. Payment arrangements are managed by the Australian Taxation Office in the same manner as the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debts. Repayment of the Loan is delayed until after any HELP debt is completely repaid.

Students who have previously received a Student Start-up Scholarship or Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship and remained continuously in receipt of student payments, will continue to receive the Student Start-up Scholarship until coming off student payments.

For more information on the proposed changes to student income support payments, please see the FAQ page.

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Do you want to learn more about eligibility for student payments?

Some full-time or part-time students and Australian Apprentices may be eligible for student payments administered by the Department of Human Services.

Click on the link below to use the new Eligibility Information Tool to get an insight into your possible eligibility for student payments.

Student Income Support Eligibility Information Tool

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Student Income Support Guide for Career Advisors

Are you a career advisor looking for more information on student payments administered by the Department of Human Services. A new Guide has been developed to help you inform students who are, or who may be considering, undertaking tertiary study or an Australian Apprenticeship.

Student Income Support Guide for Career AdvisorsPDF Student Income Support Guide for Career AdvisorsPDF 2.10Mb

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Child Care Assistance

The Australian Government provides families with financial assistance to help cover the cost of approved child care through the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. Eligible families on income support can also get additional assistance through Jobs, Education & Training Child Care Fee Assistance. For more information, select here.

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