HELP from the Government
You have done a budget, but there's still a shortfall in your
finances. Don't panic. You might be entitled to a government
allowance to help you in your full-time study.
The Government offers a number of allowances to help
Youth Allowance helps
young people who are studying full time, undertaking a full-time
apprenticeship, training, or looking for work.
You may be able to get Youth Allowance if you:
- Are 16 to 21 years old and looking for full-time work or
undertaking approved activities
- Have a Year 12 Certificate or equivalent qualification
(Certificate Level II or above). Otherwise, you will have to
undertake study or training in order to qualify for Youth
- Are 18 to 24 years old and studying full-time
- Are 16 to 24 years old and undertaking a full-time Australian
Austudy helps full-time
students and apprentices aged 25 or more. You may be able to get
Austudy if you are:
- Aged 25 or more
- Studying full-time in an approved course at an approved
- Undertaking a full-time Australian apprenticeship
Abstudy can help with education
costs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who are
studying at a secondary school, TAFE, university or other approved
tertiary institution. Abstudy can also help Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Australians who are undertaking an Australian
apprenticeship. Abstudy can help with these costs:
- Fares (to travel to your place of study each term or semester
if you need to study away from home)
- Prescription medicine costs
FEE-HELP (Higher Education Loan
Program) is an interest-free loan scheme that is available to
fee-paying undergraduate and postgraduate students. There is a loan
fee of 25% for FEE-HELP for undergraduate courses.
Here is an example of how it works. If you are using FEE-HELP to
pay for $1000 of tuition fees, you will owe $1250. The money cannot
be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or
To be eligible for FEE-HELP you need to be:
- Studying at an approved FEE-HELP provider
- An Australian citizen or permanent humanitarian visa holder
(residing in Australia for the duration of your unit or
- A permanent visa holder who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained
professionals, and will be resident in Australia for the duration
of the study.
- Enrolled in an eligible unit of study by the census date for
Eligible students can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay
their tuition fees.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) manages HELP debts and
repayment schemes. Find out more on the ATO's study and training
Is your study or training relevant to your job? If so, you may
be able to claim some of your expenses as a tax deduction. See the
ATO's webpage on deductions you can claim for more
Paid study leave
Ask your employer if they can offer paid study leave or if they
can pay for your course fees and/or other study expenses.
You may be doing on-the-job training through an apprenticeship
and traineeship scheme. If your employer agrees, they will pay your
wage while you get qualifications from TAFE or another training
provider. The decision about who pays the cost of formal
off-the-job training for Australian apprentices is made by the Fair Work Commission as it
depends on the industrial arrangement or award that the apprenctice
is paid under.
Australian Defence Force Academy
The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA)
offers tax-free pay and allowances to eligible students who take on
a career in the Australian Defence Force. ADFA also pays for their
undergraduate or post-graduate degrees.
You can also complete an apprenticeship or traineeship at ADFA.
But if you resign after your second year of study at ADFA, you have
to reimburse the government for the cost of your training.
Your superannuation will decrease if
you reduce your work hours to study. This is because your employer
pays your super contributions based on your salary or wages. If you
stop working altogether your employer super payments will also
stop. This may be fine with you but you need to be aware of it.
If you hold life cover or disability cover through
your super fund your coverage will stop if your employer stops
making super contributions. See insurance through super for
Last updated: 22 Feb 2017