Student payments

Youth Allowance for students and Australian apprentices

Youth Allowance (student) is a means tested payment for full-time students and Australian apprentices aged 16-24 years.

Learn more about Youth Allowance for students and Australian apprentices on the Services Australia website.


Austudy is a means tested payment for full-time students and Australian apprentices aged 25 years and over.

Learn more about Austudy on the Services Australia website.


ABSTUDY is a group of payments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and apprentices.

Learn more about ABSTUDY on the Services Australia website.

Additional information about ABSTUDY can be found in the ABSTUDY policy manual.

ABSTUDY scholarships

A secondary student may be approved for ABSTUDY Away from Home entitlements if they are offered a third-party scholarship.

Further information can be found on the ABSTUDY Third Party Scholarship page.

Safe Travel Plans

Safe Travel Plans help improve the safety and flexibility of travel arrangements for ABSTUDY students who need to travel away from home for school.

Read about Safe Travel Plans to find out more about completing a plan.

Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme

The Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme helps eligible parents and carers with the extra costs of educating their children if they can’t go to an appropriate government school.

Learn more about the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme on the Services Australia website.

Relocation Scholarship

This once a year payment can help if you move to or from a regional or remote area for higher education study.

Find more information about Relocation Scholarships on the Services Australia website.

Fares Allowance

Fares Allowance helps with travelling costs between a student’s home and place of study.

Find more information about Fares Allowance on the Services Australia website.

Student start-up loan

The Student Start-up Loan can help eligible students with the up-front costs of studying.

To be eligible, you will need to:

  • study an approved course
  • receive Youth Allowance (student), Austudy or ABSTUDY Living Allowance.

You are not eligible for Student Start-up Loan if you are already getting a Student Start-up Scholarship, ABSTUDY Student Start-up Scholarship or Commonwealth Education Cost Scholarship.

Learn more about the Student Start-up Loan on the Service Australia website.

Repaying the loan

You will have to start paying back your Student Start-up Loan once you earn above the minimum repayment threshold. You should think about how this will affect you in the long-term before you apply. You need to understand that a Student Start-up Loan debt may affect your access to bank and home loans.

The Australian Taxation Office manages repayment arrangements for the Student Start-up Loan in the same manner as Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debts. You don’t need to start repaying the loan until you have completely repaid any HELP debt.

The current loan repayment threshold and rates for Student Start-up Loan are on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Loan indexation

While the loan is interest free, Student Start-up Loan debts are indexed each year. This means the amount you repay in total will be more than the original amount of the loan.

Indexation is applied on 1 June to all debts that are 11 months or older. The rate of indexation applied to your debt changes each year, as it is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

This means the unpaid loan amount increases by the indexation rate for each year, which means your debt is likely to grow. You can find current indexation rates on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

Feedback or complaints

Any feedback or complaints about Student Start-up Loan policy can be lodged via:

Support for students during Masters Study

Students undertaking Masters study may be eligible for payments if they are undertaking a Masters by coursework program at an approved education institution listed in the Student Assistance (Education Institutions and Courses) Determination 2019 (the Determination).

The Determination allows prospective students to make informed decisions about what courses attract government support when undertaking study at a Masters level.

To find out more information about approved courses for student payments, visit the approved institutions and courses for student payments page.

Information about support for ABSTUDY students undertaking Masters and doctorate courses is available on Services Australia’s website.

Students with questions about eligible Masters courses should contact their higher education provider.

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