Study loads for Youth Allowance
To receive Youth Allowance as a student, you must be studying an approved course at an approved institution. In most cases, you need to be undertaking a full-time study load.
Full-time study for Austudy and Youth Allowance
To be considered a full-time student, you will need to be studying an approved course at an approved institution and:
if you are a secondary student:
- your course is considered to be full-time, or
- you are enrolled in and studying at least 75 per cent of the normal full-time load. This can be somewhere other than a secondary school or by correspondence or distance education
if you are a tertiary student in a Commonwealth supported course:
- you are doing at least 75 per cent of the Equivalent Full Time Study Load (EFTSL), over a year for example 0.75 for a full year, or
- if you are enrolled on a semester or trimester basis, you continue an aggregate EFTSL of at least 75 per cent over each semester or trimester for example 0.375 for each semester
if you are a tertiary student in a fee-paying course:
- your course is classified as full-time and you are doing at least 75 per cent of the full-time load, or
- you are undertaking an amount of study equivalent to at least 75 per cent of the average amount required to complete the course in the minimum time, or
- you have at least 15 hours face-to-face study a week (this may include both lectures and formal consultations with course supervisors)
The full-time load for some courses cannot be easily determined. We may be able to assess your eligibility as a full-time student by your hours of study.
You may be considered a full-time student if your load is reduced to no less than 66 per cent of the normal full-time study load because of:
- course requirements. Such as timetable clashes, subject prerequisites not being satisfied due to failure, reduced load needed to complete the course, or
- academic or vocational reasons. You will need to provide a letter from your deputy principal, academic registrar or equivalent to apply for this. The reason does not need to be stated in the letter
Approval for academic or vocational reasons can apply for no longer than half of the academic year.
Reduced study load for Austudy customers with a disability
If you have a substantial physical, psychiatric or intellectual disability and cannot study full-time or in the minimum time allowed you may still be able to get Austudy. You will need to be doing at least 25 per cent of the normal full-time load for the course.
This includes studying a course offered on a part-time basis where the study load is at least 25 per cent or more of a similar full-time course.
Part-time study means a study load of less than 75 per cent of a full-time load.
Your study load may become part-time even if you only drop one subject. You need to tell us about any changes to your enrolment because your payment might be affected.
If you are studying part-time, you may need to enter into an Employment Pathway Plan and undertake activities to make up a full-time study load.
Approved courses generally include full-time secondary education, diplomas, associate diplomas, certificate level and undergraduate courses.
Some postgraduate courses are approved, such as graduate certificates, graduate diplomas and masters degrees that are required for professional entry.
Research masters degrees and doctorates are not approved courses for Youth Allowance. Find out whether your course is approved.
If you are under 22 years, you may get Youth Allowance while you are doing non-approved study. However, you will need to prove that the study will improve your work prospects and you will need to enter into an Employment Pathway Plan.
You may be an external student if you study at a university or TAFE but do not study on campus. If you are an external student, please check that your study load is full-time and complies with the Youth Allowance or Austudy load rules.
As an external student your modes of teaching could include:
- formal classes
- one-on-one tuition
- computer or Internet based learning
- correspondence study
- on-the-job training
- a mixture of the above
Other methods are also possible. As long as the course has been approved for a particular style or styles of delivery then student eligibility is not affected.