Allowable time while receiving Austudy

Allowable time is the amount of time you can receive a payment while studying.

If you are a full-time student you must be making satisfactory progress to satisfy the Activity Test for your payment. Allowable time is based on the minimum time it would normally take to complete the course you are currently studying.

The below table outlines the minimum allowable time for full-time tertiary students

The normal length of the course is: The allowable time for completion is:
1 year or less the minimum time for that course
more than 1 year and at least 1 subject in the current year is a year long subject the minimum time for that course plus 1 year
more than 1 year and all subjects are semester-based the minimum time for that course plus half a year

Honours students

Honours students have an extra 1 year past the minimum time for completing a course. Previous part-time study is taken into account on a pro-rata basis.

Secondary students

There is no limit to the number of attempts it takes you complete your study if your study is below Year 12.

If you are studying Year 12 you are allowed 2 attempts to complete your study. An attempt will not be counted if you:

  • failed due to illness not diagnosed when that study started
  • failed due to another circumstance beyond your control
  • failed due to English not being your first language
  • completed the study
  • discontinued study within 6 months of the start of the academic year, or
  • did it more than 10 years ago

Self paced courses

Self paced courses need to be completed in the same time allowed for completing the course by conventional full-time study.

Students with disability

If you have a substantial disability, you can reduce your study load to at least 25% of the full-time load.

Your allowable time will be 4 times the normal duration of the course if it were done full-time, or a similar full-time course if the course is only offered part-time.

Exceptions to allowable time

Previous tertiary study undertaken at the same level is taken into account in measuring allowable time. If you cannot complete the course within the allowable time limit you may still be considered to be making satisfactory progress. This depends on if an exception applies to your situation.

Exceptions include:

  • if you failed a year or part of a year because of illness or circumstances beyond your control
  • time spent studying in a course that has been permanently discontinued because of circumstances beyond your control
  • time spent studying in a course which was not approved for a Centrelink payment or earlier student income support scheme
  • time spent studying in a course which is a normal prerequisite for the course in which you are enrolled or intend to enrol
  • time spent studying in a TAFE course, whether it was completed or not, if the normal length of the course is 1 year or less
  • time spent studying in a course more than 10 years ago (unless the course has since been completed)
  • time spent studying in a course at a foreign institution
  • time spent studying in a subject from which you withdrew, if the institution did not record the withdrawal from the subject as a failure

Circumstances beyond your control

Circumstances beyond your control include if you:

  • are or have been, disabled by an illness or other medical condition
  • have suffered family trauma
  • had experienced a natural disaster
  • had to relocate, and repeat part of a course or start the course again because of the educational institution
  • had caring responsibilities for another member of your family, or
  • have any other exceptional circumstances that interferes with your ability to complete a course of education or study within the standard minimum length of time

If you think any of these circumstances apply in your case and have not been taken into account, contact us on 132 490.

Page last updated: 12 April 2017

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