Study loads for Austudy and Youth Allowance
You need to meet, and keep on meeting, study load requirements to get Austudy or Youth Allowance.
Full time study
Secondary students – examples
You’re full time if:
- your secondary school considers your course full time
- you do at least 75% of the full time study load at an institution other than a secondary school
Tertiary students – examples
If you're in a Commonwealth supported course, we work out your study load using your enrolment. You’re full time if you:
- do at least 75% of the equivalent full time study load (EFTSL), over a year, where the normal period of enrolment is a year or similar period, or
- enrol on a semester or trimester basis and do an EFTSL of at least 75% for that period - for example, 0.375 each semester or 0.25 each trimester
If you’re in a fee paying course, you’re full time if:
- your institution considers your course full time, and
- you do at least 75% of the full time study load, or
- you do at least 75% of the average amount of study needed to complete the course in the minimum time, or
- your institution hasn’t defined a full time study load and you have at least 15 hours face to face study a week - this may include lectures and formal meetings with course supervisors
Each institution measures study loads differently. You need to check your institution's website or handbook to find what they consider a full time study load.
We can’t pay you to study indefinitely. We can only pay you the allowable time for your course. If you only study 75% of the full time study load, you may run out of allowable time. Read more about allowable time for studying while getting Youth Allowance or allowable time while getting Austudy.
Reducing study loads
You may still get Austudy or Youth Allowance if you need to reduce your study load.
You may reduce it to no less than 66% of the full time study load because of:
- course needs, such as:
- timetable clashes
- failing prerequisite subjects
- cancelled subjects
- no unit vacancies
- you need to reduce your load to complete the course
- academic or vocational reasons decided by your education institution
You need to give us a letter outlining 1 of the reasons above from your deputy principal, academic registrar or equivalent so we can reassess your eligibility.
If you reduce your study load due to academic or vocational reasons decided by your institution, it can only apply to your student payment for half of the academic year.
Austudy students with disability
If you have a substantial physical, psychiatric or intellectual disability and can’t study full time or in the minimum time, you may still get Austudy. You need to do at least 25% of the full time study load for the course.
Youth Allowance if you’re sick or have an injury
If you’re sick or have an injury and temporarily can’t study full time, you may still get Youth Allowance as a student. You need to give us medical proof showing you’ll return to full time study when better.
Part time study
Part time study is a study load of less than 75% of a full time study load. Your study load may become part time if you drop 1 or more subjects. Tell us about any changes to your enrolment because it may affect your payment.
If you’re studying part time and are younger than 22 years of age, you may be eligible for Youth Allowance as a job seeker. You need to have a Job Plan and do activities to make up a full time study load.