Student Start-up Scholarship

Help eligible higher education students for the upfront cost of study.

From 1 January 2016, the Student Start-up Loan replaced the Student Start-up Scholarship for new recipients of Youth AllowanceAustudy and ABSTUDY Living Allowance who are in higher education.

You will continue to receive the Student Start-up Scholarship if you received it, or a Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship, before 1 January 2016 and have not had a break in payment. You may continue to be paid until you come off your student payment.

If you are in this group, you cannot receive a Student Start-up Loan as well as your scholarship.


To be eligible for the Student Start-up Scholarship, you must:

  • have previously received a Student Start-up Scholarship or Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship
  • not have had a break in receiving your student payment
  • be studying full time in an approved scholarship course delivered by an approved higher education provider
  • receive at least $1 of Youth Allowance as a student, $1 of Austudy or $1 of ABSTUDY Living Allowance in the fortnight in which the scholarship is payable
  • continue full time study within 35 days of qualifying for the scholarship, and
  • remain in full time study 35 days after qualifying for the scholarship

You will continue to receive the scholarship until you come off your student payment. If you have a break in payment, for example, take a leave of absence from your course, you will no longer be eligible for the scholarship.

If you receive or qualify for the Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship paid by the Department of Education or a Student Start-up Scholarship paid by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, or a Student Start-up Loan, you will not be eligible for a Student Start-up Scholarship paid by us.

If you meet the above criteria but have had a break in your payment or are a new student, then you can apply for the Student Start-up Loan.

Break in payment

You can generally have up to 6 consecutive fortnights of not receiving a student payment due to earnings before it is classified as a break in payment.

Some examples of when a break in payment can occur are:

  • your student payment is cancelled for any reason
  • you temporarily stop studying for a semester, or
  • you reduce your study load to less than full time

Travelling overseas can also cause a break in payment. Before you undertake any travel, you should advise us of your travel plans using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

Changing courses to a different approved course is not a break in payment as you will continue to receive a student payment.

If you have a break in payment and return to full time study, you may be eligible for the Student Start-up Loan.  

Approved scholarship courses

An approved scholarship course is an accredited higher education course or preparatory course undertaken at a higher education institution, for example, a university.

If a technical and further education institution is registered as a higher education provider and delivers an accredited higher education course, for example an associate degree or bachelor degree, this course will be an approved scholarship course. Vocational Education and Training courses are not approved scholarship courses.

Payment dates

The Student Start-up Scholarship is paid twice a year. If you are eligible, you do not need to do anything to continue receiving the Student Start-up Scholarship. You will receive it automatically with your next student payment from 24 February and from 24 July each year.

You need to have received at least $1 of Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY on that payday to be eligible for your Student Start-up Scholarship. If you didn’t, we'll continue to assess your eligibility each fortnight. This means you may get the scholarship payment with your next payment.

Payment rates

Each Student Start-up Scholarship payment is $1,035. This amount will be indexed on 1 January each year.

Manage your money

Getting control of your money can be hard, but we’ve got some great advice and tools to help. Read more about budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt, to help manage your money.

Page last updated: 1 January 2017