A group of payments for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students or apprentices.
- you're an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian, and
- in an approved course, Australian Apprenticeship or traineeship, and
- not getting another payment to study or train
From January 2018 there are changes to approved courses may impact your eligibility for a payment. Go to the Department of Social Services website for information.
If you get a letter saying you’re not eligible, there’s still time to change your study options to align with approved courses and institutions.
Eligibility & payment rates
Who can get it
You can get ABSTUDY if you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and meet certain criteria.
What it covers
ABSTUDY can help with your study costs and housing if you need to travel to study.
There are 7 awards that describe eligibility for the different payments and allowances available under ABSTUDY.
We use a number of tests to work out how much you should be paid. We use the Independence Test to see whether you are dependent on your parents or guardians.
Income and assets tests
The amount of ABSTUDY you may get will depend on your personal circumstances.
Higher rates when living away from home
You may get a higher rate of ABSTUDY if you need to live away from home to study or do your Australian Apprenticeship.
Helps cover the cost of travel between your permanent home and place of study if you need to live away from home to study and receive ABSTUDY.
Read more about the ABSTUDY Fares Allowance.
A payment to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with the cost of starting or continuing study or training.
Read more about Incidentals Allowance
School Fees Allowance
Helps with the cost of school fees for ABSTUDY students and their families.
Read more about the ABSTUDY School Fees Allowance.
Residential Costs Option
An option for students to help pay residential costs while living away from home to study.
The amount of ABSTUDY you get depends on your situation.
Distance and online education for tertiary and secondary students
If you study by distance education, you need to do an approved course with an approved institution.
Check if you're eligible before you start your claim.
- decide how to submit your claim
- complete your claim
- complete your supporting forms
- submit your claim before the closing date, and
- after we assess your claim we tell you the outcome
Managing your payment
Try self service
Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.
Read more about using self service.
Annual parental income test reassessment
If you're dependent and you get Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY, we may need your parents’ or guardians’ income details each year.
Change of circumstances
You must tell us if things change as it may affect your payment.
You may get part of your income support early. This is an advance. You pay it back out of your normal payments from us.
Weekly payment option
Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.
While travelling outside Australia
To get your payment while outside Australia you must continue to meet the qualification rules for ABSTUDY.
Online review of study details
We may send a letter to your myGov inbox asking you to complete an online review of your study details.
Vocational Education and Training - VET Student Loans
Eligible Students can get a VET Student Loan to access higher level VET qualifications.
This could help you, if you couldn’t otherwise afford to pay for your course upfront.
Read more about VET Student Loans on the Department of Education and Training website.
If your course has stopped because of provider closures, you may be eligible for support from the tuition assurance scheme.
Read more about Provider Closures on the Department of Education and Training website.
Payment and Service Finder
Find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for. You can also work out how a change in circumstance may change the payments and services you currently get from us.
Manage your money
We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.
Read about how to manage your money.
Regular deductions using Centrepay
You can use our free and voluntary service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.
Read more about how Centrepay works.