ABSTUDY

Award types

There are 7 ABSTUDY awards that help us work out which payments you can get.

Your eligibility for an award will depend on your study, training and personal circumstances.

You should only submit your claim for ABSTUDY if you meet the eligibility criteria. When you apply, we’ll tell you which payments you can get based on your situation.

Payments you can get under ABSTUDY Awards

Payment What it helps with Schooling A Award Schooling B Award Tertiary Award Part time Award Testing and Assessment Award Masters and Doctorate Award Lawful Custody Award
ABSTUDY Living Allowance Living expenses No Yes Yes No No Yes No
Additional Assistance Costs in exceptional circumstances No Yes Yes No No Yes No
Additional Incidentals Allowance Essential courses costs No No Yes No No Yes No
Assistance to pay student contributions (formerly HECS) or tuition fees Tuition fees for Masters or Doctorate students No No No No No Yes No
Away from Base assistance Approved travel for study at a different location Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fares Allowance Approved travel between home and place of study Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Incidentals Allowance Study costs No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Lawful Custody Allowance Essential study costs if in lawful custody for more than 2 weeks No No No No No No Yes
Relocation Allowance Moving to another place to study No No No No No Yes No
School Fees Allowance School fees Yes Yes No No No No No
School Term Allowance Materials for school Yes No No No No No No
Thesis Allowance Costs of presenting a thesis No No No No No Yes No
Under 16 Boarding Supplement Boarding school or hostel costs No Yes No No No No No

Schooling A Award

This award is for primary or secondary students. We pay ABSTUDY to the parents or guardians of eligible students.

If you're 15 or younger you must be:

  • a full time secondary student, and
  • living at home, or not approved for the living away from home or independent rates of ABSTUDY

If you're 14 or older at 1 January in the year of study you must be:

  • a full time primary school student, and
  • living at home

Other payments or allowances you may get

If you can get ABSTUDY under the Schooling A Award, we’ll tell you how much you'll be paid. You may automatically get:

You can also apply for:

  • Away from Base assistance to attend residential schools if you're a distance education or correspondence student
  • ABSTUDY Fares Allowance to attend approved Away from Base activities

Schooling B Award

This award is for primary or secondary students.

You might be eligible if you're 16 or older, or 15 and in state care or independent because:

  • you're an orphan
  • you have special adult status in a traditional community
  • you have, or had, a dependent child
  • you're caring for, or have custody of, another person's dependent child
  • you've spent more than a total of 6 months in lawful custody
  • it's unreasonable for you to live at home, or
  • your parents can’t take care of you because they're in prison, missing, mentally incapacitated or living in a nursing home

You also need to be doing full time primary or secondary school studies.

Other reasons you might get it

You might get this award if you’re a primary or secondary student and you’re doing full time secondary studies at an educational institution other than a secondary school, such as TAFE. You must also meet the ABSTUDY progress and duration of assistance rules and have:

  • met the minimum requirements for leaving school in your state or territory, or
  • an exemption letter from the relevant education authority that lets you go to TAFE or another non-school institution

If you’re under 16, you might also get this award if you’re:

  • approved to live away from home
  • a full time secondary school student, or you need to repeat the final year of primary school before you start secondary studies

Other payments and allowances you may get

If you can get ABSTUDY under the Schooling B Award, we’ll tell you how much you’ll be paid. You may automatically get:

You can also apply for:

Your family may get Family Tax Benefit instead of ABSTUDY if you're a dependent full time student, aged 16 to 19 and living at home. Use the Payment and Service Finder to work out the best payment option for your family.

Tertiary Award

This award is for full time tertiary students and Australian Apprentices.

Students

You need to be a tertiary student with a full time or concessional study load for this award. You must also meet the ABSTUDY progress and duration of assistance rules, and have:

  • met the minimum requirements for leaving school in your state or territory, or
  • an exemption letter from the relevant education authority that lets you go to TAFE or another tertiary institution

Other payments and allowances you may get

If you can get ABSTUDY under the Tertiary Award as a student, we’ll tell you how much you'll be paid. You may automatically get:

You can also apply for:

Australian Apprentices

An Australian Apprentice is a person who's registered and doing a full time apprenticeship or traineeship under the Australian Apprenticeship scheme.

You need to be a full time apprentice, trainee, or trainee apprentice in the Australian Apprenticeships scheme for this award. You must also have:

  • met the minimum requirements for leaving school in your state or territory, or
  • an exemption letter from the relevant education authority that lets you do an apprenticeship

Read more about Australian Apprenticeships on the Australian Apprenticeships website.

Other payments and allowances you may get

If you can get ABSTUDY under the Tertiary Award as an Australian Apprentice, we’ll tell you what you'll be paid. You may automatically get:

You can also apply for Additional Assistance. if you’re in severe financial hardship and need help to cover study costs.

Part time Award

This award is for part time students who are:

  • of any age and doing tertiary study, or
  • 18 or older at 1 January in the year of study and doing secondary study

Other payments and allowances you may get

If you can get ABSTUDY under the Part time Award, you may automatically get additional payments, like Incidentals Allowance.

You can also apply for:

Testing and Assessment Award

This award is for students who need to travel for tests, assessments or interviews before starting their studies.

We can help you attend up to 2 testing and assessment events each year if you need to travel away from your usual home  and you're doing:

  • tests or assessments for the Indigenous Youth Mobility Program, or
  • a normal tertiary course admission test or interview

This only applies if you:

  • can’t be assessed on your previous study, and
  • aren't getting other financial help for the test or interview

Other payments and allowances you may get

If you can get ABSTUDY under the Testing and Assessment award, you won't get any additional payments automatically. You can apply for:

Master’s and Doctorate Award

This award is for Master’s and Doctorate students. You must:

  • be enrolled in an approved master’s degree or doctoral course
  • have a full time or concessional study load, and
  • not get any other form of financial help like a scholarship under the Department of Education and Training Research Training Program

Other payments and allowances you may get

If you can get ABSTUDY under the Master’s and Doctorate Award, we’ll tell you how much you'll be paid. You may automatically get:

You can also apply for:

  • Additional Incidentals Allowance
  • Away from Base assistance
  • Thesis Allowance
  • Assistance to pay Commonwealth Supported Places commitment, previously known as HECS, or compulsory course fees
  • Relocation Allowance or ABSTUDY Fares Allowance
  • Additional Assistance
  • Student Start-up Loan

Student or Australian Apprentice in Lawful Custody Award

This award is for students and Australian Apprentices in a correctional institution, remand centre or youth training centre. You must be in lawful custody for more than 2 weeks and be: 

  • studying an approved course or
  • doing a full time apprenticeship, traineeship, or trainee apprenticeship under the Australian Apprenticeship Scheme

Read more about apprenticeships on the Australian Apprenticeships website.

Other payments and allowances you may get

If you can get ABSTUDY under the Student or Australian Apprentice in Lawful Custody Award, we’ll tell you if you can get Lawful Custody Allowance.

If you’re a student and have permission from your correctional institution to attend classes, you can apply for Away from Base assistance.

Page last updated: 28 August 2018