Government assistance



Youth Allowance: All students aged 16 to 24 years, including apprentices and trainees, are eligible for the federal government’s Youth Allowance. The allowance is means-tested, which means it is paid only if the student and/or their family fall below a certain income threshold. It may also be paid in circumstances where the student is considered independent or needs to live away from home to study.

Other financial support schemes:

  • The ABSTUDY allowance scheme supports students of Aboriginal or Torrest Strait Islander descent who are enrolled in an approved course or apprenticeship and who are not receiving any other government assistance to study. ABSTUDY is designed to help with costs relating to education, accommodation, living, travel fares and prescription medicine. Payment rates depend on factors such as study load (full time or part time) and age.
  • The Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme supports students whose home is isolated from a local government school or whose specific health or educational needs cannot be met locally. Students who are boarding may also qualify for the Additional Boarding Allowance.

New South Wales

Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA): The LAFHA is an allowance granted to students in New South Wales who live in an isolated area and need to move away from home in order to obtain a secondary education. In 2017, the LAFHA grant is $2,048, with Year 11 and 12 students also eligible for a bonus allowance of $471 if they are geographically isolated from the nearest government school.

Boarding Scholarship for Isolated Students (BSIS): Similar to LAFHA, the Boarding Scholarship for Isolated Students (BSIS) is an equity provision for rural New South Wales secondary school students whose family has a low income, whose geographic location severely affects access to secondary schooling and whose cirsumtances require that they board away from home to attend a government school. In 2017, this scholarship is valued at $4,980. To be eligible, students must not be receiving the Assistance for Isolated Children allowance, Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY.

Assisted School Travel Program (ASTP): This is an initiative that assists eligible students with disabilities in travelling to and from school (a maximum of two trips per day). Transport is arranged for students who are enrolled in special schools or in classes for students who are mobility dependent. To check if your child is eligible, visit the NSW Public Schools website.


Living Away From Home Allowances Scheme (LAFHAS): This assistance is granted to students who must board away from home in order to obtain a secondary education in Queensland. This is due to either living in a geographically isolated area or not having reasonable daily access to schooling. The scheme is made up of four components: the Remote Area Tutition Allowance (RTuA), the Remote Area Travel Allowance (RTrA), the Remote Area Allowance (RAA) and the Remote Area Disability Supplement (RADS). The RTuA is paid directly to the boarding schools to offset school tuition fee accounts, while the other components are paid directly to applicants. Each component has a separate payment. See the Queensland Department of Education and Training website for more information.

Textbook and Resources Allowance: This is an assistance scheme offered to parents of secondary school students to contribute to the cost of textbooks and other learning resources. In 2015, families of students in Years 7 to 10 are entitled to $119 per student per annum. The allowance rate increases to $258 per student per annum in Years 11 and 12. See the Queensland Department of Education and Training website for more information.

Western Australia

Student Subsidised Travel Scheme: This scheme aids eligible students with travelling to and from their educational institution. To be eligible, students need to live within the Defined Remote Area of Western Australia and attend a school outside of the recognised area. The scheme entitles primary and secondary students to four return trips a year. If a student lives more than 56 kilometres from the nearest government school with boarding or the nearest bus service, families may be eligible for the Road Travel Subsidy, which allows parents or guardians to claim up to eight round trips per child each year.

Boarding Away from Home Allowance: This allowance assists geographically isolated families with the cost of boarding fees. To be eligible, parents must be receiving the Assistance for Isolated Children or Second Home Allowance from the Department of Human Services. In 2017, the annual allowance is $2,105.

South Australia

School Card

The School Card schemeprovides financial assistance to students attending government schools, covering expenses such as school fees, uniforms, and camps and excursions. It is available to:

  • families with children aged four years and over who attend school full time
  • independent full-time Year 10 or 11 students who are studying six subjects
  • independent full-time Year 12 students who are studying five subjects
  • adult students undertaking DECD-funded subjects at a government school

The scheme is means-tested, with eligibility determined by gross family income.

Student Travelling Allowance

The Travelling Allowance provides assistance to school students living five kilometres or more from the nearest school or bus service. To be eligible for the allowance, students must:

  • reside in South Australia (the usual place of residence)
  • reside five kilometres or more from the nearest government school or school bus service provided by the Department of Education and Child Development (DECD), and regularly attend an approved school.

For students attending a DECD Special Interest Centre/School, eligibility depends on being accepted into a special course of study while also meeting the above requirements.

There are three allowance types, including a public passenger transport grant, private bus fare allowance and car allowance.

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