In December, the government announced for students new to study in 2016, or returning to study after a break, the Student Start-Up Scholarship would no longer be available.
Instead, students receiving Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY will be eligible to apply for a Student Start-Up Loan of $1,025, twice per year.
Applications can be made via your Centrelink online account at any time during the two loan periods – 1 January to 30 June, and 1 July to 31 December.
You will be paid at the earliest possible date you are eligible and on the same day as your regular payment.
Importantly, you need to apply for every loan period to receive the loan, and you can apply in advance.
These loans will be repaid through the Australian Taxation Office in the same way as HELP loans, when your income exceeds a certain amount.
They will also be indexed to inflation in the same way.
If you have received a Student Start-Up Scholarship in the past and have not had a recent break in your payment, you will continue to receive the Scholarship and will not be eligible to apply for a loan.
You will receive the payments of $1,025 automatically with your next payment following 24 February and 24 July, as long as you continue to be eligible.
You will not be required to repay the money you receive.
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