New Independence Rules for Regional Students

Students from regional and remote areas will be able to start university sooner because of changes that make it easier for them to be considered “independent” for student payments.

Youth Allowance and centrelink
To qualify as independent for Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY Living Allowance, students from regional or remote areas must earn at least $24,836 before commencing further study.

Previously, students had to wait 18 months after leaving school before qualifying for independent payments, putting them out of studies for one and a half to two academic years.

The Federal Government has reduced the time regional and remote students must spend earning this income, from 18 months to 14 months, allowing them to study with financial support one year after leaving high school.

Minister for Human Services Michael Kennan says the change provided a range of benefits for young people in regional and remote areas, and their communities.

“Under the new rules, students who take a gap year after Year 12 can then use that time to become independent for student payments and start university sooner.”

“The Government recognises the importance of helping regional students transition to further studies and has committed to helping students get to university sooner.”

The change would immediately impact around 3,700 regional students across Australia.