Changes to student payments from 1 January 2015
From 1 January 2015, the following changes will be made to student payments:
- Restricting the Relocation Scholarship to students relocating from regional areas to study and metropolitan students relocating to study at a regional campus, and
- Limiting the 6 week portability period for student payments.
As part of the 2014-15 Budget, the Government announced a number of further changes to student payments, to commence from 1 January 2015 (subject to the passage of legislation):
- Pause indexation of the personal income free area of student payments (currently at $415 per fortnight) and the student income bank (currently at $10,300) for three years, and
- Remove the grandfathering of payments of the Student Start-up Scholarship.
The 2013-14 Budget measure to convert the Student Start-up Scholarship into an income contingent loan, to be called the Student Start-up Loan, was also to be implemented from 1 January 2015.
The legislation to give effect to these measures was not passed by Parliament in time for 1 January 2015. This means that indexation of the personal income free area and student income bank will not be paused and will be indexed on 1 January 2015. The personal income free area will increase to $427 per fortnight and the student income bank will increase to $10,600. Higher education students studying an approved scholarship course and in receipt of student payments will still be eligible to receive the Student Start-up Scholarship payment of $1,025 in Semester 1, 2015.
For further information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.