What is the Tertiary Access Payment?

The Tertiary Access Payment (TAP) is a non-indexed, means-tested payment to school-leavers from regional or remote areas who need to relocate for full-time, higher-level tertiary education (Certificate IV and above) at an education provider located at least 90 minutes by public transport from their family home.

Up to $5000 is available for students from outer regional or remote areas a payment of $3000 is available to assist students from inner regional areas.

The payment is intended to assist students with the additional costs associated with moving to a different city or town to undertake tertiary study.The TAP aims to encourage individuals in regional and remote Australia to access high-level tertiary study (Certificate IV and above) in the year immediately following year 12, rather than taking a gap year.

Eligibility requirements

The TAP is available for school leavers who:

  • meet Australian citizenship or residency requirements 
  • are from an inner regional, outer-regional, remote or very remote area 
  • are undertaking a Certificate IV or above, at least 75 per cent of a full-time study load with a minimum duration of a year, in the year following the completion of Year 12 or equivalent 
  • are studying face to face, or in dual delivery method, for at least part of the course
  • are aged 22 or under
  • relocate to study at an education provider at least 90 minutes by public transport from their family home
  • parents(s) or guardian(s) have a combined income of $250,000 or below (or be exempt from meeting this requirement)

This income cut-off is significantly higher than the means test applied to other student support payments such as Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY and will enable many students with two working parents to qualify for the payment.

The TAP is available to newly arrived migrants after 208 weeks in Australia ;as an Australian resident (some exemptions may apply).

Application process

Students relocating to study at a university, non-university higher education provider or a vocational education and training provider will apply for the Tertiary Access Payment(Opens in a new tab/window) through Services Australia.

How is the payment made?

The TAP is a payment made in the students first year of eligible study. For eligible students from outer-regional and remote areas, the TAP is made in two instalments, $3000 to assist with upfront costs and $2000 will be paid if the student continues to be enrolled.

For eligible students from inner regional areas, the TAP is made in a single payment of $3000 in their first year of study.

Students are only eligible for TAP once.

What can the money be used for?

The TAP can be used to cover costs associated with study. For example, this may include things like rent or bond for accommodation, household bills, groceries, textbooks or other study supplies.

Will the TAP affect other student payments?

Services Australia considers the TAP to be an equity or merit based scholarship(Opens in a new tab/window). This means it won't be counted as ordinary income when Services Australia is determining whether an applicant is eligible for other income support payments, like Youth Allowance. However, Services Australia will consider these scholarships as income if the applicant receives other scholarships with a combined total of more than $8355 per year.

Students who are eligible for the Relocation Scholarship linked to Youth Allowance/ABSTUDY payments may be eligible for the TAP.

For more information about student payments or what other help is available(Opens in a new tab/window), please contact Services Australia.