How students can get $5000
Regional students are being urged to take up a $5000 relocation fund after surviving a difficult 2020.
The federal government introduced the Tertiary Access Payment (TAP), a $5000 payment for outer regional and remote students under the age of 22 looking to relocate for higher education, on January 1.
Government Services Minister Stuart Robert has urged remote students to check their eligibility for the grant.
"Services Australia is helping deliver this payment which is part of the Job-ready Graduates higher education reforms package," he told NCA NewsWire.
"It's all about helping students from rural, regional and remote Australia with the costs of relocating to undertake tertiary study.
"This will help kids from the bush prepare to take on the jobs of tomorrow by helping them get into study today."
But Labor education spokesman Tanya Plibersek said the payment had been introduced as the government made things "deliberately tougher for our kids" by hiking up the cost of undergraduate degrees.
"If Scott Morrison wanted more country kids to have the chance to go to university, he wouldn't be more than doubling the cost of a basic degree to a staggering $58,000," she told NCA NewsWire.
"Changes made by the Liberal Party mean that from this year thousands of young Australians will be paying American-sized university fees.
"These young people will graduate with crippling debts at the same time as they are trying to get a permanent job, save a deposit for a house, or start a family.
"Scott Morrison should explain why he's deliberately making life tougher for our kids."
The payment will be issued in two instalments, one $3000 payment in the first half of the academic year, followed by a $2000 in the second.
To receive the grant, Year 12 leavers would have to meet Youth Allowance residency requirements and be relocating because they live more than 90 minutes via public transport from their higher education provider.
Those whose parents or guardians earned a combined $250,000 per year will not be eligible, while taking a gap year would also make a student ineligible.
Minister Robert said 2020 had been a difficult year for school leavers, many of whom had been forced to take study virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It has been truly inspirational to see the class of 2020 rise to the challenge and now we are encouraging you to claim early to give you more time to prepare for the next exciting chapter in your life," he said.
"It has never been easier to claim online, so I would encourage all those young Australians pursing their aspirations through further study to lodge a claim for Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY or Austudy up to 13 weeks before your course or apprenticeship begins."
More than 550,000 Australians were granted Youth Allowance last financial year, and 29,000 ABSTUDY claims were processed.
Originally published as How students can get $5000