ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE: without living on two-minute noodles Disclaimer: The information contained in this guide is for general information purposes only. The Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) has sought expert opinion in relation to the information and made every effort to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication. While ASG makes every effort to keep the information up to date and correct, it makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, or suitability of the information contained for any individual or group. ASG is not a licensed provider of financial advice and encourages you to ensure that you seek professional advice before making any changes to your own or your family’s circumstances. ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE – without living on two-minute noodles – Published 2011 ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 2 Contents Introduction Income Decision time ............................................................................................ 5 The value and benefits to you of further education ................... 6 About the author – Vince Callaghan ................................................ 7 Government support ............................................................................ Scholarship support .............................................................................. Employment options for students ................................................... Loans for students .................................................................................. Budgeting – making your finances work Budgeting for living and study costs.........................................9 Estimated annual post-secondary study costs............................ 10 Budgeting template................................................................................ 12 25 29 31 32 Life as a uni and TAFE student Getting help ............................................................................................. 34 Key websites ............................................................................................. 35 Frequently asked questions ................................................................ 37 Expenses Course costs .............................................................................................. Study-related costs.................................................................................. Accommodation costs .......................................................................... Other day-to-day living costs ............................................................. 15 19 20 23 Other information Glossary of terms .................................................................................... Reference list ............................................................................................ Index ............................................................................................................ About the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) ......................... ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au 41 43 45 46 page | 3 ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE: without living on two-minute noodles Introduction Introduction Decision time Decision time Should I or shouldn’t I? is a question many students face upon the completion of Year 12. It’s a big question and a big decision – and one that could be life changing, impacting your future employment and earning-capacity. Research shows that students who gain post-secondary qualifications are more likely to experience higher wages (research from NATSEM indicates up to $1.5 million more over the course of a lifetime), better working conditions, and less chance of being unemployed. If they do become unemployed, they are more likely to find a new job faster than their less qualified colleagues. It’s not just the individual who benefits from a post-secondary qualification. The community also benefits through greater productivity, higher participation of skilled young people entering the workforce and ultimately, more prosperity within the community. In fact, the Australian Government aims to push up the proportion of young adults with degrees from the current 32 per cent to 40 per cent by 2025. Having made the decision to study at the post-secondary level, you and your family face a number of questions to work through. These will often include questions like: What would you like to study? What courses are available to you? What will the course cost? What are the day-to-day living costs of a student? In other words, can you survive university or TAFE without living on two-minute noodles? ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE – without living on two-minute noodles aims to provide you and your family with the most relevant, and up to date information on the benefits and costs of studying after Year 12. It also provides you with some great tips and helpful resources to support you and your family as you navigate your way through this important, and very exciting time. The Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) wishes every student success in their studies and their future careers, and commends the parents who have provided education opportunities for their children. ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE – without living on two-minute noodles will help you and your family explore the issues and costs associated with post-secondary study in Australia. Study options include tertiary (university), vocational education (TAFE) and various courses offered through private education providers. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 5 Introduction The value and benefits to you of further education The value and benefits to you of further education There are many education and training options in Australia for you as a school leaver. In both the university and Vocational Education and Training (VET) sectors, your course choices are almost limitless. You may choose to study at a university but make sure you investigate all the options available to you. There are increasing numbers of students opting for a VET course through TAFE Institutes, Registered Private Providers or Community Training\Organisations. Choosing to go on to further study after secondary school is a smart decision. The benefits of further study to you, your future and the nation, are significant. If you complete a degree, diploma, or certificate course, you can look forward to more fulfilling employment options and career prospects. By completing a university or VET course, you will develop a host of skills, many of which are highly valued by potential employers. Research has also shown that a tertiary qualification will also significantly increase your lifelong earning capacity. Although this guide focuses on the cost of going on to further education, it is important to balance those costs against the overall lifelong value that further education will bring to you. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 6 Introduction About the author – Vince Callaghan About the author – Vince Callaghan Vince Callaghan, author of ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE – without living on two-minute noodles has worked in Australia’s post-secondary education sector since the 1970s. His career began as a university tutor before the areas of student services and support gained his interest. Soon after, Vince became acutely aware that some students’ financial difficulties disadvantaged their participation in further education and Vince has worked to assist students ever since. His career has spanned working with universities and colleges across the country, including the University of Western Australia (UWA), La Trobe University, Melbourne State College—then the largest teachers’ college in Australia—and Deakin University at its Warrnambool campus. Vince has authored a number of guides for both government and post-secondary institutions. These include the Australian Government’s Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme (TEAS), a plain language guide to the TEAS scheme and subsequently the Austudy scheme, the Australian Government’s Department of Education’s guide to Austudy that resulted in the annual distribution of one million copies Australia wide, and a guide to the costs associated with study for Deakin University. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au For many years, Vince was the spokesperson on student financial issues for the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association and the Student Financial Advisers Network of Australia. In these roles, Vince presented evidence before numerous House of Representative and Senate enquiries arguing for financial equity for students in general, and in particular for rural and regional students. In his retirement, Vince has maintained his interest in student financial concerns as evidenced by his latest publication ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE - without living on two-minute noodles, his submissions to various government inquiries, and the well-attended seminars and workshops he continues to conduct on the cost of post-secondary education throughout Victoria. He also very much enjoys taking tour groups to Italy for the Wollongong University based, Odyssey Travel. Vince is married to Julie and they have two sons, Liam and Ed. page | 7 ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE: without living on two-minute noodles Budgeting – making your finances work Budgeting – making your finances work Budgeting for living and study costs Budgeting for living and study costs Budgeting Great tips As a student it is important to budget for your study related costs, accommodation costs and other living expenses as income is usually very limited. With a good budget, it means you just may be spared a diet of two-minute noodles. Check the Useful Websites page of this guide for helpful resources on budgeting, managing your budget and estimating costs associated with studying at university and TAFE. Estimated annual post-secondary study costs The table on the following pages provides the estimated costs associated with post-secondary study based on four living options. These include living in the family home, living in halls of residence, shared independent living in private rental accommodation and boarding through the Homestay program. This table provides general estimates only. ASG’s Online University Costs Calculator at www.asg.com.au can be used to get more specific cost estimates based on your personal circumstances. Creating your own budget A budget template to print and use is included in this chapter. Be sure to itemise all your income and expenditure items so you can track your finances. If you prefer, you can source the budget template as an Excel worksheet or PDF file from ASG’s website www.asg.com.au on ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE - without living on two-minute noodles page. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 9 Budgeting – making your finances work Estimated annual post-secondary study costs Estimated annual post-secondary study costs Estimated annual post-secondary study costs Living Options General notes: Family Home (52 weeks per annum - full board, includes utilities) Halls of Residence (36-40 weeks per annum) Varies according to sector and course selection (See Section 2) Varies according to sector and course selection (See Section 2) Varies according to sector and course selection (See Section 2) Varies according to sector and course selection (See Section 2) Textbooks, stationery, equipment, photocopying etc  $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 Computer and internet access  $620 $0 (usually included in fees) $620 $620 Course/tuition fees Shared Independent Living Homestay Program (Private rental (Full board with family - 52 weeks accommodation, shared with 2 per annum, including utilities) others, 52 weeks per annum) Accommodation establishment costs $0 $1,000 (refundable bond - will vary) $1,336 (refundable bond - will vary) $230 (placement fee) Utility connection fees  $0 $0 (depending on the college chosen) $30 (average cost per person in 3-person share house) $0 Furniture and household goods $0 $0 $500 (based on secondhand furniture and goods purchased) $250 (to supplement furniture provided) Accommodation - ongoing costs $0 $8,000 - $18,000 (depending on the college chosen and facilities provided) $7,243 (estimated $139/week per person in 3-person share house) $14,300 ($275/week full board) All costs are estimated. The Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) provides these figures as a guide only. ASG cannot guarantee that they will represent the actual costs of education for a particular student. ASG has provided these figures as a reasonable and conservative estimate based on substantial desktop research. Students and parents can source further information about university costs for specified courses and living options on a national or state basis from ASG's Online University Costs Calculator at: www.asg.com.au VET and TAFE course costs vary from state-to-state. Continued next page ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 10 Budgeting – making your finances work Estimated annual post-secondary study costs continued Estimated annual post-secondary study costs continued Living Options Notes to estimates: Family Home (52 weeks per annum - full board, includes utilities) Halls of Residence (36-40 weeks per annum) Groceries - food, beverages, household requirements $0 $0 Utilities - gas, electricity, water, telephone $0 $0 Public transport (allow extra for owning a car) $1,768 ($34/week) Snacks and drinks on the run Shared Independent Living Homestay Program (Private rental (Full board with family - 52 weeks accommodation, shared with 2 per annum, including utilities) others, 52 weeks per annum) $3,640 ($70/week per person in 3-person share house) $0 $0 $1040 ($20/week) $1,560 ($30/week per person in a 3-person share house) $1,768 ($34/week) $1,768 ($34/week) $1,820 ($35/week) $1,820 ($35/week) $1,820 ($35/week) $1,820 ($35/week) Entertainment/Other $2,080 ($40/week) $2,080 ($40/week) $2,080 ($40/week) $2,080 ($40/week) Ancillary - clothes, medical, mobile phone, etc $2,600 ($50/week) $2,600 ($50/week) $2,600 ($50/week) $2,600 ($50/week) $9,888 $17,540 - $27,540 $24,197 $24,668 TOTAL COSTS ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Costs will vary depending on consumption and usage.  Based on requirements for a full-time student annually. The cost will vary widely depending on the course selected.  Computer and internet costs will vary according to the computer purchased and internet costs established.  Varies according to suppliers chosen. page | 11 Budgeting – making your finances work Budgeting template Budgeting template ASG's How to Survive Uni and TAFE: without living on two-minute noodles Budget Worksheet Calculate your income and expenses annually as a guide to planning your expenditure throughout the year INCOME Government allowance Part-time work salary (after tax) Any extra earnings Scholarship allowances Any extra allowances Interest on savings Any other income TOTAL INCOME EXPENSES Course expenses Course/tuition fees Text books Equipment/Tools Stationery Photocopying Computer equipment Computer software Internet access Living expenses Accommodation costs Bond or placement fees Monthly rent or fees or board Household costs Electricity Gas Phone Water JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC ANNUAL JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC ANNUAL ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 12 Budgeting – making your finances work Budgeting template continued ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE: without living on two-minute noodles Budget Worksheet continued EXPENSES Groceries - food, beverages, household requirements Snacks on the run Ancillary costs Public transport/travel/car costs Medical Dental Clothes Mobile phone Entertainment/hobbies Insurance Other TOTAL EXPENSES SAVINGS/DEFICIT JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC ANNUAL page | 13 ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE: without living on two-minute noodles Expenses Expenses Course costs Course costs The cost of your course will depend on the course you choose to study, and whether it is a VET or CSP at university. VET courses and CSP courses have different cost structures which are outlined in this chapter. VET courses and tuition fees TAFE Institutes, Registered Private Providers and Community Training Organisations all run VET courses. VET tuition costs differ depending on your course and its duration. Usually, VET courses cost less than university courses. In some cases, if you have a student or Centrelink Health Care Card, the VET course costs will be reduced further. You need to do your homework on this because VET course costs at TAFE Institutes are different in each state. Check the costs involved with your chosen course and what its payment options are. See if FEE-HELP arrangements are in place for it. University courses and tuition fees University tuition costs are fairly clear-cut. All universities in Australia (apart from private universities e.g. Bond and Notre Dame) have tuition costs set by the Australian Government. At university you enrol for a place known as a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), which is subsidised by the Australian Government. The Government pays a proportion of your course tuition costs and you are required to pay the balance. See the next page for more information on CSP. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Each year, university courses are grouped into one of five bands, known as the University Course Bands. For each of these bands, the Government decides by how much courses in each band will be subsidised. The amount you are required to contribute will depend on the course you choose to study and which band your chosen course falls into. More information on the University Course Band is on the next page. HECS-HELP HECS-HELP or the Higher Education Contribution Scheme–Higher Education Loan Program is the loan scheme you have with the Government when you take up a CSP at university. Essentially, through this scheme, the Government pays the tuition fees of your course to your university on your behalf, the government will absorb the subsidised amount, and consequently you owe the Government the contribution amount for your course. Deferred HECS-HELP payments If you defer your payments you incur a HECS-HELP debt, which is administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You can make voluntary repayments anytime you want as long as you pay in amounts of $500 or more. If you do, you will be given a 10 per cent discount on those amounts. Most HECS-HELP debts are repaid by having a portion of your salary or wage withheld. Your repayments begin when your employment income is above the Government nominated threshold (for 2010–2011 the threshold is $44,912). If your income is below the nominated threshold, you are not required to repay the debt. page | 15 Expenses Course costs continued There is no interest rate on your HECS-HELP debt, but the debt will increase annually at the rate of inflation. The HECS-HELP debt belongs to you and nobody else. Should you die, it will die with you. If you fail subjects for reasons beyond your control and have incurred a HECS-HELP debt, you should apply to your university to have the debt waived. Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) To get a CSP you need to be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or have a permanent visa. You must also live in Australia while you are studying and have an Australian Tax File Number. You can, however, retain your CSP if you are studying overseas in a course that is part of an exchange arrangement with your university. Payment options for CSP So that you are not locked into one payment option for the whole of your course, each semester your university will ask you to nominate one of the three HECS-HELP payment options shown below. You can nominate to pay your tuition fee ‘up front’ and if you do, you will be given a 20 per cent discount on the amount owing. You can nominate to ‘defer’ ALL of your tuition fees, and repay them when your future income is above the Government nominated threshold. The threshold for the 2010-2011 tax year is $44,912. You can nominate to pay at least $500 ‘up front’ to receive the 20 percent discount, and then defer the remaining amount. You begin to repay the debt when your future income is above the nominated threshold which for the 2010-2011 tax year is $44,912. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au There are some different HECS-HELP payment rules for New Zealand citizens and permanent visa holders that should be followed up if you are in these categories. For more information refer to the Information for Commonwealth Supported Students: HECS-HELP booklets at the website: www.goingtouni.gov.au University course bands The Australian Government divides all university courses into four bands. The amount you pay will depend on which band your course sits within. The types of courses that fall within each band are shown on the next page. If you are unsure which band your course is in, visit the Going to Uni website www.goingtouni.gov.au Band one includes the following courses: Arts/Humanities, Foreign Languages, Social Sciences,Visual and Performing Arts, Social Studies, Education and Nursing. In 2011, the maximum cost for band one courses (if you are taking on a full study work load) is $5,442 for the year ($2,721 per semester). If you choose to pay ‘up front’ and get the 20 per cent discount, the per annum cost is $4,352 ($2,176 per semester). Band two courses include: Engineering, Computing, Built Environment, Health, Surveying, and Agriculture. The maximum cost in 2011 (if you are taking on a full study load) is $7,756 for the year ($3,878 per semester). If you choose to pay ‘up front’ and get the 20 per cent discount, the per annum cost is $6,204 ($3,102 per semester). Band three courses include: Law, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Accounting/Economics, Medicine, Administration, and Commerce. The maximum cost in 2011 (if you are taking on a full study load) is $9,080 for the year ($4,540 per semester) with a 20 per cent discount the per annum cost is $7,264 ($3,632 per semester). page | 16 Expenses Course costs continued The National Priority Band includes: Mathematics, Statistics and Sciences. The maximum cost in 2011 (if you are taking on a full study load) is $4,355 for the year ($2,177 per semester). If you choose to pay ‘up front’ and get the 20 per cent discount, the per annum cost is $3,484 ($1,742 per semester). Your university will classify each unit or subject that you study into one of the bands. Not all of your units or subjects in your given course are necessarily going to be in the same band. For example, if you enrol in a nursing course, which is in Band one, you might study health units that fall within band two. In that case, you would pay additional amounts for those units. Education and Nursing students Students who graduate in Nursing and Education will receive a reduction in their repayments for up to 260 weeks (five years) as long as they continue to be employed in those professions. Repaying your HECS HELP Once your income is above the threshold, you start to repay the debt according to your income level. At the lower end of the threshold, (for 2010–2011 it begins at $44,912). If your income in any tax year goes above the threshold you begin repaying. Generally the repayments will be deducted from your fortnightly salary. Using 2010-2011 as an example, if your income were to go over the amount you begin repaying at four per cent. The percentage you repay, however, will increase according to the amount you earn. There is a ceiling of eight per cent repayment if your income reaches $83,408 in the 2010-2011 tax year. These thresholds change slightly each tax year. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Failing course units or complete withdrawal from a course It is important to know that if you fail units and have to repeat them, you will be paying for these units each time you attempt them. If you don’t complete your course you still pay for the proportion of the course you did complete. Similarly, if you decide to withdraw from a course or a unit, do so before the census dates for each semester, which are usually in March for first semester and in August for second semester. Compulsory university student fees At the moment there are no ‘compulsory’ university student fees. These annual fees were traditionally used to help develop student services and amenities on campus. ‘Full-Fee’ tuition courses for Australian university students ‘Full-Fee’ places are no longer available to commencing Australian undergraduate students. Continuing students who chose this option can continue in the scheme and have access to FEE-HELP, which has similar repayment rules as HECS-HELP. Check out the FEE-HELP booklets available at your university. page | 17 Expenses Course costs continued Great tips Check the VET and university websites listed in the guide for more information on any of the above topics. Make sure you have a Tax File Number. Check the census dates for your university. They are usually, but not always, 31 March for semester one and 31 August for semester two. There might be a third semester at your university, which is likely to change the census dates. Check whether a HECS-HELP/FEE-HELP type debt scheme is in place for your course in VET. If you are studying a VET course, check what advanced standing applies if you decide to go on to further study at a university. If you are going to withdraw from your course or a unit, do so before your institution’s census dates. If there are reasons beyond your control for withdrawing or failure, e.g. illness or bereavement, apply to your university to have your debt waived. Check the Going to Uni website for more information at www.goingtouni.gov.au ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 18 Expenses Study-related costs Study-related costs Computers Having your own computer is advisable if not essential. University and VET providers will communicate important information to you via email. Lecture notes and messages from lecturers are usually made available electronically. In some universities, it is possible that some of your course units will only be available online. There are computer labs on most campuses but they can become extremely busy, especially prior to exam times. It is important to have a reliable computer and printer as your assignments will need to be typed and printed. Textbooks Textbooks can be very expensive. Before you buy any new textbook, look for second-hand copies. You will often find notices around your campus offering second-hand textbooks for sale. Also check out your campus library to see if they have textbooks referred to by your lecturers. Some textbooks are ‘required’ reading and some ‘recommended’ reading, so wait until you have a ‘required’ textbook reading list before you buy them. Travel Public transport is usually a much cheaper option than maintaining your own car and paying for parking. As a student, you may be eligible for a Centrelink Health Care Card, which generally gives you access to travel concessions on public transport and can help you save even more. If you are renting, try to rent close to travel routes that connect to shops and your campus. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Consider car-pooling. Check your institution’s student services noticeboards for ads from people in your local area. Better still, riding a bike or walking, where possible, keeps you fit and frees you up from the constraints of public transport timetables. Be sure you budget for bike safety gear and accessories. Great tips Check out cheaper computer options, such as buying second-hand, computer swap meets, or buying entry-level computers that provide only the power and functionality you need. If using campus-based computer equipment, book regular sessions to fit your study timetable. Remember that computer facilities are often in high demand so student services often place restrictions on session times and frequency. Check whether your campus has a second-hand textbook outlet. For discounted textbooks go to www.textbookexchange.com.au Apply for a Centrelink Health Care Card as soon as you finish secondary school as it may provide you with travel concessions, as well as health care discounts. page | 19 Expenses Accommodation costs Accommodation costs If you are able to defer most of your course costs or minimise the costs related to your studies, you may have avoided a major drain on your own finances or the family budget. However, if you have to leave home to study you may find significant costs are involved, in particular your accommodation costs. boarding with relatives is particularly useful on a short-term basis to set up some networks and get acquainted with a new area while being under the support of extended family care. Many students who take up VET courses have the opportunity to live locally because of the breadth of courses offered by local VET providers. However some VET students, and many university students, need to leave home in order to take up the course of their choice. Not all of Australia’s 37 universities provide their own residence accommodation to students. For those offering accommodation, the costs vary considerably. Influences include position, prestige, catering, and other facilities that are offered. If you want to have all the optional extras – all your meals provided, tutoring, college library, sporting facilities, phone, computer and internet access etc, you will be paying top of the range. Catering options also influence accommodation costs. Halls of residences and colleges may offer either full catering or self-catering options, or a mix of both. Living with family Children today are living with their parents for longer periods than ever before, especially if they’re students. Research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that over the past 20 years there has been an increase in the number of young adults living with their parents, from 24 per cent of people aged 20–29 years in 1986 to 31 per cent in 2006. This trend is associated with young people’s increasing participation in education, and also a delay in partnering and parenthood. While many students are keen to escape their family homes and branch out to some form of independent living, living in the family home offers major financial advantages. If relocating to study is required, some students’ families arrange for them to live with relatives in a ‘board arrangement’. The success of these types of arrangements usually depends on the individuals involved, but University residences and colleges Costs vary from state to state and from one hall of residence to another. The costs will reflect the services provided, but you can expect to pay as much as $18,000* per academic year. Visit all university websites that you are interested in to find what accommodation options are available and be sure to compare them based on your requirements and budget. Note when and how you have to apply for each alternative, and whether there is an application fee. * Costs reflect 2011 figures ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 20 Expenses Accommodation costs continued If you choose to apply for a room in a university residence, don’t wait until you are offered a place at that university. The cut off date for most university accommodation occurs well before universities send out their place offers. Also bear in mind that some applications to halls of residences and colleges require applicants to submit references as part of the application. Commercial student accommodation There is an increasing number of commercially-run student residences. These are usually slightly cheaper than university residences, but often don’t have the same kind of catering facilities and academic support services that university residences offer. The National Union of Students website www.unistudent.com.au has useful information on this type of accommodation. Almost all universities and TAFE institutes will have an accommodation service that will give you more information on commercially-run facilities. Renting Depending on the area, renting with other students may be a cheaper way to go, particularly in areas outside metropolitan capital cities. Do your homework to compare the rents in different areas because it could save you thousands of dollars a year. When adding up the costs of rent, don’t forget to factor in transport costs, particularly if you’re moving further away from campus for cheaper rent. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Keep in mind that in the private rental market, you may need to take on a 52-week lease agreement. You will have to factor in set-up costs such as rent in advance, bond, gas and electricity, telephone connections, removalist fees and new furnishings. It is important to find accommodation close to public transport that goes to your university or college. It should also be close to shops and sporting facilities that you might want to access. Another option to consider is renting holiday accommodation where the landlord requires tenants to vacate the premises for a six to eight week period during the summer months. While this option often provides cheap rent during the year, it does require budgeting for annual moving and cleaning costs and is only feasible if you find somewhere else to live during this time. Private board and Homestay Private board and Homestay offer some of the cheapest forms of accommodation for students. Both arrangements generally refer to student boarding arrangements in family homes in a ‘host’ arrangement, although private boarding can be more diverse. Private board is an arrangement you make with a specific individual or family, whereas Homestay arrangements are made through the Homestay program. page | 21 Expenses Accommodation costs continued In both cases, your meals are usually provided as part of the board. Potentially on the downside, you may need to fit in with the already existing routine of the house and your academic timetable might make this difficult at times. You can expect to have access to the household’s facilities and will likely have your own room. Be sure that you have adequate study space, including phone and internet access if required. The long-term success of these types of arrangements often depends on the rapport and flexibility of everyone involved. As a short-term option, private board and Homestay enables you to get acquainted with your new area and an opportunity to develop relationships. Great tips Compare your preferred accommodation options. Make sure you know the application cut off dates for accommodation options. Prepare your applications in advance, including any references. For current information on university residences check your preferred university’s websites. Look into whether your state government assists with bond and/or rent. For example, the Victorian Government Department of Human Services offers bond assistance for eligible applicants. Check out public transport routes to your campus, supermarkets and sporting facilities before choosing a rental property or other accommodation. Apply for a Centrelink Health Care Card to decrease your rental costs on gas and electricity and to get travel concessions on public transport. Choose your fellow renters carefully. Have a meeting with your fellow renters to discuss and set down ground rules. Cheap furniture can be found at opportunity and second-hand shops e.g. Salvation Army. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 22 Expenses Other day-to-day living costs Other day-to-day living costs Meals A healthy and balanced diet is important to your health and consequently your studies. You can eat cheaply, but a diet of two-minute noodles is unlikely to keep you healthy. Plan your meals and shop at discount supermarkets or markets. Monitor your usage to your budget. Shop around for the best deals according to your requirements and beware of accessing the internet from your mobile phone as costs can add up quickly. From what seemed initially to be a great deal, many students find themselves in debt for much more than they anticipated. Credit card usage Shopping Make a list before you go shopping. Impulse buying can prove expensive. If you rent with others, shop for your household and split the costs. Look for ‘specials’ that you need and buy fruit and vegetables in season to save money. Medicine and health You may need medical help during your student years. To save on medical costs, look for local doctors who bulk-bill. There may be a medical service on your campus or nearby, that will bulk-bill. A current Centrelink Health Care Card will help you get prescription medicines at a heavily reduced price. Unless you have willpower of steel, avoid using credit for your everyday expenses (for more information, refer to Loans For Students section of this guide). Great tips When you leave secondary school, apply immediately for a Centrelink Health Care Card. It may help reduce your winter electricity and gas bills and your car registration. It will also give you travel concessions on public transport, discounts on some prescription medicines and free ambulance cover. Learn to cook. Dental costs can also prove expensive so find out whether your institution offers discounted services. In general, preventative dental procedures are cheaper than remedial services so regularly schedule these services for yourself if possible. Shop at discount supermarkets or markets. Mobile phone and internet costs Monitor your mobile phone and internet usage according to your budget. Read the fine print on all mobile phone and internet contracts in detail, paying particular attention to the total costs associated with the contract. Make sure you keep your Health Care Card up-to-date. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Identify local doctors who bulk bill. Schedule preventative dental procedures regularly to avoid more expensive remedial treatments. Avoid accumulating debt on your credit card. page | 23 ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE: without living on two-minute noodles Income Income Government support Government support This section will outline eligibility criteria for Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY. It will also look at other associated Centrelink benefits such as Rental Assistance, Travel Allowance, Advance Payments and Health Care Card benefits. The information in this section is relevant to both VET and university students. ABSTUDY Finding your way around Centrelink rules and regulations can be challenging, but it is well worth the effort. Austudy It is important to remember that this section provides a summary of the main government benefits that are likely to be applicable to students, but it certainly isn’t the complete list. This information is as accurate as possible at the time of publication but you must always check with Centrelink to ensure you get the full support you are entitled to based on your circumstances. For more information on any of the benefits below, and its respective eligibility criteria, visit the Centrelink website at www.centrelink.gov.au or call them on 132 490. A word of caution Students must be enrolled in an approved course to be eligible for the Relocation and the Student Start Up scholarships. This generally means a course of higher education such as a bachelor degree at university. Check with Centrelink for more information. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au ABSTUDY is a scheme specifically for Indigenous Australian students. To be eligible for ABSTUDY, you can be either a part-time or full-time student, and can qualify for benefits to do Masters or Doctorate level courses. To be eligible for Austudy you must be 25 years of age or over when you start your course. Much of the following information covering Youth Allowance eligibility criteria and other Centrelink benefits also applies to Austudy students. Youth Allowance You need to be at least 16 years of age to be eligible (there are some exceptions to this if you are considered to be homeless and you should check with Centrelink). You need to be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or hold a Permanent Resident visa (there are further restrictions for New Zealand citizens so check these with Centrelink). You also must be a full-time student, which is classified by Centrelink as being enrolled in an approved course and attending at least three quarters of what your institution deems as the normal full-time study load. page | 25 Income Government support continued ‘Independent’ Vs. ‘Dependent’ allowance There are two types of allowance categories: Independent allowance and Dependent allowance; they affect students’ eligible for ABSTUDY and Youth Allowance. Independent allowance does not take parental income into consideration. Dependent allowance does. Most students commencing further study immediately after secondary school are considered ‘dependent’ by Centrelink. Centrelink has very precise rules to classify who they deem as ‘independent’ and ‘dependent’. Following is a short summary of these rules which will help you work out which category you fit into. Independent To be considered ‘independent’ you must fit into one of the following categories: You are an orphan You are a refugee without parents in Australia You are married or in a de-facto relationship for a period of at least 12 months You have a child You are in State Care or because of your age have left State Care You are financially self-supporting—to qualify for this you will need to work full-time (an average of 30 hours a week) for at least 18 months in a two-year period. This period off studying is often referred to as the ‘gap’ year where students seek and maintain employment to prove financial independence. Your family home is in a ‘very remote’, ‘remote’, or ‘outer regional’ area as classified by the map that is accessible from http://www. doctorconnect.gov.au/internet/otd/Publishing.nsf/Content/locator In addition, the following four criteria must also be met: You must be a full-time student You must have needed to move away from home to study Your parents’ combined taxable income must also be less than $150,000, unless you are considered to be dependent on one parent, and You will also have to earn a nominated amount (currently $19,532) within an 18-month period or have worked 15 hours each week for two years from the time you leave secondary school. NOTE: Changes affecting inner regional students in relation to the independence criteria are under review. These changes may come into effect in the near future. Refer to Centrelink for latest updates. You are at least 23 years old (in 2012, the minimum independent age will reduce to 22 years of age) ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 26 Income Government support continued Dependent If you are not ‘independent’, then you will be considered as ‘dependent’ on your parents’ income. You will be classified as either ‘dependent’, ‘living at home’ or ‘away from home’. Payments for dependent students will begin to be reduced when parents earn more than $45,114. Centrelink uses quite complicated formulae for determining eligibility in each category and the amount you will receive. Contacting Centrelink is really important. Both your parents’ incomes and assets are taken into account, unless you are dependent on one parent. If either parent is on a Centrelink Health Care Card or pension, benefit or allowance from Family and Community Services or Veterans Affairs, their income may be disregarded. Whatever you believe your circumstances to be, it is important to apply for benefits in order to be certain of Centrelink’s policies and how they apply to your particular situation. It may be that you would be better off to reduce your part-time work commitments. Youth Allowance is taxable income, so you need to be mindful that when it’s combined with your other earnings you don’t end up paying tax at the end of the financial year rather than receiving a refund. If you’re on a scholarship of any kind, check with Centrelink because sometimes, income from scholarships can be included as taxable income. Up to $6762 of Government equity and merit scholarships will be exempt from being considered by Centrelink as earned income. Youth Allowance and other Centrelink benefits If you have to live away from home, you can apply for Rent Assistance. To determine your Rent Assistance amount, Centrelink will consider whether or not you share accommodation. Students who rent private accommodation are generally considered as sharing and the amount you receive will depend on what you pay in rent. If you live in university or commercial student accommodation, you are generally considered by Centrelink not to be sharing. Income and Youth Allowance While receiving Youth Allowance, you may work and earn up to $236 per fortnight before your allowance is affected. In January 2012 this amount will increase to $400. If you earn more than this amount there is a formula Centrelink uses to decrease your allowance. For more information refer to the Employment Options for Students section of this guide and of course, check with Centrelink. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 27 Income Government support continued Student Start Up Scholarships Student Start Up Scholarships are for students commencing study in an approved course, and are for students who are eligible for Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY. It is a total payment of $2128 per eligible student. It is paid in two instalments over the year of $1064 per instalment. Relocation Scholarships Relocation Scholarships are for students who are considered under Centrelink rules to be dependent and on Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY, and living away from home to study. Students fulfilling these criteria can be eligible in their first year of study for $4124 and $1000 in subsequent years. and your place of study every year. You will be paid the equivalent of the public transport cost of the trip (in some cases the costs of airfares). You can also be paid in advance if you give Centrelink sufficient notice. Advance payments If you receive Youth Allowance and need to access some of it as a lump sum, you may be able to claim an advance payment amount between $250 and $500. Great tips Check with Centrelink regularly to ensure you get the right level of support you are entitled to. Visit www.centrelink.gov.au or phone 132 490. Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Apply for a Centrelink Health Care Card. The Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund is a one-off grant of $3000 for eligible students who are commencing their first year Bachelor degrees. This is a new initiative and is to assist regional and rural students who have to relocate in order to study. Since it is a “hardship” scholarship there are quite well defined criteria to determine eligibility. You will need to follow up with Centrelink to determine your eligibility. Apply for Travel Allowance, even if it is not a big amount. Every dollar you are eligible for can help. Fares allowance If you receive Youth Allowance and have to live away from home to study, you will generally be eligible for two return trips to and from your home ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Check out your rental assistance entitlement and make sure you have been given the correct amount. Your personal assets will affect your eligibility for assistance through Centrelink. Contact Centrelink to find out about the Liquid Assets Waiting Period before you apply for Youth Allowance. Apply for Youth Allowance as soon as you can. page | 28 Income Scholarship support Scholarship support The key to accessing scholarship support is you. It’s up to you to explore the diversity of scholarships available and apply within the specified guidelines and timelines. Scholarship closing dates often fall before the notification of course places, so begin your investigations and submit your applications early in the academic year. For more information on the Student Start Up Scholarships and the Relocation Scholarships see the Government Support section of this guide. There are many types of scholarships available to students in university and VET courses. Investigate the range of scholarships available through university or VET institutions, as well as those provided by government or linked to academic merit and achievement. The payment of the Indigenous Accommodation Scholarships will continue to be paid through universities, just as they have been in the past. These provide selected students from low socio-economic backgrounds from regional and remote areas with a scholarship of $4,508 in 2010 (indexed annually) per year for up to four years to assist them with accommodation costs when students move to undertake higher education. Australian Government scholarships There are two Australian Government scholarships, the Student Start Up Scholarships and the Relocation Scholarships. These are paid to students who are eligible for Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY or Austudy. For the Student Start Up Scholarship, a total of $2128 is paid in two instalments over the year of $1064. For the Relocation Scholarships, a payment of $4124 is paid to eligible students in their first year of study, and $1000 in subsequent years. If you are a dependent student under the Centerlink rules and receiving Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY, and you are living away from home to study, you may also be eligible for the Relocation Scholarships. Indigenous Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarships University scholarships Many Australian universities have created equity scholarships to assist rural and regional students, Indigenous students and students from non-English speaking backgrounds. You need to access each university’s website to find out which scholarships are available. It is essential that you check these out in advance as the closing dates are often linked to your university preferences. These two new scholarships don’t apply to you if you are already receiving the Commonwealth Education Cost or Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarships. These are old Australian Government scholarships which have discontinued since the beginning of 2010, but are still paid out to students who were receiving them, and who continue to meet the requirements. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 29 Income Scholarship support continued Great tips Make sure you know the application closing dates for all scholarships you want to apply for. Have character references (where required) ready to go with your application. Get advice from Centrelink if you are unsure whether your scholarship affects your Youth Allowance benefits. Scholarships look good on your resumé when you apply for a job. Always apply. Don’t assume you won’t get a scholarship. Apply early. Don’t use logic and wait until you get an offer of a place—it will be too late! Google ‘Australian Undergraduate Scholarships’ – you will be amazed at the number of scholarships on offer! ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 30 Income Employment options for students Employment options for students Even if you are eligible for Youth Allowance, it is unlikely to be enough for you to live on. And although your parents often assist with study and living costs, many of you can help ease the financial burden of further study by working part-time. If your situation requires you to work part-time, be careful to balance work commitments and studies so that your studies are not compromised. Remember that your studies must always be your top priority. Finding part-time employment that fits in with your study timetable is very important. Where to look for part-time work Almost all VET institutions and universities have career and part-time job placement services. You should check your university website for details on these services. The My Future website www.myfuture.edu.au also has helpful employment information. Many student jobs are found in the hospitality industry; particularly hotels, restaurants and bars. Having a certificate in the ‘Responsible Serving of Alcohol’ (RSA) and a certificate of ‘Food Handling’ can be an advantage as it may be a pre-requisite for working in the hospitality sector. These certificates can usually be completed at TAFE institutes or through a registered training organisation. A good place for more information on these courses is to visit the Consumer Affairs website for your state. It is also a good idea to complete these courses during semester breaks so you are one step ahead when applying for jobs. Income and Youth Allowance If you receive a Centrelink allowance, you should be aware that income from part-time employment may affect your Youth Allowance payments, particularly if you earn more than $236 a fortnight on a regular basis, so be careful and check. In 2012 this amount will increase to $400 a fortnight. You are required to inform Centrelink of your fortnightly earnings. During certain times of the year you may be able to earn more without it affecting your fortnightly allowance, for example, in semester and summer breaks. Contact Centrelink for more information on this. Great tips Prepare a resumé and have it ready to distribute to potential employers. Check your employment earnings and the possible impact on your Youth Allowance payments. Ensure you know Centrelink’s rules on income and how they might affect your situation. Check local VET providers that offer short certificate courses in ‘Responsible Serving of Alcohol’ and ‘Food Handling’. Don’t work for cash-in-hand. It’s illegal. Update your resumé, covering letter and references, and relate them to the jobs you want to target. Another useful way to get a part-time job is by doing a bit of ‘door-knocking’ at appropriate businesses and leaving copies of your resume. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 31 Income Loans for students Loans for students Student loans may be an alternative solution for assisting with tuition costs and living expenses while completing further education. But if you decide to take some time off after graduation for whatever reason, either to travel or you don’t get that job you hoped for, you might find that your repayment commitments are going to be difficult. This is another reason why you should be careful when taking out loans. VET and university student loans Credit cards Used wisely, credit cards can help you smooth out the paying of your expenses to match your income. Unfortunately, many people use credit to spend above their means and fall into debt. This can create increased levels of stress for you long-term and mean that you end up paying back far more than your initial expenditure. Credit is best kept for emergency use or if you have the self-discipline to use it sensibly. Most VET colleges and universities run a student loan scheme. These loans usually have very good terms and with little or no interest rate (as long as you repay on your agreed schedule). Institutions often have quite different rules, borrowing limits and repayment conditions. A good principle is to only borrow money if you really need to. Remember that all loans have to be repaid. Great tips Bank loans Using credit cards is fine for emergencies, but if not used sensibly, can quickly get you into debt. Quite a few major banks and credit unions have special loans for students and offer favourable terms, especially if you have a good academic record and have very good graduate employment opportunities. Check with individual banks or credit unions for more information. Remember that banks are more likely to provide loans to you in the final years of your course and if your academic record and employment opportunities are above average. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Investigate all credit options thoroughly before making any commitments. Ensure you understand the credit terms. Borrowing money and taking out loans requires repayments, usually with an interest rate. Know whether you can afford to make loan repayments. page | 32 ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE: without living on two-minute noodles Life as a uni and TAFE student Life as a uni and TAFE student Getting help Getting help Often the best help when you have problems will come from your parents, family and friends. But it is important to know that on your VET or university campus, there are staff members who are employed to help you get through difficult times. These difficulties may be the result of personal, health, study or financial concerns. Help services for students You will find services such as personal and academic counselling, study advice, part-time employment and careers assistance, health, medical and disability services. All of these services are generally free. If you experience any problems, you should get help quickly to avoid serious affects on your wellbeing and your studies. There are links to student services on all campuses from each VET or university homepage. Don’t hesitate to ask your lecturers or tutors for help or clarification if you have study problems or haven’t understood something. Great tips Log onto your VET or university website to find out what services are available on your campus. Seek help through your institute’s financial adviser, especially if you need assistance with Youth Allowance issues. Check out the campus part-time employment services for any job vacancies. If you have a disability (long or short-term) contact the disability adviser on your campus. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Your future is too important. If you don’t know what’s expected of you for your assignments, ask your lecturer. Check to see what study advice groups are being run on your campus and register to attend. They usually cover subjects like assignment writing; how to take good lecture notes; referencing; and exam preparation. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you are the only person with problems. Make sure you know when orientation week is and get a copy of the program. Get to know as many fellow students as possible and have a great time. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 34 Life as a uni and TAFE student Key websites Key websites General information on VET courses across Australia State based information on university courses NSW/ACT: www.uac.edu.au www.myfuture.edu.au QLD: www.qtac.edu.au www.training.com.au SA / NT: www.satac.edu.au www.deewr.gov.au TAS: www.utas.edu.au www.ntis.gov.au VIC: www.vtac.edu.au WA: www.tisc.edu.au State based information on VET courses NSW: www.tafensw.edu.au Information on Commonwealth Supported Places and HECS-HELP NT: www.det.nt.gov.au/training www.goingtouni.gov.au ACT: www.det.act.gov.au QLD: www.tafe.qld.gov.au SA: www.tafesa.edu.au Accommodation TAS: www.yourchoice.tas.gov.au www.unistudent.com.au VIC: www.tafe.vic.gov.au www.australian–universities.com WA: www.trainingwa.wa.gov.au/trainingwa General information on university courses across Australia Tax file numbers www.ato.gov.au www.goingtouni.gov.au Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY www.myfuture.edu.au www.centrelink.com.au ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 35 Life as a uni and TAFE student Key websites continued Scholarships Job related www.goingtouni.gov.au www.youth.gov.au www.myfuture.edu.au www.ato.gov.au www.grantsearch.com.au www.centrelink.gov.au www.asg.com.au www.deewr.gov.au Estimating education costs www.asg.com.au Budgeting www.asg.com.au Government support www.fido.gov.au www.centrelink.gov.au Discount shopping Various opportunity shops www.textbookexchange.com.au ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 36 Life as a uni and TAFE student Frequently asked questions Frequently asked questions How do I find out what courses are available in the VET and university sectors, what they cost and how to apply? There are lists of all these courses on the following websites: www.ntis.gov.au www.training.com.au www.goingtouni.gov.au www.myfuture.edu.au For more information refer to the Course Costs and the Useful Websites sections of this guide. How do I find up-to-date information on Commonwealth Supported Places and the HECS-HELP tuition bands? The Going to Uni website www.goingtouni.gov.au is the best source. However, your university will have copies of the guide Information for Commonwealth Supported Students published each year. For more information refer to the Course Costs and the Useful Websites sections of this guide. How do I find out what my personal HECS-HELP debt is? Through the Going to Uni website www.goingtouni.gov.au Here you can enter your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN), which is allocated to you by your university or VET provider. The number will also appear on your Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN). ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au For more information refer to the Course Costs and the Useful Websites sections of this guide. How do I find out if I am eligible for Youth Allowance? Contact Centrelink or your campus student services advisor. Do your homework beforehand, and make sure you have information on your parents’ income for the previous tax year, if you are likely to be considered as a ‘dependent’ student. For more information, refer to the Government Support section of this guide. When should I apply for a Centrelink health care card? As soon as you finish your secondary school exams. How do I get Rent Assistance? You can apply through Centrelink. You have to be eligible for Centrelink Youth Allowance benefits and live away from home. For details on the criteria contact Centrelink. For more information refer to the Government Support section of this guide. Can I apply for Fares Allowance? If you are eligible for Centrelink benefits and are living away from home you are entitled to two return trips each year between your home and your campus. You apply through Centrelink. There is not a lot of information page | 37 Life as a uni and TAFE student Frequently asked questions continued provided on the Fares Allowance by Centrelink so make sure you follow this up. They may require receipts. For more information, refer to the Government Support section of this guide Should I consider deferring from my course? Some students take a year off study either at the beginning of or during their course. Students may defer their study for a range of reasons, including taking a break from study; uncertainty regarding course choice or travel. Some students may defer in order to work and get the ‘independent’ rate of Youth Allowance. Before deferring, talk with your parents or advisors at your school or institute. If you are deferring to become eligible for Youth Allowance make sure you know the required criteria because these rules have changed significantly throughout 2010. Always contact Centrelink for more information. How do I get part-time employment? Have up-to-date copies of your resumé and references. Complete a ‘Responsible Serving of Alcohol’ and/or ‘Food Handling’ certificate. Prior experience, promoting your enthusiasm and a lot of ‘door-knocking’ at businesses will help. When should I buy my textbooks? It’s best to wait and see which textbooks are ‘required’ and which are ‘recommended’. What should I know about renting with other students? You should arrange a house meeting early on to sort out household responsibilities such as shopping, bills and rent payments, cleaning and cooking, and dispute resolution. For more information, refer to the Accommodation Costs section of this guide. How do I apply for scholarships? Make sure you know the criteria, application procedures and cut off dates. Have character references ready in advance and forward them when required. Don’t be put off if you miss out, reapply the following year. Check out the Going to Uni website www.goingtouni.gov.au and other websites detailed in the Scholarships section of this guide. Can scholarships affect my Youth Allowance? In some cases, Centrelink considers scholarships as ‘earned’ income and this could affect your Youth Allowance payments. It is important to check with Centrelink. Australian Government scholarships are not considered by Centrelink as earned income so they will not affect your Youth For more information, refer to the Employment Options section of this guide. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 38 Life as a uni and TAFE student Frequently asked questions continued Allowance payments. Up to $6762 of merit and equity scholarships will not be considered as earned income by Centrelink. For more information, refer to the Government Support section of this guide. Is my Youth Allowance assessed as taxable income? Yes. You can choose to have tax taken out of your Youth Allowance if you wish but you will need to advise Centrelink of your request. How do I change from student residence accommodation to renting? It is important to thoroughly read the contract before you sign. There may be time limits for how long you are required to stay in student residences. Usually contracts cover at least one semester or more than likely, the full academic year. There may be penalties for leaving early. Explore these issues before making your final decision. For more information, refer to the Accommodation Costs section of this guide. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 39 ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE: without living on two-minute noodles Other information Glossary of terms Glossary of terms ABSTUDY ABSTUDY is a scheme for Indigenous Australian students to financially assist their retention at school and further studies. Centrelink Income Bank Gives Centrelink recipients, who are working, some flexibility in the amounts they can earn at different times throughout the year. Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) ASG is a not-for-profit friendly society that assists parents to provide for their children’s future education costs in Australia and New Zealand. Centrelink Liquid Assets Waiting Period This is a waiting period penalty (up to 13 weeks) for Centrelink applicants who are single without dependent children if they indicate that they have more than $5,500 in monetary assets at the time of applying. Austudy An Australian Government scheme administered by Centrelink, Austudy assists students over the age of 25 who are beginning tertiary courses. Census Refers to the deadline date where students must submit their request for FEE-HELP and pay any ‘up front’ tuition fees. It is also the last date to amend enrolment without being liable for course fees. Centrelink Is the Federal Government agency that administers ABSTUDY, Austudy and Youth Allowance. Centrelink Advance Payments Is a lump sum payment (up to $500), which allows eligible students on Centrelink benefits to access. It is repaid through a fortnightly deduction from their allowance. Centrelink Health Care Card Gives concessions to the cardholder, i.e. discounted prescription medicines, car registration, utility bills, free ambulance cover and public transport concessions. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Centrelink Rent Assistance This is additional financial assistance available to students on Centrelink benefits if they are required to live away from home to study. Centrelink Fares Allowance Students receiving the dependent ‘living away from home’ allowance can claim two return trips each year from their home to their campus. Commonwealth Learning Scholarships Scholarships specifically to assist Indigenous and rural and regional students who leave home to study. There are two types of scholarships for these students, Commonwealth Education Scholarships and Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarships. A student is able to hold both at the same time. Note: These scholarships are available only to those students who previously received them, subject to academic progress and full-time status. page | 41 Glossary of terms continued Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) Places at Universities that are subsidised by the Australian Government. Community Training Organisations These are organisations that provide Vocational Education and Training (VET) opportunities to students. FEE-HELP This is a scheme for students who do not enrol in a Commonwealth Supported Place at a University. This is applicable to many fee paying VET courses and other undergraduate or postgraduate courses that don’t offer CSP places such as private universities and Open University. HECS-HELP Is a loan from the Australian Government that allows university students to defer their tuition fee and repay their debt at a later time. Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund A one-off grant for students living outside of Australian major capital cities, and who have to relocate to commence their first bachelor degree. Start Up Scholarships Available to Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY and Austudy students each year of their course. Student Concession Card Gives students discounts on public transport. TAFE Technical and Further Education institutes, which offer a wide variety of VET courses. Registered Private Providers Privately run colleges that provide Vocational Education and Training (VET) opportunities to students. Tax File Number (TFN) This is an individual number assigned to you by the Australian Taxation Office. Students need to have a TFN to be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place at a university, to get employment, apply for a Centrelink health care card and receive Centrelink benefits. Relocation Scholarships Available to dependent students on Centrelink benefits who have to live away from home to study. VET Courses Vocational Education and Training courses are provided by TAFE, Registered Private Providers and Community Training Organisations. RSA This is a certificate course in the Responsible Serving of Alcohol. It is usually completed in VET institutes. Youth Allowance Is a scheme administered by Centrelink to assist eligible students to receive benefits usually while studying further education. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 42 Reference list Reference list Access Economics, Locking in or losing prosperity: Australia’s Choice, Business Council of Australia, July 2005, viewed 17/12/09 www.accesseconomics.com.au C entrelink, 2009-10, ABSTUDY, Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au ASG’s Online University Cost Calculator www.asg.com.au C entrelink, 2009-10, Eligibility for Austudy, Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 16/02/09, www.centrelink.gov.au A ustralian Bureau of Statistics, A Picture Of The Nation – 2070.0, 2006, Canberra, viewed 17/12/09, www.abs.gov.au A ustralian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2009, Information for Commonwealth Supported Students: HECS-HELP 2010, viewed 17/12/09 www.goingtouni.gov.au A ustralian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, CHESSN & myUniAssist, Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Canberra, viewed 17/12/09, www.goingtouni.gov.au A ustralian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2010, Youth Allowance Overview, viewed 15/04/10, www.deewr.gov.au/youthallowance A ustralian Taxation Office 2009, Australian Taxation Office, Canberra, viewed 17/12/09, www.ato.gov.au A ustralian Taxation Office 2009, Repaying your HECS-HELP debt in 2009-10 Guide, Australian Taxation Office, Canberra, viewed 17/12/09, www.ato.gov.au Australian Taxation Office, Tax file numbers, Australian Government, Australian Taxation Office, viewed 17/12/09, www.ato.gov.au B radley, Professor Denise, Chair, Australian Government Review of Higher Education, December 2008, Executive Summary viewed 17/12/09, www.deewr.gov.au/HigherEducation/Review/Pages/ ReviewofAustralianHigherEducationReport.aspx ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Centrelink, 2009-10, Independence Test for Youth Allowance, Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au Centrelink, 2009-10, Low Income Health Care Cards, Australian Government Centrelink, Canberra, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au Centrelink, 2009-10, Study Loads for Youth Allowance, Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au Centrelink, 2009-10, What is the maximum rate of pay under Wage Level A of the Australian Pay and Classification Scale? Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au Centrelink, 2009-10, Eligibility for Rent Assistance, Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au Centrelink, 2009-10, Eligibility for Youth Allowance, Residence Requirements for Youth Allowance, Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au Centrelink, 2009-10, How much Advance Payment do I get? Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au Centrelink, 2010, New Scholarships for students in higher education, Australia, viewed 23/03/10 www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/individuals/ new_scholarships.htm Centrelink, 2009-10, How much Fares Allowance do I get? Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au page | 43 Reference list continued Centrelink, 2009-10, Parental income test, Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au Centrelink, 2009-10, Personal income, Australian Government Centrelink, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au Centrelink, Liquid Assets, Australian Government Centrelink, Canberra, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au Centrelink, Personal Income test, Australian Government Centrelink, Canberra, viewed 17/12/09, www.centrelink.gov.au C ommonwealth of Australia, 2009-10, Commonwealth scholarships, Australian government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Canberra, viewed 17/12/09, www.deewr.gov.au/highereducation/pages/ default.aspx C ommonwealth of Australia, 2009-10, Support for Student Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy, Australian government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Canberra, viewed 05/01/2010, www.deewr.gov.au/highereducation/programs/studentsupport/ VoluntaryStudentUnionism/TF/Pages/overview.aspx M arks, Gary, 2008, The Occupations and Earnings of Young Australians: The Role of Education and Training, LSAY Research Report 55, ACER viewed 17/12/09, www.acer.edu.au M edicare Australia, 2009, Saving you money on medicine, Australian Government Medicare Australia, Canberra, viewed 17/12/09, www.medicare.gov.au P ayne, Alicia and Percival, Richard, NATSEM Report, What price the clever country? The costs of tertiary education in Australia, Issue 21, November 2008, viewed 17/12/09 www.canberra.edu.au/centres/natsem/publications. S tate Government of Victoria, Department of Human Services, 2010, Bond Loan Scheme, Department of Human Services, Melbourne, www.housing.vic.gov.au/private-renters-assistance, viewed 17/12/09. ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au page | 44 Index Index ABSTUDY 25-26, 28-29, 35, 41-43 Accommodation options and costs 9-12, 20-22, 27, 29, 35, 38, 39,41 Budget Template 12 Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) 2, 5, 10, 41, 46 Austudy 7, 25, 28-29, 35, 41-43 Author - Vince Callaghan 7 Benefits of further education 6 Budgeting 9-11, 21, 36 Census 17-18, 41 Centrelink references 15, 19, 22-23, 25-28, 30-31, 35-39, 41-44 Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship 29, 41 Commonwealth Learning Scholarships 41 Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) 15-16, 35, 37, 42-43 Community Training Organisations 6, 15, 42 Compulsory university student fee 17 Computers 10-12, 19-20 Deferred HECS-HELP payments 15 Employment options for students 26-27, 31-32, 34, 38, 42 Equipment 10, 12, 19 Estimated annual post-secondary study costs 9-11 Failing course units 17 FEE-HELP 15, 17-18, 41-42 Full-fee tuition courses for Australian students 17 ASG’s How to survive uni and TAFE—without living on two-minute noodles | www.asg.com.au Glossary of terms 41-42 Government support 25, 36 HECS-HELP 15-18, 35, 37, 42 Help 34 Living costs 23, 31 Payment options for CSP 16 Registered Private Providers 42 Relocation and Start-Up Scholarship 25, 28-29, 42 Responsible Serving of Alcohol (RSA) 31, 42 Scholarships 27, 29-30, 36, 38-39 Student concession card 42 Study-related costs 9, 19 Tax File Number (TFN) 16, 18, 35, 42 Textbooks 10, 19, 38 Travel 13, 19, 22-23, 25, 28, 32, 38 Tuition fees and course costs 15-16, 41 University course bands 15-16 University courses 15-16, 35 University websites 18, 20 VET courses 15, 18-20, 25, 29, 31-32, 34-35, 37, 42 VET websites 35 Withdrawing from a course or subjects 17-18 Youth Allowance 25-31, 34-35, 37-39, 41-42 page | 45 About the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE–without living on two-minute noodles is provided to students and parents as an education support initiative of the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG). ASG is a not-for-profit organisation and a specialist education benefits provider. As a not-for-profit organisation, ASG Members share the benefits. ASG has helped more than 397,000 Member parents prepare for the cost their children’s education and in the past financial year has supported more than 43,000 students in their secondary or post-secondary education. ASG has returned more than $A1.2 billion in education benefits to Members and their children since its inception and has more than $1.6 billion in funds under management. ASG offers a proven and proactive way to ensure the education dreams that parents have for their children can be nurtured and funded. For more information about ASG and its range of education and parenting support initiatives visit www.asg.com.au or call 1800 648 945. ASG’s How to Survive Uni and TAFE–without living on two-minute noodles - Published 2011.
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