In May 2017, the Australian Government announced the Better Alignment of Student Payments measure.
As part of the measure, course approvals for student payments have changed. The changes affect Youth Allowance (student), Austudy, ABSTUDY and the Pensioner Education Supplement.
More specifically, from 1 January 2018 student payments are restricted to:
- Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses (at diploma level and above) approved for VET Student Loans (VSL) and VET providers approved for VSL.
- Higher education courses offered by higher education providers approved for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans.
By making this change, the Government has improved consistency across VET courses that are approved for different types of Government support, while also encouraging Australians to undertake study that gives them the best opportunity for work.
Access to VSL is limited to courses that have a high national priority, meet industry needs, contribute to addressing skills shortages, and align with strong employment outcomes. By limiting approval of courses to those approved for VSL, we are supporting students’ employment prospects.
Students who currently receive these payments, and who are studying a course that is no longer approved, will continue to receive their student payment for the duration of their course, provided there is no break in entitlement.
This measure does not prevent students from undertaking courses no longer eligible for student payments. However, these students will be required to support themselves through the course.
Students undertaking secondary school VET courses (e.g. a school-based apprenticeship), VET courses below diploma level (such as most apprenticeships and other certificate courses), and Indigenous special courses for ABSTUDY purposes will not be affected by this change.
A list of courses and providers approved for VSL is available at:
The list of higher education providers approved for HELP is available.
Further information on this measure is available at the Department of Social Services website.