188.8.131.52 YA Full-time Students Satisfactory Progress
Satisfactory progress rule
As part of the requirement to make satisfactory progress, students need to complete a course within the time period set out in the Youth Allowance (Satisfactory Study Progress) Guidelines 2014. The time usually allowed for completing courses is based on the minimum time (1.1.M.140) it normally takes to complete the course, plus an additional period.
Example: The following are examples of satisfactory progress:
- a course of one year or less, in up to twice the course duration,
- a semester based course lasting more than one year, in the minimum time plus one semester additional time, and
- a course lasting more than one year in which at least one subject in the current year is a year long subject, in the minimum time plus one year additional time.
Masters qualifying studies
Ordinarily a student can only receive assistance for EITHER an Honours OR a Masters qualifying year, not both. However, a student could obtain assistance for a Masters qualifying year after completing an Honours year, by using any remaining period within the time allowable.
Example: A student who completes an Honours degree in the minimum time would still have a remaining period under satisfactory progress guidelines, which could be used while enrolled in a Masters qualifying year.
Satisfactory progress in a masters course is completion of the course within a period of time comprising the standard minimum length of the course and an additional period for completion of 1 uncompleted subject or unit that is part of the course.
Students who are undertaking Honours study after their initial degree may have an additional year of time added to the time allowed. Students undertaking Honours study are payable over the long vacation period as a continuing full-time student.
Previous part-time study
Any previous part-time study (1.1.P.100) is taken into account on a pro-rata basis. The value of previous part-time study in a semester or year is calculated by dividing the work undertaken by the normal full-time workload for that period.
Example: A student who studied the 4 first year units of a course as part-time study at the rate of one unit a year. This person has completed one year of the satisfactory progress time allowed.
Competency based training & self-paced courses
The satisfactory progress time available for completing CBT study and self-paced courses depends upon the time allowed to complete the corresponding conventional course by full-time study.
Example 1: If a student is undertaking a CBT based course that runs for 15 months, but the corresponding conventional course runs for only one year full-time, the student can qualify as a full-time student for up to 15 months due to the satisfactory progress rules for the course.
Example 2: If a conventional course had a minimum duration of 3 years and satisfactory progress duration of 4 years, the satisfactory progress time to complete the corresponding CBT course could also be extended beyond the actual course length.
If a student completes a CBT course early, then full-time student status ceases from the end of full-time study.
The time allowed for completing articulated courses (1.1.A.260) is whichever is the greater of:
- the minimum time plus the additional allowance, for stages of the course when the minimum time is greater than one year, OR
- an unlimited number of stages of the course, when the stages have a minimum duration of one year or less.
If a student has completed a first course and starts a second course when the student's institution offers an approved course combining the 2 courses, the satisfactory progress time is calculated on the basis of the approved combined course.
Example: If a student completed a 3 year Arts degree and then enrolled in a 4 year Law degree at an institution that offered a 5 year combined Arts/Law degree, the satisfactory progress time would be based on the 5 year degree.
A person enrolled in a secondary course is not making satisfactory course progress towards completing that course if, on 5 or more days in a school term, the person has been absent from school without a reasonable excuse.
However, a person in this situation can be considered to be making satisfactory course progress if:
- the person enters into a YA activity agreement, which includes the term that the person will not be absent from school, without a reasonable excuse, on 5 or more days in a school term, and
- at all times through the secondary course, the person complies with the terms of the YA activity agreement.
Extensions of time
In circumstances beyond the student's control some students may still be considered to be making satisfactory progress, which will effectively allow their satisfactory progress time to be extended.
Example: Illness, family trauma, natural disaster, relocation or caring responsibilities may be seen as circumstances beyond the student's control.
Students under 22 years of age receiving YA who have reached their satisfactory progress time limits and are not considered to be making satisfactory progress but have not completed their course should be considered for eligibility via a YA EPP (1.1.J.25). Students over 22 need to test their eligibility for another income support payment such as NSA.
Act reference: SSAct section 541B Undertaking full-time study, section 541B(1)(d) in the Secretary's opinion…, section 541B(3A) and (3B) Meaning of satisfactory progress