3.8.15.10 Qualification for Relocation Scholarship

Qualification (1.1.Q.10) criteria

In order to qualify for a relocation scholarship payment, a person:

  • must be entitled to receive an amount of YA other than a PhA or RA component, AND
  • must be receiving YA because he or she is undertaking full-time study in an approved scholarship course, AND
  • will be starting the course, or continuing the course, within the next 35 days, AND
  • is EITHER:
    • independent due to particular circumstances (see below), OR
    • dependent but required to live away from home to study, AND
  • is not likely to receive a disqualifying accommodation scholarship (1.1.D.233) in the next 12 months.

A person who is independent can qualify for a relocation scholarship if they receive YA because of one or more of the following circumstances:

  • they have, or have had, a dependent child who is, or was, wholly or substantially in their care, or
  • they are an orphan, or
  • their parents cannot exercise their responsibilities because they are in prison, missing, or are mentally incapacitated or living in a nursing home and likely to remain so for an indefinite period, or
  • they are a refugee (unless they have a parent living in Australia, or are wholly or substantially dependent on someone else on a long term basis) (1.1.R.110), or
  • they are a young person in state care (1.1.S.320), or
  • it is unreasonable for them to live at home (3.2.5.30), or
  • the student is specially disadvantaged.

Note 1: A person who is independent only for a reason other than those listed above - for example, because he or she is a member of a couple, has reached the age of independence (22 years old), or is independent under the workforce participation criterion in SSAct section 1067A(10) does not qualify for a relocation scholarship payment.

Note 2: Relocation scholarships will not be payable to students undertaking VET courses at higher education institutions, because these courses are not approved scholarship courses.

Act reference: SSAct section 592J Qualification for relocation scholarship payment, section 592K Circumstances in which person is not qualified for relocation scholarship payment, section 1067A When a person is regarded as independent

When a person is not qualified for a relocation scholarship payment - receipt of relocation scholarship etc. in previous 12 months

Despite meeting the qualification criteria for a relocation scholarship payment, a person is not qualified for a relocation scholarship payment if, in the 12 months before the person's qualification is assessed, the person qualified for, or received:

  • a relocation scholarship payment, or
  • an ABSTUDY relocation scholarship payment, or
  • a relocation scholarship payment under the scheme referred to in VEA section 117, or
  • a relocation scholarship payment under the scheme referred to in MRCA section 258, or
  • a disqualifying accommodation scholarship or the person was entitled to a disqualifying accommodation scholarship but has not received the full entitlement only because the scholarship was suspended.

What this means in practice is that a person can only receive one relocation scholarship payment (or similar payment) every 12 months.

The Secretary can decide to reduce the 12-month disqualification period, to a minimum of 3 months, in order to align the payment of relocation scholarship with the start of the education (calendar) year. However, the Secretary cannot do this for a person if it would result in the person receiving more than 2 relocation scholarship payments in a period of 2 successive calendar years.

Act reference: SSAct section 592J Qualification for relocation scholarship payment, section 592K Circumstances in which person is not qualified for relocation scholarship payment

When a person is not qualified for relocation scholarship payment - person has reached age of independence before receiving first relocation scholarship payment etc.

A person who has reached the age of independence, is not qualified for a relocation scholarship payment unless the person has previously received:

  • a relocation scholarship payment, or
  • an ABSTUDY relocation scholarship payment, or
  • a relocation scholarship payment under the scheme referred to in VEA section 117, or
  • a relocation scholarship payment under the scheme referred to in MRCA section 258, or
  • a disqualifying accommodation scholarship.

What this means in practice is that a person cannot qualify for a relocation scholarship payment once they have reached the age of independence, unless they previously received a relocation scholarship payment (or similar payment) at some stage in the past before they reached the age of independence. Note that a person who is independent solely because he or she has reached the age of independence does not qualify for a relocation scholarship in the first place - see qualification criteria above.

Act reference: SSAct section 592J Qualification for relocation scholarship payment, section 592K Circumstances in which person is not qualified for relocation scholarship payment, section 1067A When a person is regarded as independent

Person's place of study is in a major city location

A person is not qualified for a relocation scholarship if:

  • at the qualification time they are not independent, and
  • at the qualification time they are required to live away from home to study, and
  • on the start date of the course, the home of each parent was in a major city location, and
  • at the qualification time, the person's place of study is in a major city location.

This means that a person who would otherwise be qualified for a relocation scholarship in accordance with the qualification criteria above, will not be qualified where their parental home, on the day they started to undertake the course, is/was in a major city and where their place of study is also in a major city.

Example: Nicholas lives in Sydney with his parents and becomes eligible for YA and commences his course at Flinders University in February 2016. Nicholas is required to move to Adelaide and live away from home in order to undertake his studies. However, as Nicholas' parents live in a major city on the day his course started and he is studying in a major city, he is not eligible for a relocation scholarship in 2016.

Example: Alex is from Brisbane and receives YA. Alex's course is delivered in a regional area and Alex needs to move away from home to be closer to the university campus. As the campus location is not in a major city, Alex is eligible for the relocation scholarship.

Example: Mary lives in Dubbo and is eligible for YA. Mary is studying a Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University and has to live away from her family home to undertake her studies. As Mary is not from a major city location on the day her course started, she is eligible for the relocation scholarship.

Similarly, a person is not qualified for a relocation scholarship if:

  • at the qualification time the person is considered independent for the reasons listed above, and
  • on the day 6 months before the person started to undertake the relevant course, the person's usual place of residence was in a major city location, and
  • at the person's qualification time, the person's place of study is in a major city location.

Note: A person's place of study is the physical location where the course is delivered.

When a person is studying overseas

A person studying at an overseas location as part of their Australian qualification may be eligible to receive the relocation scholarship. Overseas campus locations are treated the same as regional campuses for payment purposes.

Example: Kate is from Port Augusta and is in her second year of a bachelor degree in Adelaide in 2016. Kate is receiving YA and is eligible for the relocation scholarship as she is required to live away from home to study. Kate decides to undertake Semester 1, 2016 in Italy. As she will remain enrolled in her Australian institution and her overseas study will contribute to her Australian qualification, Kate will remain eligible for the relocation scholarship while she is studying overseas.

Example: Amina is from Melbourne and is studying at La Trobe University. As Amina is from a major city area and is studying in a major city area, she is not eligible for the relocation scholarship. In 2016, Amina decides to study in Hong Kong as part of her Australian qualification. As overseas campuses are considered regional campuses, Amina is eligible for the away from home rate of YA and the relocation scholarship, for the duration of her studies in Hong Kong.

A person whose family home is overseas will be eligible for the relocation scholarship. They will receive the same rate as students with a parental home in a major city.

Example: Jimmy is in his second year of a bachelor degree at Sydney University. His parents live in Vietnam however Jimmy is an Australian resident. Jimmy is eligible for the relocation scholarship at the same rate as students with a parental home located in a major city in his second and third years of study.

When a person is studying online

A person studying online may be eligible to receive the relocation scholarship. Online study is treated as a major city campus.

Example: Rajesh is from Perth and is studying a Bachelor of Business through an online university. He is eligible for YA as he is unable to live at home due to his family circumstances. Rajesh is not eligible for the relocation scholarship as his usual place of residence 6 months before he started his course is in a major city area and he is studying at a major city campus. If Rajesh was from a regional area, he would be eligible for the relocation scholarship.

Act reference: SSAct section 592J Qualification for relocation scholarship payment, section 592K Circumstances in which person is not qualified for relocation scholarship payment, section 1067A When a person is regarded as independent

Last reviewed: 7 May 2018