The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.Q.40 Qualifying study (Austudy, YA, PES, FAA)

Definition: Austudy, YA (full-time student) & PES

For the purposes of Austudy, YA (full-time student) and PES, a recipient is undertaking 'qualifying study' if:

  • they are enrolled (1.1.E.110) in a course, OR
  • they are a continuing student intending to enrol in a course of education at an educational institution, AND
  • the course is an approved course of education or study (1.1.A.210), AND
  • the recipient is a full-time student or a concessional study-load student (1.1.C.290), AND
  • the recipient's progress is satisfactory (1.1.S.30).

Act reference: SSAct section 569A Undertaking qualifying study (Austudy), section 541B Undertaking full-time study (YA), section 1061PB Undertaking qualifying study (PES)

Policy reference: SS Guide Qualification for PES, Qualification for Austudy

Definition: YA (job seeker) - early school leavers (1.1.E.05)

For the purpose of YA (job seeker), an early school leaver is undertaking qualifying study if:

  • they are enrolled in a course, AND
  • the course is determined under the Student Assistance Act 1973 section 5D as a secondary or tertiary course, AND
  • in the Secretary's opinion, the course would assist or allow the person to complete the final year of secondary school or an equivalent level of education (Certificate Level III).

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 40A Requirement to enter into employment pathway plans, section 40F Employment pathway plan matters

NOT undertaking qualifying study - PES

A person cannot be regarded as undertaking qualifying study if they:

  • are employed on a full-time basis as an apprentice or trainee, OR
  • have completed a course for
    • a degree of Master or Doctorate or a qualification of the same standing at an educational institution, OR
    • a qualification of Master or Doctorate or a qualification of the same standing at an overseas educational institution.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061PB(2) Persons not undertaking qualifying study

Definition: FAA

For the purposes of FAA, a student is regarded as undertaking qualifying study if they are:

  • a student undertaking an approved tertiary course at an Australian institution within Australia (1.1.A.320), as set out in Schedule 2 of the Student Assistance (Education Institutions and Courses) Determination 2019 under the Student Assistance Act subsections 3(1) and 5D(1), and
  • receiving ONE of the following
    • YA as a full-time (1.1.F.230) student, or
    • YA as a student who does not meet full-time requirements, but whose only Job Plan requirement is study in an approved course, or
    • PES or Austudy as a full-time or concessional study-load student (1.1.C.290).

Act reference: SSAct section 19A FAA definitions, section 1061ZAAA Qualification for FAA

Student Assistance (Education Institution and Courses) Determination 2019

Less than 75% of full-time study

YA (full-time student) is not available to students who are undertaking less than 75% of a full-time study-load as full-time students. However, FAA is available to such students, if they are assessed as unable to undertake any other activity in addition to their study.

Explanation: Most students who come within this category will be students with disabilities that do not qualify them for DSP. As a result they do not qualify for PES, but their disability sufficiently restricts the amount of study they are able to undertake, that imposing further activity test (1.1.M.160) requirements would compromise their study.

Example: Sue is a visually impaired student who is required to live away from home to study. She is receiving YA because her impairment is not severe enough to be granted DSP. Because of her impairment she is only able to undertake 25% of a full-time study-load. The time she requires for course preparation and assessment prohibits her from undertaking other activities such as job search. Under YA she is not regarded as a full-time student, because she is not undertaking 75% of the full-time study-load. However, because her only Job Plan requirement is study, she is eligible for FAA.

Last reviewed: