Eligability for Austudy

I put together this article to hopefully shed some light on what it means to be eligible for Austudy. There is a couple of conditions that need to be met, firstly you need to be able to prove to Centrelink  that you are a Full time student and meet the Study load requirements, secondly you need to prove you you do not have too much money (Assets & Income) to be able to pay your own way through University.

Full Time Study Load:
This means that you need to be studying full time in order to have eligibility for austudy.  Centrelink defines a full time study load as:  “your tertiary course either has a HECS loading of 0.375 for each period or you are doing 75% of a study load”.

This sounds pretty complicated but for me it means I am doing 3 subjects a semester at Macquarie University. When I applied for Austudy I checked with Macquarie and they where able to tell me the “HECS Loading” of each unit and how many I need to do to be eligable. Its a good idea to check with your University as they should be able to tell you what is a full time load to meet the eligibility for Austudy.

Asset’s Test
This is a test to see how much assets you have. Everything you have such as any cars, property, cash in bank accounts and things such as that will be assessed to determine if you have an amount of assets that exceeds the limit.

If you do have more assets than allowed you will not be have eligibility for Austudy. For the vast majority of students this will not be a concern…you literally need to have several hundred thousand before this becomes an issue!

Liquid Assets Waiting Period
For those who pass the Assets test you also need to pass the Liquid Assets waiting test before you can have eligibility for Austudy and start receiving any benefits.

This is a lot harder to pass as its often only a few thousand Dollars. If you have enough assets you may need to wait upto 13 weeks before you receive your first payment from Centrelink.

Income Test
You do need to pass the income test to have Eligability for Austudy, however in order to receive each payment every fortnight you need to provide how much income you have earned so the amount of benefits can be calculated for you.

In plain English if you earn too much in a part time job they reduce how much you will be paid from Centrelink and if you earn enough you won’t get anything.

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About the Author: Andrew

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  • Mark

    Hi, Is my Austudy allowance dependent of my parents assets if I am living with them ?


    • Hi Mark

      Yes, it can be. It can affect how much you may be eligable for, take a look at the Austudy Payrates on the Centrelink webpage here

      For example it says some of the rates for this year are:
      single, with no children, 18 years or more, and living at parental home $268.20
      single, with no children, 18 years or more, and required to live away from parental home $407.50

  • Alesha

    What if you have a partner is their wage factored into it?

    • Hi Alesha

      Unfortunately Centrelink will count both yours and your partners income to determine your eligibility and they amount you will receive each fortnight (Income Test).

      You can find out eligibility criteria for the assets test here and how much you will receive (Income Test) here,

      Please let me know if you need any more help.

      Good luck!


  • Lin

    I’m independent and live at home. Previously worked full time and saved $10,000. Now studying full time at uni…..would I still be eligible for payment?

    • Hi,

      Sounds like you may be eligabile. You should drop down to a Centrelink office and tell them your circumstances.

      $10,000 isn’t enough to make you inelligable, however its likely Centrelink will apply the Liquid Assets Waiting test and you may have to wait several weeks prior to receiving your fist payment.

      Good Luck!

  • Jessica Leed

    I have been receiving youth allowance but transferred to another university to complete the same course ( I got a credit transfer) but this happened one week before my 25th birthday. As I am now 25 and am continuing my course at another university, I have to apply for Austudy. I am wondering if the liquid asset test will be an exemption to me as I have just left from being on youth allowance payments? I have have $8000 in the bank but I read that being on centrelink payments may except me from the test? Or will it mean that I have to wait a 13 week period as I am past the threshold for a single person?


    • Hi Jess

      Have a look here

      It says on their website that there is an exemption when transfering between payments within 14 days (in some circumstances)

      Best to ask them what that means.



  • jeremy

    Hi im currently a full time apprentice over 25. I was looking at applying for austudy. Im trying to figure out if im eligible by going off there “calculators” just based on my wage, as I earn on most weeks over 800$ can anyone tell me if im wasting my time applying for this because of my wage. I cant get anything out of centrelink… cheers

    • Hi Jeremy

      You need to pass the income test to be eligable. So if you earn too much you wont be eligable you can see the income limits amounts here

      $800 a week is good money, most students are living of much less.