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Preparing for life after school is a smart move, especially when it comes to how you’ll get by financially. 

You’ve probably heard a lot of stories of cash strapped young adults making their way through uni or tafe (or just life in general after school), and that can seem pretty daunting knowing that that could be what you’re also in for. 

The good news is that generations of school-leavers have gone through this experience (and will likely continue to do so). That’s why there are supports in place to help you make it through your cash-poor days after high school. 

Financial support when you’re at uni 

The support that you get will be dependent on whether you were offered a commonwealth supported place (where the Australian Government pays part of your total amount) or a full-fee-paying place (where you must pay the full amount). 

When you look at your course costs and then add in the cost of textbooks and everything else – it can start to look expensive. 

That’s where government supports can help: 

There’s a bunch of different criteria that is taken into consideration for both, so be sure to investigate further.

Other ways to help you save cash include purchasing second-hand copies of textbooks and combining part-time study with part-time work. 

Support for VET students

Help with tuition fees could be available if you choose to study:

  • at diploma level or above
  • through an approved training provider.

VET Student Loans are available to assist eligible students studying higher level vocational education and training qualifications to pay their tuition fees.

Government subsidised training

You can search for information on government subsidised training on the Queensland Skills Gateway. The site features a simple questionnaire to help you find out if you may be eligible to access any of the subsidised training options:

  • Certificate 3 Guarantee— supports individuals looking to complete their first post-school certificate III level qualification.
  • Higher Level Skills—supports individuals to gain certificate IV or above qualifications, as well as priority skill sets to secure employment or career advancement, or transition to university.
  • Free apprenticeships for under 25s—as part of the User Choice program, the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training provides access to fully subsidised training across a variety of apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications, for individuals under 25.
  • Free TAFE for under 25s—provides access to fully subsidised training in a variety of industry areas to assist young people aged under 25 years into work.
  • Skilling Queenslanders for Work—funds training and support for unemployed and underemployed people through a suite of programs.
  • The JobTrainer Fund – qualifications and short courses that are in demand by industry are offered at low or no cost under JobTrainer for job seekers and school leavers.  

Note that subsidised programs are in selected qualifications in high priority areas.

Apprentices and trainees

If you decide to become an apprentice or trainee, you may be eligible for:

Government support for all tertiary students

When it comes to understanding Government income support programs – you should definitely take a look through Study Assist.  

It’ll help explain things like: 

  • Austudy
  • Youth Allowance
  • ABSTUDY (for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students).

Payments for these programs are made through Centrelink.

Aside from paying for study, you’re probably wondering how you’ll get by paying for things like your rent (if you end up renting) and your transport. Luckily there’s government help for that as well: 

Still feeling overwhelmed? 

Managing study alongside managing your living expenses can be tricky, but remember – help is available! 

If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, we’d recommend speaking to family members, friends and other trusted people in your life for advice. If you decide to do tertiary study, you may wish to speak a student counsellor once you’re enrolled. Additionally, you may want to take a look at the range of services available on our support page if you need someone else to open up to.

If you're feeling lost and don't know where to start go to our Support Page