RULE CHANGES: The Federal Government believes changes to allowances will assist regional students.
RULE CHANGES: The Federal Government believes changes to allowances will assist regional students. Blainey Woodham / Tweed Daily Ne

New independence rules benefit regional students

CHANGES to Youth and ABSTUDY Allowances should allow more students from the bush to start tertiary study sooner.

To qualify as independent students from regional or remote areas must earn at least $24,836 before commencing further study.

Previously, they had to wait 18 months after leaving school before qualifying for independent payments putting them out of studies for one and a half to two academic years.

The Federal Government has now reduced the time they must spend earning this income to 14 months, allowing them to study with financial support one year after leaving high school.

Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said the change would immediately impact regional students.

"In practical terms these young people will gain life skills and work experience during their gap year which make them much more employable and self-sufficient when they move away from home to study,” he said.

"During their gap year local businesses can hire motivated young staff and because it's only one year and not up to two years break from study, students are far more likely to continue on to university.”

For information about payments and independence rules visit humanservices.gov.au/students



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