Student start-up scholarship and relocation scholarship

Last updated: 
14 January 2020

This page provides information about the Government’s Student Start-up and Relocation Scholarships. Students studying an approved scholarship course who receive allowances under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) or Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS) may be eligible to receive one or both of these scholarships.

What are the Student Start-up and Relocation Scholarships?

The Student Start-up Scholarship is intended to assist students to cover up-front higher education costs including text book and equipment costs.

The Relocation Scholarship is intended to assist students with the costs of establishing accommodation in their new place of study.

Students may be eligible to receive one or both of these scholarships.

What is an approved scholarship course?

An approved scholarship course is a higher education course or a preparatory course undertaken at a higher education institution accredited by the relevant authority in each State or Territory. These include Universities and select other education institutions and courses (e.g. some courses offered by TAFE and CIT).

Who is eligible to receive a scholarship?

Students studying an approved scholarship course who receive an education allowance under the VCES or MRCAETS are eligible to receive a Student Start-up Scholarship for each year of their course.

Students undertaking an approved scholarship course who receive the living away from home, homeless, or double orphan rate of education allowance are eligible to receive a Relocation Scholarship. The Relocation Scholarship is paid for each year of the course, generally at a higher rate for the first year in which the student is required to live away from home, and at a lower rate for the remaining years of the course.

Students undertaking a preparatory course (a course offered by a higher education institution aimed to assist people to gain entry to higher education level courses, including enabling and bridging courses) may also be eligible to receive these scholarships.

Who is not eligible to receive a scholarship?

Students who receive other Commonwealth scholarships from their education institution or another Government Agency such as Services Australia should notify the Department immediately, as they may need to repay one of the scholarship amounts they have received.

Students who do not begin an approved scholarship course that they have enrolled in, or who are not enrolled in, an approved scholarship course 35 days after commencement of the course they originally enrolled in are required to inform the Department as they may need to repay any scholarship payments.

It is not necessary for a student to be enrolled in the same approved scholarship course at the end of the 35 day period. All that is required is that the student is enrolled in an approved scholarship course at that time.

Do I need to apply for a scholarship?

Students do not need to apply for the scholarships. Eligibility of VCES and MRCAETS students for the scholarships will be determined automatically by the Department.

How much are the scholarships?

The rate applicable to an individual may vary according to circumstances. For the current payment rates, please refer to Compensation payment rates for MRCA.

Both of these scholarships are non-taxable.

When will I receive my scholarship?

Payment of the Relocation Scholarship and of the first instalment of the Student Start-up scholarship will generally be made in February each year, depending on when the study commenced. The second six monthly instalment of the Student Start-up Scholarship will be made in July each year.

If a person starts studying, or becomes eligible for the payment later in the year they will still be entitled to these payments, but will only receive one Student Start-up Scholarship if they commence in Semester Two.