High school study

There’s ABSTUDY support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in secondary school.

Who this is for

This information is for full time secondary students at one of these:

  • high school
  • secondary college
  • TAFE.

What help you can get

ABSTUDY is a group of payments and support. You don’t need to claim each one separately. When you claim one kind of ABSTUDY, we’ll work out what else you can get.

What we pay will depend on your age and circumstances. Some payments also depend on your parents or guardians income. We don’t need to know your income until you’re 16 or older.

When you live at home

ABSTUDY School Term Allowance is a payment to help with school costs. We pay this at the start of each term, up to 4 times a year

We pay ABSTUDY School Fees Allowance at home rate directly to your school. To be eligible, your parents or guardians must be getting income support from us.

We pay a higher rate of ABSTUDY School Fees Allowance for some students. You get this if you attend a fee-paying school, because you can’t attend a government school.

When you need to live away from home during term

Help with travel for orientation visits

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance helps you travel for orientation visits. This could be to:

  • visit a school before enrolling
  • attend an interview
  • go through a selection process.

It can also help you travel to see where you’ll live while at school during the term. This might be at a:

  • boarding school
  • boarding house
  • hostel
  • private boarding.

Help with boarding and school fees

ABSTUDY School Fees Allowance higher rate helps with the cost of school fees. We normally pay it to your school or board provider.

Help with travel to and from school

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance helps pay for your travel between your home and school. This includes helping you travel to school each term and home for the holidays.

Your school will work with us to arrange your travel. If you board privately, you can call the ABSTUDY line to book travel.

When you get older

When you turn 16, you may be able to get ABSTUDY Living Allowance. We pay this each fortnight. How much you can get depends on your income, and your parents or guardians income.

If you’re 18 or older on 1 January in the year of study, you may also get ABSTUDY Incidentals Allowance. We pay this once a year to help you buy study materials.

There are other payments you can get, if you continue on to higher education or an apprenticeship.

How to get started

If you’re 15 or younger, your parents or guardians need to claim ABSTUDY for you. They can read more about doing this when either:

If you’re 16 or older, you can claim ABSTUDY by calling the ABSTUDY line. We’ll help you work out what you can get, and how to claim.

If you’re already living away from home for high school, you can also talk to your school about getting ABSTUDY.

To learn more about the payments and support you can get, call us on the ABSTUDY line.

Page last updated: 19 May 2023.
QC 63605