Your child living away from home to go to school

There’s ABSTUDY support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who need to live away from home for school.

Who this is for

This information is for the parents and guardians of students who need to live away from home to study.

If you’re a student, read more about the support you can get when you’re doing high school study.

What help is available

Watch this video to learn how ABSTUDY can help students who need to live away from home.

Help with travel for orientation visits

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance can help students 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 students travel to see where they will live while at school. This might be at a:

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

Help with boarding and school fees

To help pay for school fees, we pay ABSTUDY School Fees Allowance higher rate. We normally pay it to your child’s school or boarding provider.

To help with living costs and the cost of boarding fees, we pay ABSTUDY Living Allowance. We normally pay it to your child’s school or boarding provider.

We also pay Additional Assistance to help students who are in severe financial stress.

Help with travel to and from school

We pay ABSTUDY Fares Allowance to help students travel to school each term, and home for the holidays. It also helps with travel costs for someone, such as a family or community member, to travel with them.

Extra help when students turn 18

Students who are 18 or older on 1 January in the year of study may also get ABSTUDY Incidentals Allowance. We pay this once a year to help buy study materials.

If you’re getting Family Tax Benefit and ABSTUDY at the same time, there may also be changes to your FTB when your child is 16 to 19.

How to get started

Before starting an ABSTUDY claim, you can read more about each payment. You won’t need to claim each ABSTUDY payment separately. When you claim one payment, we’ll work out what else you can get.

If your child is 15 or younger, call the ABSTUDY line to claim. You should call us to claim either:

  • before you travel for a pre-enrolment visit to a boarding school or hostel
  • from October in the year before your child starts at their new school.

If you’re eligible, we’ll also work with your child’s boarding school or hostel to arrange travel. If your child is boarding privately, we’ll work out travel bookings with you.

If your child is 16 or older, they can call the ABSTUDY line to claim for themselves.

Page last updated: 14 November 2022