Approved courses and institutions

You must study an approved course with an approved institution to get ABSTUDY.

This includes the following ABSTUDY payments:

We’ll tell you if your course and institution is approved when you submit your claim.

If you want to find out before you claim you can ask us by either:

There are different types of courses approved for ABSTUDY. For example, most bachelor courses are approved. You may be studying an approved course if it’s:

  • a primary or secondary school course
  • a special school course
  • a pre-vocational or vocational education and training course
  • a course preparing you for tertiary study
  • a TAFE or university course
  • a masters or doctorate course
  • an accredited Indigenous special course with a vocational focus.

If you’re doing a Startup Year course, you also need to be getting a STARTUP-HELP loan to get ABSTUDY Living Allowance.

Read more about the STARTUP-HELP loan on the Study Assist website.

You can study an approved course by doing any or all of the following:

  • attending classes
  • distance education or correspondence
  • open learning
  • flexible delivery.

Excluded courses

Some courses are excluded courses. You can’t get ABSTUDY if you’re studying an excluded course. A course is excluded if it’s one of the following:

  • an Australian Government funded program
  • mostly made up of Away from Base activities
  • not available to all Australian students.

If your course includes Away from Base activities, it may still be an approved course. It will be an approved course if you’re going away to attend one of the following:

  • residential schools
  • placements or field trips
  • testing or assessment.

There may be limits to amount of Away from Base activities you can do.

Some courses you can’t get ABSTUDY for except if you’re applying for Lawful Custody Allowance. In this case your course may still be an approved course.

Approved institutions

Your place of study may be approved if it’s one of these:

  • primary or secondary school
  • TAFE or registered training organisation
  • special school
  • higher education provider, like a university
  • correctional services authority providing Indigenous special courses for students in lawful custody.

Course and provider information

We define course and provider types. We do this by using the Student Assistance (Education Institutions and Courses) Determination 2019. You can read the Determination on the Federal Register of Legislation website.

Go to Providers that offer Commonwealth assistance on the StudyAssist website for a list of approved higher education providers.

Page last updated: 28 February 2024.
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