How we pay the allowance

We pay the School Fees Allowance higher rate to the school, board provider or to you.

We normally pay the allowance to the school or board provider unless you choose to pay the fees yourself.

If you pay the school fees directly, you need to show us a receipt from the school.

We pay the allowance in different ways depending on where your child is boarding. We may either pay by instalments, by the term or annually.

You must let us know if anything changes, so you don’t get overpaid. You can do this by calling the ABSTUDY line.

Students who live away from home

Boarding schools and some hostels

We pay in 2 instalments each term. One instalment at the beginning of the term and another 1 towards the end of the term. This is if your child is boarding at 1 of the following:

  • a boarding school
  • a hostel that’s signatory to the Standard Hostels Agreement
  • an approved ABSTUDY Homestay arrangement.

We usually need to confirm your child has started boarding before we can pay you. In term 2 in 2022, we’ll pay the instalments even if for your child is studying remotely due to COVID-19. Read about changes due to COVID-19.

Sometimes the school fees are less than the rate of the allowance you’re eligible for. If this applies, we’ll pay the unused allowance to your school or board provider to cover any outstanding boarding costs.

Other hostels and private board

We pay the allowance in 1 annual instalment when your child starts school if they’re either in a:

  • hostel that’s NOT signatory to the Standard Hostels Agreement
  • private board arrangement.

Changes due to COVID-19

If your child needs to study remotely due to COVID-19 in Term 2 in 2022, we’ll still pay the allowance if either:

  • they were approved for boarding payments in Term 1 in 2022
  • they enrolled at the new boarding school or hostel before the first day of Term 2 in 2022.

All of the following must also apply:

  • your child’s boarding provider holds a place for them
  • your child intends to start or return to board as soon as possible
  • the school continues to support your child to study remotely using other methods such as online.

If your child was enrolled after the first day of Term 2, they’ll only be eligible for boarding payments once they return to campus.

Students who live at home

We pay the allowance by the term for a student who lives at home.

Page last updated: 20 April 2022