How long can I study and get a payment?

27 January 2021

There are limits to the amount of time you can get a student payment. This is called allowable time.

Allowable time is how long you can get Youth Allowance or Austudy while you study. If you get ABSTUDY Living Allowance, it’s called reasonable time.

The allowable time you have depends on your course. We base it on the minimum amount of time it takes to complete your course full time. We add some extra time, because we know things happen.

For example, Nick is doing a 4 year undergraduate uni course and 1 of his subjects is a year long. Nick’s allowable time is 4 years plus 1 year, so he can get a student payment for 5 years.

If all of Nick’s subjects were 1 semester long, his allowable time would be 4 years, plus 1 semester.

If you’ve done previous study

If you’ve done previous study it may count as part of your allowable time. We count previous study in your allowable time if it’s at the same level as your current course.

There are exceptions and extensions to allowable time if you’ve done previous study or there are circumstances beyond your control. What they are depend on if you get Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY Living Allowance.

If you run out of allowable time

If you run out of allowable time, we’ll stop your payment.

You can talk to us about extending your allowable time on the Youth and Students line or the ABSTUDY line.

If you need more information

Read more about allowable time for:

Read more about reasonable time for ABSTUDY.

Page last updated: 27 January 2021