Types of travel

You can only get ABSTUDY Fares Allowance for certain types of travel.

You can only get ABSTUDY Fares Allowance for certain types of travel.

ABSTUDY Fares Allowance helps with the cost of approved travel. We work out if you can get it based on your type of travel.

There are restrictions that mean you can’t get ABSTUDY Fares Allowance for certain travel. If you’re eligible, you can tell us about your travel and claim before or after your trip.

If you’re travelling to your boarding school or hostel, the school or hostel will arrange your travel. You need to call them before your trip so they can arrange your travel.

Remember, if you’re under 18, you must have a Safe Travel Plan to claim ABSTUDY Fares Allowance. Students in primary and secondary school usually travel with a parent, guardian or another travelling companion for most trips. We sometimes call them your supervisor. When you have a travelling companion with young dependent children, we may also pay fares allowance for the children. This is if your companion can’t travel without their dependent children.

Tertiary students can also have a travelling companion if they need someone to travel with them.

What student travel it covers

The type of travel ABSTUDY Fares Allowance covers depends on the type of student you are.

Type of travel Secondary school students Tertiary students and secondary students not at a secondary school Parent, guardian or other travelling companion
Orientation travel Yes Yes Yes
Start and end of studies travel Yes Yes Yes
School holiday travel Yes No Yes
Study of more than 1 semester travel No Yes Yes
Exam travel Yes Yes Yes
Graduation travel No Yes Yes
Special purpose travel Yes Yes Yes
Compassionate travel Yes Yes Yes
Travel if you're expelled Yes No Yes

What rules apply to the types of travel it covers

You can only get ABSTUDY Fares Allowance for specific types of travel.

Orientation travel

You can get help to travel for an orientation. There is no limit on how many times you can access ABSTUDY Fares Allowance to travel to an orientation.

You can get the allowance for travel that is either:

  • between your home and place of study or boarding facility
  • to somewhere other than your place of study or your home, if it’s on your usual travel route.

Start and end of studies travel

You can get help for travel to 1 of the following places:

  • your place of study at the start of your school term, semester or trimester
  • your home at the end of your studies
  • a location other than your school or home, if it’s on your usual route.

School holiday travel

You can get help for up to 3 return trips each year. The trips need to be to 1 of the following places:

  • your place of study
  • your home at the end of your studies
  • a place other than your school or home, if it’s on your normal route.

You can't get help for travel at any of the following times:

  • over Easter, unless Easter is in the school holidays
  • over long weekends
  • when boarding schools or hostels close.

Travel for study of more than 1 semester

If your course is longer than 1 semester, you can get help to travel for a mid year trip. The trip needs to be travel to 1 of the following places:

  • your home
  • your place of study
  • a place other than your school or home, if it’s on your normal route.

You can travel any time in the academic year.

Exam travel

You can get help for travel to and from an exam centre to do a supplementary or deferred exam.

You can get the allowance for travel that is either:

  • between your home and exam centre
  • to somewhere other than your home or exam centre, if it’s on your usual travel route.

Other people can also get the allowance if they are either :

  • your exam supervisor
  • with you because you need a traveling companion.

Graduation travel

You can get help for travel to and from your graduation ceremony. There are conditions you need to have met during your course. You need to have got both ABSTUDY and got help for your previous travel.

You must have got ABSTUDY for either of the following:

  • a tertiary course that was the equivalent of at least 2 years full time, for example, 4 years part time
  • an honours degree.

You must also have got 1 or both of the following:

  • ABSTUDY Fares Allowance
  • help to travel under the Indigenous Education Training Program.

You can also get help with meals or accommodation if you have to stay overnight because of your travel schedule.

You can get the allowance for travel that is either:

  • between your home and graduation venue
  • to somewhere other than your graduation venue and your home, if it’s on your usual travel route.

You can’t get help for graduation travel if you only got ABSTUDY Fares Allowance for any of the following:

  • a placement
  • a field trip
  • a testing and assessment program.

Special purpose travel

We help with the costs of travel for up to 3 return trips to your place of study for a special purpose. These can be to attend school activities like award ceremonies, sporting events or a graduation.

You can also get help for travel if both of the following apply:

  • you're homesick, or at risk of suspension or expulsion
  • a visit from your family will help you stay in school.

You can get the allowance for travel that is either:

  • between your home and place of study
  • to somewhere other than your place of study or your home, if it’s on your usual travel route.

Compassionate travel

You can get help for 2 return trips to your place of study every year for any of the following:

  • an immediate family member is critically sick or hurt
  • you need to go home because you’re sick or hurt
  • a family member has died
  • you’re going to a family member’s funeral.

You can also get help for compassionate travel if it’s for community reasons. This includes needing to go to an event in your community because of 1 or both of the following:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander lore
  • kinship obligations.

You can get the allowance for travel that is either:

  • between your home and place of study
  • to somewhere other than your place of study or your home, if it’s on your usual travel route.

When you claim compassionate travel, we might ask you to provide evidence before you travel. This helps us assess your claim and understand your circumstances.

Travel if you're expelled

You may get help to travel home if you’re expelled from secondary school.

We can only pay for this in specific circumstances and when there’s no other solution.

You need to talk to your school. They must confirm in writing that you meet these specific circumstances for expelled students.

You can get the allowance for travel that is either to:

  • your home
  • somewhere other than your place of study or your home, if it’s on your usual travel route.

Page last updated: 4 June 2020