Each student enrolled at a tertiary institution receives a student card with
a recent photograph of the student on the front. This card is required in order
to access student services including library books, photocopying and computer
terminals. Student cards also entitle the bearer to a wide range of discounts on
public transport, cinema tickets, travel and membership to professional
organisations. Make sure you keep your student card in your wallet and ask
retailers and suppliers if they offer student discounts – you will be surprised
at how many stockists and service providers offer student discount and at how
much you can save!
You may be eligible to receive financial assistance from community organisations in your local area. Organisations such as Rotary, Lions and Apex provide assistance to members of their local community. This may include scholarships to purchase study related equipment such as computers and specialist software. Local councils also run schemes to assist members of the local community meet their goals. To find out about community assistance that may be available visit your local community centre or log onto the website of your local council.
If you have children that require day care as a result of undertaking tertiary study during the day you may be eligible for a subsidy toward the cost of childcare. Some student associations at tertiary institutions offer allocated and limited childcare subsidies to members that meet eligibility criteria based on significant need. To be considered, students need to demonstrate ongoing financial hardship and provide documentary evidence to support their claim. Examples of this information may include:
- documentary evidence of low income such as Centrelink benefits
- scholarship documentation
- your most recent Income tax return
- three recent bank and credit card statements
- rental agreement
- income documentation such as budget
To find out about childcare schemes and subsidies that may be available contact the welfare office at your tertiary institution.
If you are eligible for a Centrelink Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment, Carer Payment, Widow Pension, Widow Allowance or Wife Pension you may also be eligible for the Pensioner Education Supplement. This is available to recipients who are undertaking full time or part time study for at least 25% of the full time study load. It does not apply to students studying a Masters or Doctorate degree. The Pension Education Supplement is a non taxable payment free from income or assets testing. To find out more about the Pensioner Education Supplement visit the Centrelink website.
Rent Assistance is a fortnightly payment from Centrelink that provides recipients with extra financial help to meet rent payments. To find out more about Rent Assistance visit the Centrelink website.
If you require a computer and/or assistive/adaptive technology to undertake study it is important that you research the adaptive technology you require. Some computer manufacturers and community organisations such as Lions, Rotary and Apex clubs assist students with the cost of disability related study tools. The organisation Technical Aid for the Disabled may also assist students by providing computer equipment or giving discounts. Some universities also have student loan schemes available to assist students purchase computer equipment and adaptive/assistive technology. It is important that you speak to your tertiary institution as these schemes are not always available. Many tertiary institutions also have computers with assistive/adaptive capabilities installed for student use on campus. To find out whether these facilities are available speak to disability staff aat the relevant tertiary institution.