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Indigenous Scholarships and the Education Schemes

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Under Section 7.4.3 of the VCES instrument and Section 7.2.4 of the MRACETS instrument a student cannot receive a Student Start-Up Scholarship if they are receiving a disqualifying education costs scholarship. Under Section 7.5.3 of the VCES instrument and Section 7.3.3 of the MRCAETS instruments a student cannot receive the Relocation Scholarship if they are receiving a disqualifying accommodation scholarship.

What are disqualifying scholarships?

Generally, a disqualifying accommodation or education cost scholarship is any indigenous scholarship granted by the Commonwealth or one of the 38 higher education providers listed underneath table A (https://iher.education.gov.au/glossary/table-provider) or four providers under table B (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2020C00078/Html/Text#_Toc40789248 ) of part 2-2A of the Higher Education Support Act 2003

Consultation with policy may be required if a student receives another type of scholarship and decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

How do disqualifying scholarships affect overall Education Schemes eligibility?

In Section 2.11.2 of the instruments it is specifically stated that a disqualifying accommodation or education costs scholarship does not remove any eligibility under the Education Schemes except for the scholarships. In this case, the student may receive the education allowance and any other benefits as normal.

How do disqualifying scholarships affect the Living Away from Home rate?

In regards to a student receiving the living away from home rate while not paying rent (due to an accommodation cost scholarship), the instruments do not specify that rent must be paid for the student to receive the living away from home rate. It only specifies that the Commission must be satisfied that additional expenses are incurred as a result of living away from home. This can be anything from the student buying their own food, transport costs etc. that would not be incurred at home. (Instruments 3.5.1). As long as the student meets the other conditions for the living away from home rate, there is no reason for them to not be paid the higher rate while receiving an accommodation cost scholarship.

Rent Assistance

Rent assistance can only be paid in the same circumstances that it would be under the Social Security Guide 1991 for Youth Allowance. If the student is not liable to pay rent out of their own pocket, they are not eligible for rent assistance.

How do disqualifying scholarships affect Education Scheme scholarship eligibility?

If a student is in receipt of a disqualifying scholarship they will likely not be eligible for the Relocation Scholarship or Student Start-up Scholarship payments. Under Section 7.4.3 of the VCES instrument and Section 7.2.4 of the MRACETS instrument a student cannot receive a Student Start-Up Scholarship if they are receiving a disqualifying education costs scholarship. Under Section 7.5.3 of the VCES instrument and Section 7.3.3 of the MRCAETS instruments a student cannot receive the Relocation Scholarship if they are receiving a disqualifying accommodation scholarship.

If the student is in receipt of an educational cost scholarship but not an accommodation scholarship they would still be eligible for a Relocation Scholarship and vice versa for the Student Start-up Scholarship. If the student is in receipt of both an education cost and an accommodation scholarship, they are eligible for neither scholarship under the Education Schemes.