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13.8.1 Student Start-up Scholarship
13.8.1 Student Start-up Scholarship
Paragraph 7.4 of the VCES Instrument and paragraph 7.2 of the MRCAETS Instrument concern the Student Start-up Scholarship. The Student Start-up Scholarship is intended to assist students to cover up-front higher education fees including text book and equipment fees. A student does not need to make a claim to receive the Scholarship. The Commission may grant a Scholarship to a student where they are satisfied that:
a) the student is receiving tertiary education allowance;
b) the student is undertaking an approved scholarship course;
c) the student intends to start or continue their course of study within the 35 day cut-off period; and
d) the student is not likely to receive the Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (CECS) in the period of 6 months starting immediately after the qualification time.
Under paragraph 7.4.4 of the VCES Instrument and 7.2.4 of the MRCAETS Instrument, a student is not eligible to receive a Student Start-up Scholarship if, in the 6 months ending immediately before the student’s qualification time:
a) the student already qualified to receive a Student Start-up Scholarship payment; or
b) the student qualified to receive a Student Start-up Scholarship payment under ABSTUDY or Part 2.11B of the SSA; or
c) the student already qualified to receive a Student Start-up Scholarship payment under MRCAETS (for VCES students) or VCES (for MRCAETS students); or
d) the student has received the amount or value of a Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (CECS) or the person was entitled to the amount or value of such a scholarship but has not received the full entitlement only because the scholarship was suspended.
The Commission has the discretion to determine a period in relation to a student that is between two and six months in which the student may be paid the Scholarship if this would enable payment to be made on or near the day on which the approved scholarship course concerned started or starts (see paragraph 7.4.5 of VCES Instrument and 7.2.5 of MRCAETS Instrument). This is consistent with the intention of the Scholarships to provide financial support to students at the beginning of their course to enable them to pay for text books and other necessary study-related expenses. The Commission must not make a determination in this regard if it results in a student being paid more than two Student Start-up Scholarship payments in a calendar year.
In the 2013-14 Budget, the Commonwealth Government made a change to the Social Security Act 1991 and the Student Start-up Scholarship under Part 2.11B of that Act was removed and a Student Start-up Loan created under Chapter 2AA. Given the nature of this payment requires it to be re-paid, receipt of a Student Start-up Loan does not preclude a student eligible under the VCES or the MRCAETS from receiving a Student Start-up Scholarship under those schemes.
Mary applies for assistance from Centrelink as she is commencing a degree at university. She is granted Youth Allowance and a Student Start-up Loan from Centrelink. After talking to some friends she realises she may be eligible for support from DVA under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme.
Mary meets the eligibility criteria for Education Allowance under the VCES. She is also eligible for a Student Start-up Scholarship under the scheme. George, the DVA education schemes secretary, checks the VCES instrument and a Student Start-up Loan is not listed as a circumstance where a person is not qualified for a Student Start-up Scholarship payment. In the clearance process with Centrelink, George arranges for Mary’s arrears with Centrelink to be paid and pays Mary the remaining amount.