Scholarships and financial support

Finance shouldn’t be a barrier for you coming to UQ and being successful. There are many ways for you to get help if you need it!

UQ scholarships

Make your university experience more affordable with a scholarship.

Take some time to research and apply now. Scholarships may be awarded for academic achievement, leadership, community service, sporting excellence, equity and diversity, financial hardship or disadvantage, or specific areas of study.

Visit UQ scholarships

Indigenous Scholarships Portal

Aurora Education Foundation created the Indigenous Scholarship Portal to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ access to financial support and resources.

The Indigenous Scholarship Portal has around 850 scholarships available to Australian Indigenous students for undergraduate studies at Australian universities as well as postgraduate scholarships for study in Australia and overseas.

Visit Indigenous Scholarships Portal

UQ Indigenous Commonwealth Scholarships

UQ Indigenous Commonwealth Scholarships provide financial support to students from a regional or remote area and/or financial hardship background.

Applicants may be eligible for two Indigenous Commonwealth Scholarships:

  • Indigenous Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship. This scholarship helps students with the costs of going to university. You are ineligible if you receive a Startup scholarship or loan through Centrelink (or any scholarship for the purpose of assisting with education costs from Centrelink), or an ICECS from UQ or another institution.
  • Indigenous Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship. This scholarship helps students to move away from their regional or remote home in order to study at university. Students are ineligible if they receive a relocation scholarship or Residential Cost Option (or any scholarship for the purpose of assisting with accommodation costs) from Centrelink or an ICAS from UQ or another institution.

For more information about eligibility and how to apply:

Visit UQ Scholarships

HELP loans


If you are domestic student in a Commonwealth Supported Place, you may be eligible to receive HECS-HELP.

A Commonwealth Supported Place is a subsidised enrolment at university. The Australian Government funds about 60 per cent of a Commonwealth Supported Place and the student pays the remaining "student contribution amount".

Domestic undergraduate and honours places at the University are all Commonwealth supported.

Read more about HECS-HELP


The Student Services and Amenities Fee is a compulsory fee that is used to subsidise, support or fund non-academic services for students

SA-HELP is a loan scheme that helps you pay for the Student Services and Amenities Fee.

You can take out a SA-HELP loan even if you don't want to take out any other HELP loan. You need a tax file number to obtain SA-HELP.

Read more about SA-HELP


ABSTUDY can assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in approved courses to receive financial help with costs for study, housing and living expenses during their studies.

Residential Cost Option

The ABSTUDY Residential Costs Option can help eligible tertiary students who are:

  • undertaking approved studies of at least 30 weeks duration at a university, or
  • attending a university preparation course; and are
  • approved for away-from-home entitlements and living in a residential college attached to a university or in a hostel.

The Residential Cost Option will cover cost like accommodation fees, meals (if provided), laundry charges and other compulsory fees. The Residential Cost Option doesn’t cover rental bonds or other types of refundable fees.

Compare your entitlement with residential charges (excluding refundable bonds) before you make your decision. You should check whether all meals will be provided by the college or hostel.

You are not entitled to meal allowance for meals not provided by the college or hostel or other ABSTUDY assistance in addition to the residential costs.


You cannot normally receive a Relocation Scholarship or Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship and an ABSTUDY Residential Cost Option in the same year. You will need to decide which form of assistance best suits your needs and advise us.

For more information or to apply visit the Department of Human Services website

Incidentals Allowance

Incidentals Allowance helps students to meet expenses associated with the commencement of study in approved courses.

To qualify for Incidentals Allowance, you must qualify for one of the following ABSTUDY Awards:

  • Tertiary Award
  • Master and Doctorate Award, or
  • Part Time Award.

You must also meet one of these requirements:

  • enrolled in a tertiary level course, or
  • enrolled in a preparatory course that is delivered by a higher education institution, which is designed to help people gain entry to university-level courses (also known as a bridging, access or enabling courses).

Incidentals Allowance rates vary depending on the period of your enrolment in the course during the year of assistance. Different rates apply for the following periods of enrolment:

  • less then 12 weeks
  • 12 to 16 weeks
  • 17 to 23 weeks, and
  • 24 weeks to one year.

Incidentals Allowance is paid in one instalment at the time it is approved. If you are a continuing student, the allowance can be paid up to four weeks before you commence the next academic period for the course.

Incidentals Allowance is not means tested.

For more information or to apply visit the Department of Human Services website

Student Start-Up Loan

The Student Start-up Loan aims to assist students with the costs of study, including the purchase of text books, computers and internet access.

It is a voluntary income-contingent loan that allows students to apply for help with the costs of study. The loan can be paid a maximum of twice per year, generally at the beginning of each semester.

Repayment of the Student Start-up Loan commences when your income exceeds a minimum repayment threshold, in the same manner as Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debts. Repayments are made through the Australian Taxation Office after you have repaid any HELP debts.

For more information or to apply visit the Department of Human Services website

Relocation Scholarship

A Relocation Scholarship provides assistance to eligible full-time ABSTUDY students at a higher education institution who are enrolled in a higher education or preparatory course and who need to live away from home to study.

It is a lump sum payment paid each year to help with the costs of living away from home.

To qualify for this payment you must:

  • be a dependent person who has to live away from home to study, or
  • be independent for reasons other than age, work history or through being a member of a couple.

The Relocation Scholarship provides more help during a dependent student's second and third years if your family home address is in a regional area. 

Independent students will receive more help during their second and third years of living away from home if they lived in a regional area six months before starting their course. This applies even if you haven't moved since then.

Ian lives in Brisbane and will be studying full time at the University of Queensland in February 2018. He moved to Brisbane from Lismore, where he had been living for 9 months, to be closer to the university. Because his address 6 months before starting his course was 1 Parkes Street, Lismore NSW 2300, he provides this address when asked in his ABSTUDY claim about where he lived at that time.

This scholarship is not payable if:

  • you do not continue full-time study for at least 35 days after qualifying for the scholarship, or
  • you also receive, or qualify for, any type of Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship, such as an Indigenous Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship (ICAS), or
  • you also receive a Relocation Scholarship paid by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

You can't normally receive both a Relocation Scholarship and an ABSTUDY Residential Costs Option in the same year. You will need to decide which form of assistance best suits your needs and advise us.

For more information or to apply visit the Department of Human Services website

Claiming ABSTUDY

There are two ways to claim ABSTUDY: via phone or printed forms.

Phone claims
You can claim over the phone by calling 1800 132 317. When claiming over the phone you’ll need to confirm the information you’ve given to ABSTUDY is true and correct. ABSTUDY will tell you if you need to provide documents to support your claim.

After the phone call, ABSTUDY will send you a Customer Declaration Form with the information you provided. If the information is correct, you don’t need to return the form. If any of the information is wrong, you’ll need to return the form with the right information.

Printed form claims
If you can’t claim over the phone, you can fill in a claim form. Check which form you need to complete based on your circumstances or those of the person you're claiming for via the Department of Human Services website.

Learn more about ABSTUDY