Commonwealth scholarships

The Commonwealth Scholarships Program is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Education and Training.

It aims to assist Indigenous students experiencing financial need, particularly those from remote and regional areas. Commonwealth Scholarships are available through all Australian universities. 

There are five different types of Commonwealth Scholarships:

  1. Commonwealth Education Costs (CECS)-Indigenous (CECS-Indigenous) provide students with A$2,637 a year for up to four years to assist with general study costs.
  2. Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship (CAS)-Indigenous (CAS-Indigenous) provide students who have to moved from regional or remote areas to undertake their university studies with A$5,276 a year for up to four years to assist with accommodation and study costs.
  3. Commonwealth Education Costs (CECS)-Indigenous Enabling (CECS-Indigenous Enabling) provides A$2,637 a year for up to one year to assist with the costs of studying an eligible enabling course.
  4. Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship(CAS)-Indigenous Enabling (CAS-Indigenous Enabling) provides A$5,276 a year for up to one year to assist with the costs of rural / remote students who must relocate to access an eligible enabling course.
  5. Commonwealth Scholarships - Indigenous Access Scholarships (Indigenous Access Scholarship) provides a once only payment of A$4,904 to assist Indigenous students to undertake an eligible enabling course, undergraduate course or graduate diploma (or equivalent post graduate course of study) in an area of National Priority required for initial registration to practice in the chosen National Priority field. Students in receipt of a Department of Human Services Student Start Up Scholarship are also eligible for an IAS.

Student Eligibility Requirements:

  1. A student may NOT concurrently hold an CECS-Indigenous and an CECS-Indigenous Enabling
  2. A student may NOT concurrently hold an CAS-Indigenous and an Indigenous CAS-Indigenous Enabling

For students who are currently in receipt of a Commonwealth Scholarships (continuing recipients), please find the ongoing eligibilities here.

Start-Up Scholarships

From 1 January 2014, higher education students claiming Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY will no longer be eligible for the Student Start-up Scholarship. Instead, students claiming Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY will be able to apply for a Student Start-up Loan of $1,035 for each six months of eligible study to help pay for costs. For further information on this change, please visit the Study Assist - FAQ website.

Eligible students who have received a Student Start-up Scholarship before 1 January 2014 will continue to receive this scholarship automatically while they are in receipt of student payments. As per existing rules, this will not be treated as a loan. For further  information please visit  the Centrelink Start-up Scholarships webpage.

Relocation Scholarships

The Relocation Scholarship will be paid to eligible dependent Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY Living Allowance customers to help with the costs of living away from home to study.  For further information please visit the Centrelink Relocation Scholarships webpage.

Please note: Scholarships and Grants are subject to change and are awarded based on conditions current at the time of award



Areas of study and research

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