New independence rules benefit regional students

Member for Forrest Nola Marino said regional and rural students will be able to start university sooner because of changes that make it easier for them to be considered ‘independent’ for student payments.

To qualify as independent for Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY Living Allowance, students from regional or remote areas must earn at least $24,836 before commencing further study.

Previously, students had to wait 18 months after leaving school before qualifying for independent payments, putting them out of their studies for one and a half to two academic years.

The Turnbull Government has reduced the time regional and remote students must spend earning this income, from 18 months to 14 months, allowing them to study with financial support just one year after leaving high school.

Mrs Marino said the change would immediately impact around 3,700 regional students across Australia, with more students to benefit in the coming years.

“This change means more students from the South West can be considered independent and qualify for student payments sooner,” Mrs Marino said.

‘It means our students will need to take only one year and not up to two years break from study which means they are far more likely to continue on to university’

“In time our region will benefit when these young people return to our communities.”

For more information about student payments and independence rules, visit