Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)
Fax: 03 8344 5624
For urgent matters that cannot wait, contact us on 8344 6901
US and Canadian financial aid
For assistance, contact the Financial Aid Officer in the Office of Admissions:
Cost of living
Starting Uni soon? Find out what it costs to live in Melbourne, including accommodation costs, weekly expenses and other costs to consider.
Learn how students in different situations have made their finances work at University.
First year in Melbourne
Percy is 18 years old and has just finished high school in country Victoria. He must leave home if he wishes to study at University. His parents are on low incomes and are struggling with their mortgage.
Finding somewhere to live will be Percy’s first priority. Rent is likely to be his biggest expense. He finds an apartment with a friend for $170 per week ($9602 p.a including the bond). He is setting aside $150 each week for groceries, bills and going out, so his weekly budget will be $320. His yearly expenditure at this stage, including some text books, should be just under $18,500.
Percy may be entitled to Youth Allowance, subject to a parental means test. If he receives any Youth Allowance payment, he is likely to receive a $4000 relocation Scholarship in his first year and a further $1000 start up scholarship every semester. If he receives the full payment, he will receive approximately $400 per fortnight with and additional $80 per fortnight in rent assistance. His total Centrelink entitlement is approximately $18,500 over the year.
To make a little extra, Percy might also seek some part-time work – either during the year or over summer. He can earn up to $18,200 tax free each financial year. He can also earn at least $400 per fortnight (often more) without any effect on his Youth Allowance.
Living at home and commuting
Edna is 21 years old and lives with her family. Her tram trip to Uni takes 45 minutes. She would eventually like to become more independent and move out of home during her course.
Government benefits like Youth Allowance can be lower for students who live in the parental home. If she is not considered independent by Centrelink then there will be a parental income test. The away-from-home rate of Youth Allowance will not apply unless the family home is more than 90 minutes from campus, regardless of whether Edna has moved out. Her maximum fortnightly payment is $265 and she receives $1000 per semester in a startup cost scholarship. This amount is unlikely to even cover her rent.
Edna will receive the away from home rate after she becomes independent/turns 22 and moves out.
If Edna wants to move out sooner, it is likely she will have to find an extra source of income, such as part-time work or work over the vacation period to earn some savings. She will have to consider how to balance the time taken working against her study commitments. She will no doubt benefit from a carefully planned budget before she embarks on this course of action. If she finds suitable work she can earn up to $18,200 tax free each financial year.
Edna (and her parents) will need to plan carefully to ensure that moving out of home is worthwhile if she cannot get the away from home rate of Youth Allowance.
Mature-age Graduate student with placements
Penelope is a 28 year old student who has previously completed an Arts degree. She wants to study the Master of Teaching. She was planning to undertake part time work, but is aware that the placements can be quite demanding, and could make this impossible.
As an older student Penelope may be entitled to government benefits such as Austudy, as the Masters of Teaching has been approved for a payment. Her previous study will not affect her entitlement, as it was done at an undergraduate level. An Austudy payment for the year, with rent assistance and startup scholarships, is likely to amount to approximately $14,600 p.a.
The Victorian Government provide financial incentives for teachers and some other professions. Penelope will apply for these.
Rajiv is an 18 year old international student who has come to Melbourne to study a three year course. He is being supported by his parents. They want to make sure Rajiv settles in to study with the minimum of fuss.
Before arrival, Rajiv and his family will need to research firstly the cost of the course, and secondly the cost of living in Melbourne. They should keep in mind that inflation in Australia generally rises by about 3-4% each year. They should also contact the faculty to see how much tuition fees may rise in the second and third year of the course. Rental is likely to be the biggest expense after tuition fees. The family will need to look at their options on the Student Housing website.
After they have researched the costs, the family will need to ensure that they are financially prepared by ensuring that funds are available before Rajiv arrives in Australia. Scholarships, financial assistance and part-time work are not always guaranteed.
Rajiv is keen to see a bit of Australia so he is interested in part-time work. The part-time work restrictions on his visa are not particularly onerous, but he needs to be aware of them during semester (they do not apply outside of the semester). He will also need to make sure he doesn’t lose the balance between his part time work and his study.
Rajiv struggles to find the time to budget, so he has decided to open up a second fee-free bank account online. This is not linked to his ATM account, so it is a little bit more difficult to access. He will put part of his work savings in here so that he can use the money for travel of emergencies.
Parking concession for students with a disability
To apply for a fee-waiver parking permit, book an appointment with Student Financial Aid after you have received approval from the Parking Office to park on campus. A medical certificate relating to the disability will be required.