Our professional staff provide financial advice to help you manage your study expenses and living costs.

Make an appointment to talk to a senior adviser about your finances, use our handy resources and learn about your loan and scholarship options.

Scholarships & grants

Victoria University offers scholarships to help University and TAFE students with their living and education costs.

If you receive Youth Allowance, Austudy, or Abstudy, you may also be eligible for one of the following:

Budget guidance & resources

There are many online resources to help you budget and save money. Here are some that we recommend.

General budgeting

Budget Your Money is a government website calculator that helps check:

  • where your money is going
  • if you are spending more than you can afford
  • that your money is going towards your priorities.

It allows you to enter weekly, fortnightly, monthly and annual expenses without the need to convert.

Our cost of living estimates will help you figure out how much it costs to live in Melbourne.

Accommodation finance resources

Check out our rental advice for information about bonds, tenancy rights, and selecting an affordable suburb near our campuses.

Other resources to help you reduce your living costs and ecological footprint:

The Australian Government provides payments to students who are studying, such as Youth Allowance, Austudy, Abstudy etc. All of these payments have eligibility criteria and will require you to apply directly to Services Australia – Centrelink.

We've listed here the student payments available from the Australian Government. 

You can also use Centrelink's Payment & Service Finder to help find what payments you may be eligible for based on your circumstances.

If you are enrolled in a TAFE course at the level of Certificate IV or below with VU Polytechnic we strongly recommend that you apply for a Low Income Health Care Card. It provides you with access to reduced TAFE Tuition fees. Even if you are not eligible for other student payments, you may still be eligible for a Low Income Heath Care Card.

To be eligible for youth allowance you must be one of the following:

  • 18 to 24 and studying full-time16 to 17,
  • studying full time and either independent or needing to live away from home to study 16 to 17,
  • studying full time and have completed year 12 or equivalent
  • 16 to 24 and doing a full time Australian Apprenticeship.

Find out more or apply for youth allowance.

Financial help if you're 25 years or older and studying or an Australian Apprentice.

To get this you must be:

  • 25 or older
  • a full time student in an approved course or Australian Apprenticeship
  • under the income test limits.

Find out more or apply for Austudy.

A group of payments for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students or apprentices.

To be eligible for Abstudy you must be:

  • an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian
  • studying an approved course, Australian Apprenticeship or traineeship
  • not getting another payment to study or train.

Find out more or apply for Abstudy.

Financial help if you have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops you from working.

To get the Disability Support Pension (DSP), you need to meet both:

  • non-medical rules
  • medical rules.

Find out more or apply for the Disability Support Pension.

This is the main income support payment while you’re a young child’s main carer. This payment is also for job seekers who are main carers of young children.

To get Parenting Payment you must:

  • be under the income and asset test limits
  • meet principal carer rules
  • care for a child under 8 if you’re single or under 6 if you’re partnered
  • meet residence rules
  • not have claimed before the birth of the child.

Find out more or apply for the parenting payment.

A regular extra payment to help with study costs if you get certain income support from Centrelink.

If you are receiving the Disability Support Pension or the Parent Payment we recommend that you find out more about the pensioner education supplement if you are:

  • getting a Centrelink payment that has this benefit as an add on
  • studying an approved course
  • a full-time student or a part-time student in special circumstances.

Centrelink Advance Payments can assist with living and study costs.

If you receive Centrelink payments (including youth allowance, Austudy, Abstudy, parenting payment and disability support pension) you are eligible to apply for a Centrelink Advance Payment.

Low income health care cards provide concessions for health care, public transport and living costs (such as gas, electricity and water). They are issued to students who receive Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy.

Even if you are not eligible for one of these payments, you can still apply for low income health care card.

The Tertiary Access Payment (TAP) is a one-off payment of up to $5,000. It’s to help eligible students with the cost of moving to study. This is for study after you’ve finished year 12 or equivalent.

To get the payment you need to meet some rules. These include:

  • moving from a regional or remote area for tertiary study
  • starting tertiary study in the year after finishing year 12 or equivalent.

Regional areas are places that aren’t in or near a major city. You can check if your family home is in a regional or remote area using the Student Regional Area Search.

You can claim this payment in your first year of tertiary study only.

Read more about who can get it.

The following websites provide essential information on topics you need to know as a student studying in Australia such as:

  • before you start studying at TAFE or University
  • HECS-Help Loans
  • VET Student Loans
  • how to manage your money whilst you are at TAFE or University.

StudyAssist website - Information for students about government assistance for financing tertiary study.

MoneySmart - tips on student life and money.


Student loans

Our student loans team offers up to $1000 interest-free loans. Strict conditions apply and this should be considered a last resort.

To find out more, make an appointment with a Senior Advisor or visit a VUHQ (student service centre).

Trade Support Loans (Australian Apprentices)

The Australian Government provides a Australian Apprentices Trade Support Loans Program. The loans are paid in instalments totalling up to $21,542 over four years to help apprentices with everyday costs while they complete their apprenticeship.

No Interest Loan Scheme

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) offer loans of up to $1500 to people on low incomes. Repayments are made over 12–18 months.

The loans are available for essential goods and services, such as:

  • household items (e.g. fridges, washing machines and furniture)
  • medical procedures and dental services
  • education essentials (e.g. computers and text books)
  • car repairs or registration
  • some other items as requested.

Tax return advice

Victoria University hosts a free Tax Help Service until October, in which a volunteer trained by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) provides one-to-one assistance and support to help students complete their tax return online.

For the most up-to-date information, contact the ATO directly on 13 28 61 (or through an interpreter on 13 14 50). You can determine if you are eligible for the Tax Help program and what your assistance options are.

VU's volunteer is taking face-to-face appointment bookings Wednesdays and Fridays, from 12pm to 4pm at Footscray Park Campus.

Please note, students must wear a face mask when attending the appointment.

Book tax-help appointment

To prepare make sure you have created a myGov account and linked it to the ATO. Doing this will make for a better experience and provide you with greater options for assistance.

The ATO will also extend help across to clients who cannot lodge online and can support them with questions around Tax Pack lodgement and any other situation that may arise.

If you need community legal services, please contact the following organisations for support:

Appointments for financial advice

Make an appointment with a Senior Adviser

For personalised support, you can make an appointment with a Senior Adviser for assistance with issues that are impacting your studies.

Come to talk to us about finances, housing, welfare, Centrelink and other issues.

Book an adviser appointment