The Tertiary Access Payment (TAP) is a one-off, non-indexed, means-tested payment to school-leavers from outer regional or remote areas who relocate more than 90 mins to undertake full-time, higher-level tertiary education — Certificate IV or above.
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This payment is part of the Job-ready Graduates higher education reforms package and the Australian Government response to the National Regional, Rural and Remote Tertiary Education Strategy (Napthine Review), aimed at helping students with the costs of relocating to undertake tertiary study.
TAP aims to strengthen tertiary education in regional and remote Australia and responds to Recommendation 2, Action 7 of the Napthine Review by encouraging regional students to access tertiary study in the year immediately following Year 12, rather than taking a gap year. The Napthine Review found taking a gap year can contribute to lower tertiary education attainment rates for students from regional or remote communities.
The TAP contributes to Closing the Gap targets, by improving participation rates of Indigenous students from outer regional and remote areas through improved financial support.
In 2021, more than 7,000 payments for university students are available as a scholarship by their university. Services Australia administers up to 1,000 payments to eligible students at non-university higher education providers and vocational education and training providers.
TAP is available for school leavers who:
- meet Australian citizenship or residency requirements
- are from an outer regional, remote or very remote area (use the Student Regional Area Search tool to check eligibility)
- are aged 22 and under at time they commence their course
- are relocating to study at an education provider at least 90 minutes by public transport from their family home
- are undertaking eligible tertiary study in the next available study period immediately following completion of Year 12 or equivalent with no gap year (or the first available semester of their chosen course if the course has a mid-year, or later, start)
- are studying face to face, or in dual delivery method, for at least part of the course
- are enrolled full time in a Certificate IV or above qualification, with a course duration of at least one academic year.
Students need to be below a parental income threshold of $250,000 per household to receive this payment (or be exempt from meeting this requirement).
This income cut-off is significantly higher than the means test applied to other student support payments such as Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY and enables many students with two working parents to qualify for the payment.
How to apply
Students relocating to study at a non-university higher education provider (NUHEP) or a vocational education and training (VET) provider must apply through Services Australia.
Students relocating to study at a university cannot apply through Services Australia and must apply through their participating university (see below)
Applications are now open and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis until all available payments have been exhausted.
Detailed information on the payment, eligibility criteria, how to apply and how payments are made are outlined in the Tertiary Access Payment University Program Guidelines or the Tertiary Access Payment Services NUHEP and VET Program Guidelines.
TAP is available through the following participating universities:
- Australian Catholic University
- Bond University
- Charles Darwin University
- Charles Sturt University
- Central Queensland University
- Curtin University
- Deakin University
- Edith Cowan University
- Federation University Australia
- Flinders University
- Griffith University
- James Cook University
- La Trobe University
- Macquarie University
- Monash University
- Murdoch University
- Queensland University of Technology
- RMIT University
- Southern Cross University
- Swinburne University of Technology
- The Australian National University
- The University of Adelaide
- The University of Melbourne
- The University of New England
- The University of Newcastle
- The University of Notre Dame Australia
- The University of Queensland
- University of Sydney
- The University of Western Australia
- Torrens University Australia
- University of Canberra
- University of New South Wales
- University of South Australia
- University of Southern Queensland
- University of Tasmania
- University of Technology Sydney
- University of the Sunshine Coast
- The University of Wollongong
- Victoria University
- Western Sydney University