The headline really hits the nail on the head here, mates. Universities across the country have announced a number of emergency support funds and scholarships for students in crisis during the coronavirus pandemic. Learning online sounds simple enough on its own, but factor in an awful internet connection, your casual job in the shitter because of the virus, and no money for rent, and you’re in a spot of trouble. I know sometimes it’s hard to ask for help – maybe you think someone else out there deserves it more or maybe you just don’t know where to begin – but there’s nothing wrong with asking for help, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

If you aren’t already receiving any Centrelink benefits, you can suss out your eligibility and apply for Youth Allowance and alike through myGov using a Centrelink online account, or by giving Centrelink a call. The Coronavirus Supplement fund, announced in March by the Government, is available for domestic students. If eligible, you will start to receive an additional $550 per fortnight from April 27, 2020 for the next six months. This will be paid on top of your existing income payment rate / Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY. 

Here’s a list of some major universities across Australia, and how they can help you.

Monash University, VIC

Monash University is offering three types of emergency funds as part of the uni’s Student Compassionate and Hardship Package.

  • An emergency payment of up to $500 for essential financial assistance to meet needs like accomodation, food, or technology.
  • A grant of up to $7,000 (or $7,500 in some cases), to help with loss of income, technology requirements, accomodation costs, and unrecoverable travel costs.
  • A grant of up to $5,000 for students who have incurred costs due to early travel bans in China, Iran, and Australia

University of Melbourne, VIC

There are two types of support packages at UniMelb.

You can apply for special consideration too, if you think you can’t complete an assignment on time. However, this one really depends on your tutor / lecturer. 

RMIT, VIC

RMIT has expanded their existing Student Hardship Assistance and Equity Scholarship funds to provide up to $10 million in support to students.

There are two types of financial assistance:

  • Emergency Financial Grant: to support students who are impacted by job loss, housing insecurity or other financial matters associated with COVID-19. This is for non-tech expenses, such as essential living expenses, textbooks, accommodation, healthcare, or food.
  • Technology Grant: to help students access essential IT equipment to continue studying remotely, including hardware, software, subscriptions, data, internet and digital materials. The Technology Grant is limited to up to $1,000 per student.

RMIT also provide a handful of free software and apps to students.

La Trobe University, VIC

There are two types of grants at La Trobe University:

  • Crisis Support Bursary: one-off payment of $3,000 to support students suffering from significant financial crisis or housing insecurity.
  • Technology Bursary: designed to help you get essential equipment to enable you to continue your studies.

Victoria University, VIC

Vic Uni has launched a COVID-19 Student Support Fund, an emergency one-off grant for students in need.

  • Emergency financial grant for students impacted by self-isolation/quarantine requirements or job losses. This grant is for essential living or study expenses related to food, healthcare, textbooks and materials (non-tech) for study up to the value of $100.
  • Technology grant to support students in pursuing studies that have transitioned to digital platforms (e.g. voucher to support the purchase of a wifi dongle up to the value of $100). 
  • Crisis housing support for students who have encountered hardship as a result of the loss of paid employment. Rental assistance grants of up to the value of $500.

Swinburne University of Technology, VIC

The uni has pulled together over $600,000 towards the Swinburne Student Emergency Fund, so students can receive a one-off grant. International students can also apply for this grant. A number of long-term laptop loans are available as well.

Deakin University, VIC

Support options for domestic and international students at Deakin range from monetary amounts to other relevant support mechanism, like fee extensions. Suss it out right here.

Australian National University, ACT

ANU is providing an additional $1 million of funding to support students who need emergency financial support this semester. This is on top of the emergency grants available through ANUSA and PARSA.

Undergraduate students need to download and complete the form and send it to ANUSA. Postgraduate students need to hit up PARSA for further details.

University of Canberra, ACT

The University of Canberra is encouraging students to apply for the Coronavirus Supplement if they are eligible. The UCX Food Pantry has also partnered with the Canberra Relief Network to provide relief hampers for students. Hampers include a variety of non-perishable food items and essential toiletries. Each student is entitled to one hamper per month, and is designed to meet the needs of a family of four for a week.

You must register for this service before 12pm on Mondays

University of New South Wales, NSW

UNSW has announced a slew of financial support packages for both domestic and international students, including an emergency e-voucher of up to $200 for day-to-day needs like groceries, internet, and data access. Students can also apply for the one-off emergency support payment (up to $500) as well as an emergency grant of up to $2,000 for students facing multiple issues as a result of the pandemic.

University of Technology Sydney, NSW

UTS has introduced a $15 million student support package to help cover food, housing, and employment lost. It is available to both domestic and international students.

The support package includes:

  • Student grants of up to $1,500 for living and other expenses
  • Interest-free loans for students of up to $3,000
  • Student housing subsidies up to $2,000 for UTS Housing residents
  • Support for students in relation to computer, software, and internet access
  • Food subsidies for students in self-isolation; delivery of freshly cooked meals from UTS retailers for UTS Housing residents in self-isolation
  • A new program worth $500,000 to subsidise student employment for students who have lost their job as a result of COVID-19 and are ineligible for support.

Macquarie University, NSW

Domestic and international students can receive multiple levels of support through Macquarie’s student success support package. You can apply for e-vouchers (up to $250), delay payment of part of your current session fees (until 30 September, 2020), borrow back 25 per cent of your current session fees (pay back by 30 September, 2020), or apply for a Financial Assistance Grant of up to $2,000 or a Financial Assistance Loan of up to $2,000 (first payment by November 2020).

University of Newcastle, NSW

The Student Hardship Fund is focused on helping students pay bills, meals, and assisting with accomodation. The first phase of the fund provides immediate emergency assistance to those most in need, supplying $100 supermarket e-vouchers. Students can also apply for the COVID-19 Student Hardship Fund Financial Assistance grant. Student loans and student hardship grants are available to both domestic and international students.

University of Sydney, NSW

The University of Sydney offers financial assistance via bursaries and interest-free loans. There’s also financial assistance specifically for international students impacted by travel restrictions prior to starting Semester 1. The bursaries are one-off payments of up to $2,000. Students, both domestic and international, can also apply or the an interest-free loan of up to $1,000.

University of Adelaide, SA

The University of Adelaide offers IT support for remote learning and accomodation and food for students in crisis.

Student Hardship Fund

  • Lost income grant for students who have lost supplementary employment income
  • First-year student grant for students who will not be able to continue their studies without some financial support and who have no other means of financial assistance from the government
  • Family support grant for students with dependents living with them in Australia, who have been working to support themselves and have lost their supplementary income

The State Government has also announced a new $13.8 million support package for international students currently residing in SA.

Flinders University, SA

The university has developed a $12.5 million Flinders Student Support Package. One-off payments of $500 will be made available to students living independently, and payments of $250 to students who live with parents / caregivers.

University of South Australia, SA

UniSA has created a $10 million Student Hardship Fund, open to both domestic and international students currently enrolled at the university. The fund is for students experiencing severe financial hardship, especially those who have lost or have had their employment hours reduced, can’t pay rent, bills, or medical expenses incurred due to the pandemic.

University of Queensland, QLD

Students at the University of Queensland can apply for financial hardship assistance. Students may be eligible for an interest-free loan or emergency hardship grant of up to $2,000. The fund can help with rent or boarding, utility bills, public transport, required study-related equipment, medical expenses, and emergency relief.

University of Southern Queensland, QLD

The USQ’s Student Financial Assistance Scheme covers living expenses (payments will be dependent on situation). The package supports technology needs (one-off payments of up to $1,000), and learning resources (one-off payments of up to $500).

Griffith University, QLD

Griffith University has committed $2 million to the COVID-19 Student Support Bursary, available to undergraduate and postgraduate students. You can also apply for a free, long-term computer loan.

Curtin University, WA

Curtin’s Financial and Housing Support Bursary is open to all undergrad and postgrad students until the end of May. You must be enrolled in a minimum of 25 credit points in semester 1, 2020. The bursary is designed for students who require immediate financial assistance and do not have any other means of support available. The Housing Bursary is for students who require on campus accomodating through semester 1, 2020.

Murdoch University, WA

Domestic and international students can apply for Murdoch University’s Student Assistance Fund. Part-time, K-Track, and On-Track students could receive $500 each, and full-time students are able to apply for up to $1,000. If you’re facing more difficult circumstances, you can also apply for the Extraordinary Support Fund. The uni also offers s technology bursary – a $100 payment to help cover tech requirements.

University of Western Australia, WA

UWA has developed the COVID-19 Financial Hardship Grant which provides immediate support to eligible onshore students.

University of Tasmania, TAS

UTAS’ Fast Track Safety Net Grant Scheme can provide immediate funds of up to $350 to support living costs and study resources. UTAS’ existing Safety Net Grant Scheme also offers grants of up to $2,000.

Image: YouTube / ChilledCow