In the midst of a worsening cost-of-living crisis, more than 3 million Australians continue to be burdened by student debts. Isaac Nellist reports.
On May 17, I received an email from Centrelink advising that I would no longer be eligible for the student start-up scholarship.
This means the $1035 payment that helped to pay for my textbooks, university car parking fees and other course materials will now only be available as a loan I will have to pay back on HECs.
Losing this start-up scholarship will hurt many students, with welfare payments hardly keeping up with the ever-increasing cost of living and rent.
Whether it is welfare or wages, the income of youth and students seems to be under attack from the government and big business sectors. From the beginning of this year, commencing students will no longer receive the start-up scholarship of $1025, paid in two instalments over the year. New students now have the option of applying for a start-up loan of the same amount, which, similarly to the HECS debt, will be repaid to the Australian Tax Office once their income reaches a certain level.