MAKING IT WORK
How do you finance a postgraduate degree? Here’s what you need to know…
By Alison Stieven-Taylor
Thinking about postgraduate study, but not sure how you can afford the postgraduate fees? There are myriad ways to finance postgraduate degrees including postgraduate scholarships, loans and government funding schemes. Some funds cover, or contribute to, tuition fees others provide living expenses. There is also support for costs like childcare. You may find that your study is tax deductible too.
The Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) is a Commonwealth postgraduate scholarship that is available through participating universities. APA provides financial support to undertake a higher degree by research (Masters or PhD). The APA stipend contributes to annual living expenses for the duration of the degree: two years for Masters and up to three years and six months for PhD students. There are also university-specific and course-specific postgraduate scholarships available.
Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) subsidise fees so students pay a contribution rather than full tuition. CSP are offered in most public universities and at selected private institutions, but are not applicable to all courses. There’s also the Research Training Scheme (RTS) where participating higher education institutions may absorb tuition fees providing study is completed within the specified period. Each institution has its own RTS postgraduate policy.
Student loans for postgraduate fees
FEE-HELP is a Commonwealth government interest-free loan scheme that enables you to defer tuition fees for postgraduate study. Some postgraduate courses are also eligible for Commonwealth income support. There are private postgraduate loan schemes also.
Combining work and study
Some universities offer Graduate Assistantships for PhD students in specific disciplines like STEM. Under this scheme students get a tax-free stipend, are paid to teach part-time and may receive additional funding during their candidature.
Postgraduate study delivers a sound return on investment. The time, money and effort you put in today will reward you with greater opportunities and earning potential in the future.
Author: STEM Contributor
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