Student Assistance Scheme (STAS)
STAS provides assistance to eligible families by waiving levies for students. It applies to students enrolled in a school from kindergarten through to year 12.
STAS is not a direct payment, but means you won’t have to pay the levy charge.
Are you eligible for STAS?
If you have a current concession card as listed below, you can apply for dependent students for assistance under the STAS:
- Services Australia – Centrelink Health Care Card
- Services Australia – Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card
- Services Australia – Pensioner Concession Card
- Department of Veteran Affairs – Pensioner Concession Card
Note: Parents/guardians must have a concession card. STAS does not apply to a student’s concession card.
More STAS eligibility conditions (please check before applying)
STAS does not apply to students in home education.
Registered non-Government (independent) schools
The school decides on financial assistance based on STAS eligibility. Parents must discuss their financial assistance eligibility directly with the school.
Catholic sector schools
Catholic sector schools directly assess eligibility for assistance to families. Queries for assistance must be directed to the school.
Grandparents caring for grandchildren
STAS is available to grandparents who are legally responsible for their grandchildren.
Grandparents must complete a STAS Application. Evidence of care/guardianship will be confirmed against school records.
Students in out of home care
Students in out of home care are automatically approved for STAS and a STAS application does not need to be completed.
Students under 18 years of age who are generally supporting themselves, and meet the Centrelink independence criteria must complete an application form at their college and provide evidence of their independent status.
Students in employment
Students in regular, paid employment which is directly associated with their course (e.g. apprenticeships and traineeships) are not eligible for STAS.
Parents living interstate
Parents/guardian applying for STAS must be residents of Tasmania.
International students are to seek advice from Government Education and Training International in relation to tuition fees and levies
Humanitarian, refugee and asylum seeker visa holders
Humanitarian, refugee, and asylum seeker visa holders, including those on relevant bridging visas, are eligible for STAS.
✍ Apply for STAS
If you are eligible, you can apply for the Student Assistance Scheme online.
Are you in financial hardship, but not eligible for STAS?
- You can contact your school directly for a confidential discussion about financial assistance. They may be able to work out payment plans or other help.
- You can contact our Financial Assistance Team for support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1800 727 055.
Our staff will keep your questions completely confidential.
These matters will also be dealt with directly with you and not through your child. Your child’s participation in learning will not be affected.
More financial assistance programs we offer
Student Accommodation Allowance
The Student Accommodation Allowance (SAA) provides financial assistance to students in Years 11 and 12 who must live away from their usual Tasmanian home in order to attend a registered Government or Non Government school.
Students are eligible if:
- they are Tasmanian residents
- their local school does not offer a complete range of subjects that will allow them to complete their full course of chosen study
- they must travel more than 40 kilometres between their usual home in Tasmania and the closest school in Tasmania offering their chosen course of study, and
- they have to make alternative accommodation arrangements.
Students are not eligible if:
- they are enrolled in courses associated with apprenticeships or traineeships
- they are interstate or overseas students who are attending Tasmanian schools, or
- their parents are residing interstate or overseas.
The allowance is not means tested.
Special provisions apply for students from the Bass Strait Islands.
A satisfactory attendance record is required in all enrolled subjects. Otherwise, the available benefit may be reduced or stopped.
SAA is $1,472 for full-time students who study for the full academic year. Payments of $736 are made twice per year to the applicant’s nominated bank account.
Part-time students receive a pro-rata SAA based on the length of their course and their level of enrolment.
The allowance is limited to a maximum of two years, unless special circumstances exist.
How to apply
Fill out the 2024 SAA Application form (PDF, 173 KB) or contact the Financial Assistance Team on 1800 827 055. You have to submit an application form for each school year.
For more information and assistance in applying for the SAA, call the Financial Assistance Team on 1800 827 055 or email email@example.com.
Spectacles Assistance Scheme
The Spectacles Assistance Scheme helps low-income families buy glasses from participating optometrists.
Eligible students must be enrolled in either:
- a Government School
- a registered Non-Government school, or
- in home education.
Their parents must hold either:
- a current Services Australia Health Care Card
- a Pensioner Concession Card
- Department of Veteran’s Affairs Concession Card.
Students in out of home care are automatically eligible for spectacles assistance.
Assistance is also available to grandparents who are legally responsible for their grandchildren.
For approved applicants, we will pay for one pair of standard prescribed lenses and standard frames. You will only receive this assistant once a year unless special circumstance apply (i.e. a prescription change).
Optometrists submit an invoice for the cost of spectacles and lenses directly to DECYP. If anything, other than standard frames and lenses are selected, you will have to pay the additional cost directly to the optometrist.
How to apply
Application forms are available from optometrists participating in the scheme. Make sure your optometrist is participating in the scheme before your appointment. Phone 1800 827 055 for details of participating optometrists.
School Uniform Exceptional Assistance Scheme
The School Uniform Exceptional Assistance Scheme provides financial assistance towards the cost of school uniforms for students in exceptional or extenuating family circumstances.
School Social Workers can be contacted for more information on this scheme.
Tasmanian Government programs
The Department of State Growth offers discounted bus fares (Child Student Fares) to students who are:
- studying full-time
- enrolled in an education facility recognised by DECYP, TasTAFE, the University of Tasmania or College of English.
If your child is eligible, they may also be entitled to free bus travel between their home and school.
Student fares and ticketing is detailed on State Growth’s Transport Services website.
Sports and recreation
The Tasmanian Government’s Ticket to Play initiative provides two vouchers worth up to $100 each towards club membership fees for children aged 5-18 years.
Children are eligible if they are:
- listed on a Services Australia Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card
- in out of home care.
The vouchers can be used at two different activity providers, or both can be used at one activity provider.
Australian Government programs
There are several types of financial assistance available from the Australian Government. They are subject to eligibility criteria.
The types of allowances available are listed on the Services Australia website. For further information, call Service Australia’s Youth and Student Services on 13 24 90.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) provides the following for 5- to 25-year-old eligible students:
- financial assistance
- student support services
- guidance and counselling services.
This assistance is available through the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS).
Refer to the DVA website or call 1800 838 372 for further information.