Four-hundred new Charles Sturt University (CSU) students will benefit from up to $2 million in funding after CSU announced their Tertiary Access Payment (TAP) program on Tuesday.
The new program is designed to support rural, regional and remote school-leavers entering their first year of university studies.
Payments of up to $5000 are available to students who meet the eligibility criteria and are aimed at assisting with relocation costs while providing an incentive for enrolling in university study straight after leaving high school.
CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students) Ms Jenny Roberts said she welcomed the opportunity to assist students to study at Charles Sturt.
"There should not be barriers for students from regional, rural and remote locations to obtain a tertiary education in Australia," she said.
"The Tertiary Access Payment allows us to assist 400 students to undertake their degree at Charles Sturt University while alleviating some of the financial pressures that can come with relocating.
"We welcome the TAP program at Charles Sturt University and look forward to helping students achieve their education goals while living and working in regional NSW."
The TAP program was developed in response to the National Regional, Rural and Remote Tertiary Education Strategy (Napthine Review), which identified a city-country divide in tertiary education.
Released in August 2019, the report was compiled by the Regional Education Expert Advisory Group and included a number of recommendations to help reduce inequalities in tertiary education including improving online study options, increasing financial support available, improve career advice and study pathways in regional, rural and remote schools, and boost participation and opportunities among affected groups including Indigenous students and students with a disability.
Ms Roberts said that the TAP program differed from normal CSU scholarships that were available.
"There is specific criteria that must be addressed as part of the application and all applications will be reviewed in order of receipt (as is a requirement of the funding) and assessed for eligibility.
"Therefore it is important that prospective students who have received an offer to Charles Sturt University and who meet the eligibility criteria, get their applications completed as soon as possible to give them the best chance of receiving the TAP."
Tertiary Access Payments will be made in two payments after census date in Sessions 1 and 2, and students will be eligible if they meet the following criteria:
- come from an outer regional, remote or very remote area. Eligibility for this can be checked with Centrelink
- starting a course in the first available study period having completed year 12 or equivalent and are under the age of 22
- relocating to study at a Charles Sturt University campus at least 90 minutes away from their family home
- enrolling in a Certificate IV or higher qualification with a minimum duration of 12 months
- enrolling in a full-time study load (75 per cent minimum) over 12 months
- Parents' or guardians' combined income does not exceed $250,000
Ms Roberts said anyone who isn't eligible for the TAP program could still apply for a wide range of CSU scholarships.
There are currently over 170 different types of scholarships and grants, each with different eligibility criteria, that are currently open for application online.
More information about the TAP program and how to apply is available on the CSU website.
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