More will get Youth Allowance

THE Federal Government will remove the distinction between inner and outer regional areas, so all students who live away from home can get Independent Youth Allowance.

As part of a $256 million package, students from inner regional areas will be able to access Independent Youth Allowance under the same rules that applied to students from Outer Regional, Remote and Very Remote areas.

The amendment recognised that students from regional areas experienced higher costs in relocating for study and there would be an increase in the value of relocation scholarships for eligible students from regional areas.

From January 1 next year, eligible regional students would receive a Relocation Scholarship of $4000 for the first year of study, $2000 for the second and third years and $1000 for any subsequent years.

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said this met the government's commitment to eliminate regional eligibility distinctions for Youth Allowance.

Senator Evans said an additional 25,000 students had accessed Youth Allowance, an increase of 18% in just over a year.

New figures released by the government this week showed more students from low- and middle-income families were accessing dependent Youth Allowance - an increase of 21,342 students and more students were taking advantage of the lowering of the age of independence from 25 to 23 - an increase of 29,441.

For information, visit http://www.centrelink.gov.au.

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