Financial wellbeing

If you are doing it tough financially – whether it be that you aren’t sure how you’ll afford your course or have the bills stacking up – there are a range of financial services to help keep you afloat.

Scholarships, loans and grants are all available, as is external financial support for example HECS-HELP, Centrelink, Study in Australia and International Student Welfare Services Hub. The University’s career services can also help you to find a job.

If financial concerns are causing you stress or anxiety, book an appointment with a Wellbeing Advisor. This Student Wellbeing Services flyer provides information about the key support available to students at University of Newcastle.

Seeking help at University of Newcastle

Domestic Students and International Students

Student hardship vouchers are available to students in financial hardship who demonstrate genuine need and whose continued study might be placed in jeopardy without additional assistance. These vouchers can be provided as a physical or electronic voucher. To apply please email completed documentation to Student Loans and Welfare.

How to apply

  • Hardship Voucher Form (PDF, 493KB)
  • Two forms of identification including your student card
  • Current Bank statements (all accounts you hold, full month of transactions)
  • Centrelink Income Statement and/or pay slips or payment advice from employers

Eligibility

Applications for Hardship Vouchers will only be considered from students who:

  • Are currently enrolled
  • Demonstrate financial hardship

Maximum voucher amount

Eligible students may be provided up to $200 in an academic year.

Domestic Students Only

Student Hardship Grants are available for students experiencing extreme financial hardship. Hardship Grants are provided to help with accommodation costs, basic living costs (including medical), textbooks and course material/equipment costs and transport costs. To apply please email completed documentation to Student Loans and Welfare.

How to apply

  • Financial Assistance Application Form (PDF, 588KB)
  • Two forms of identification including your student card
  • Current Bank statements (all accounts you hold, full month of transactions)
  • Centrelink Income Statement and/or pay slips or payment advice from employers
  • Valid evidence of costs (bills, rent receipts, housing bonds, textbook quote etc.)

Eligibility

Applications for Hardship Grants will only be considered from students who:

  • Are currently enrolled
  • Have completed at least one semester of study
  • Are in good academic standing
  • Demonstrate financial hardship
  • Demonstrate the inability to make loan payments

Maximum hardship grant amount

Eligible students may be provided up to $2000 in an academic year.

Policy

Hardship Grants Procedure Policy

Domestic Students Only

Student Placement Grants are available for those required to complete a practical component as part of their degree. These grants are provided to covers costs directly associated with placements. Students may be granted $300, $500 or $750. This may also include grocery and/or petrol vouchers. To apply please email completed documentation to Student Loans and Welfare.

How to apply

  • Financial Assistance Application Form (PDF, 588KB)
  • Two forms of identification including your student card
  • Current Bank statements (all accounts you hold, full month of transactions)
  • Centrelink Income Statement and/or pay slips or payment advice from employers
  • Evidence of placement (screenshot of SONIA, placement letter or placement email)
  • Placement accommodation costs/quotes
  • Estimate of transport costs (screenshot of fuel calculator, screenshot of travel or quote for transport tickets)
  • Other placement related costs i.e. uniform, certificates and/or placement related equipment

Eligibility

Applications for Placement Grants will only be considered from students who:

  • Are currently enrolled
  • Have completed at least one semester of study
  • Are in good academic standing
  • Can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of completing placement.

IMPORTANT: Placement Grants will not be issued to cover loss of wages while students are on placement.

Maximum hardship grant amount

Eligible students may be provided up to $750 in an academic year.

Policy

Hardship Grants Procedure Policy

Domestic Students and International Students

Student Laptop Grants are available to students who do not have access to a personal computer. These grants are provided to cover costs directly associated with purchasing a personal computer. To apply please email completed documentation to Student Loans and Welfare.

How to apply

  • Financial Assistance Application Form (PDF, 588KB)
  • Two forms of identification including your student card
  • Current Bank statements (all accounts you hold, full month of transactions)
  • Centrelink Income Statement and/or pay slips or payment advice from employers
  • Valid evidence of costs (screenshot of what you wish to purchase, quote of personal computer and/or repair quote). Please be aware the University offers software for your personal computer

Eligibility

Applications for Laptop Grants will only be considered from students who:

  • Are currently enrolled
  • Have completed at least one semester of study
  • Are in good academic standing
  • Demonstrate financial hardship

Maximum laptop grant amount

Eligible students may be provided up to $750.

Domestic Students and International Students

To apply for a textbook please email completed documentation to Student Loans and Welfare. Textbooks are offered on a first in first served basis for students. Please check available stock and if your recommended textbook is listed please apply.

How to apply

Eligibility

Applications for Student Textbooks will only be considered from students who:

  • Are currently enrolled
  • Demonstrate financial hardship
  • Not receiving a scholarship above $3,000.

Stocks are limited to the texts in the following list: Textbook for students in financial hardship

Domestic Students and International Students

Student loans are interest-free loans that are available on a short term basis to students who demonstrate genuine need and whose continued study might be placed in jeopardy without additional assistance. To apply please email completed documentation to Student Loans and Welfare.

How to apply

  • Financial Assistance Application Form (PDF, 588KB)
  • Two forms of identification including your student card
  • Current Bank statements (all accounts you hold, full month of transactions)
  • Centrelink Income Statement and/or pay slips or payment advice from employers
  • Valid evidence of costs (bills, rent receipts, housing bonds, textbook quote etc.)

Eligibility

Applications for loans will only be considered from students who:

  • Are currently enrolled
  • Have completed at least one semester of study
  • Are in good academic standing
  • Do not have any outstanding debts owed to The University of Newcastle
  • Demonstrate ability to meet the required loan repayments without experiencing financial hardship
  • Ensure that a loan will not put them in further financial difficulty

Loans will not be issued for:

  • Expenses not directly associated with essential course-related endeavours
  • The purpose of income support where a student has failed to investigate employment to support their studies
  • University fees or fines, including payment plans and tuition fees.

IMPORTANT: When students are unable to make loan repayments according to the agreed schedule there are consequences that they need to be aware of. These may include holds being placed on all student accounts and referrals to debt collection agencies for external review.

Maximum loan amount

Eligible students may borrow up to $2000 in an academic year.

Policy

Loans Scheme Procedure Policy

Domestic Students and International Students

Work and Development Orders (WDO) are a way to help people who can’t pay their NSW Revenue fines through unpaid work, courses and treatment programs. The University can sponsor domestic and international students in financial hardship with a WDO by recording attendance to face to face class as payment towards student’s fines. To apply please email completed documentation to Student Loans and Welfare.

How to apply

  • Financial Assistance Application Form (PDF, 588KB)
  • Two forms of identification including your student card
  • Current Bank statements (all accounts you hold, full month of transactions)
  • Centrelink Income Statement and/or pay slips or payment advice from employers
  • Valid evidence of fine (Work Development Order can only cover NSW Revenue fines)

For more information regarding WDO please go to: https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/fines-and-fees/cant-pay-your-debt.

Eligibility

Applications for Work Development Order will only be considered from students who:

  • Are currently enrolled
  • Demonstrate financial hardship

Financial tips

Budgeting

A budget shows you if you are spending more or less than you can afford. It enables you to direct your money to where it matters most, so you can stay on top of bills and start putting money towards your future.

It is helpful to look at the money going in and out across a whole year. Include regular payments such as your rent, phone and electricity, car or public transport. It is helpful to us an app or a website to work out your budget, we recommend Budget Planner.

Budget Planner

To work out your budget you should check your bank statements, bills, credit card statements, receipts and shopping dockets, doing this will help you to work out all your expenses. Use your best guess if there iss anything you cannot find or if bill amounts vary across the year.

TIP: Download your bank’s App so you can check your bank balance at least 3 times a week.

Incude the money that you receive or are paid over the time period. This could include your pay from your full-time or part-time job, any casual work, your pension, government benefits, child support payments and any money form of investment. If your income is variable, make an estimate based on the past year's earnings.

When working out your money priorities, think about which items you need for your basic living expenses and which are extras or things you could maybe do without if you need to save some money.

Once you have a budget in place try and stick to it so that you can track your spending.

We recommend the TrackMySPEND application as it allows you to add your spending on the go.

Major overspending can lead to a debt spiral and severe problems for the future, so keeping track of your spending and sticking to your budget is important.

TIP: Preparing meals at home can save $40-50 per week, reuse dinner leftovers and use the survival stations all over the campuses to reheat your food. Skipping that $4.50 coffee everyday can save you $90 over 4 weeks!

Save on Food

Easiest ways to save money are:

  • Change bad habits and save the money that isn’t spent
  • Save with a friend and give each other encouragement
  • Save on clothes
  • Find savings on food, groceries, electricity and water
  • Reduce your bank fees.

For more details on how save money visit MoneySmart.

Utilities

If you have having difficulties paying your utilities bills take a look at this useful guide to services available to assist you.

Steps that may assist in paying your utilities are:

  • Reduce your usage
  • Contact your provider – make sure you are getting the best deal
  • Apply for a rebate or voucher
  • See a financial counsellor
  • Make a complaint

Paying your utility bills

Scams & Risks

Ask the right questions

  • What is your name and what company do you represent?
  • Who owns your company?
  • what is your address?

If they avoid answering these questions, the deal they are offering you is probably a scam.

Do your own checks

  • Always do your own research on a company
  • Check the company’s Australian Fincancial Services (AFS) licence

Protect your personal information

  • Do not give out any personal, banking or credit card information to anyone
  • Check your bank and credit card statements every month
  • Destroy all documents with your personal information on them
  • Choose passwords that are hard to work out and never share your password with anyone else
  • Avoid using the same password
  • Be careful what you post online and, if you can, try to limit what you share.
  • Make sure your privacy settings are up to date on social media accounts and share personal information with ‘friends only’

Secure your computer and mobile device by using private passwords

  • Delete and do not open any unsolicited or suspicious emails you receive, and if you have opened them, do not click on any links in these emails.
  • Enable security settings on your computer and mobile devices and install current anti-virus programs.

Reduce telemarketing calls

  • You can put your name on the Do Not Call Register to remove your name from telemarketing phone lists.

Avoiding scams

Work

Finding work

Work for International Students

International students can only work part-time to comply with their student visa conditions.

The Australian Government allows International Students who hold a student visa to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during semester period and unlimited hours during semester breaks and vacation periods.

Be sure to research all the details relating to your permission to work while on a student visa.

Finding part-time work depends on a number of things, including your English language proficiency and your own motivation to actively search work. Remember to bring relevant documents with you to Australia that may assist you to apply for part-time work, such as reference letters from previous employers.

To be eligible to work in Australia you will need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN).

For more information, please visit Conditions for Working While Studying by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Minimum wages and enterprise agreements

Be aware of minimum wages and conditions.

Starting Work

Tips on resumes and interviews

To receive assistance with your resume and/or interview techniques either have a one or one or attend a workshop. Go to Careers for more details.

Other Help

Moneycare - Free Financial Counselling on Campus

Moneycare - Free Financial Counselling on Campus is available on selected Tuesdays during March for more details please go to  event details.

Community services

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) provides individuals and families on low incomes with access to safe, fair and affordable credit. Loans are between $300 and $1,200 for essential goods and services such as fridges, washing machines and medical procedures. Repayments are set up at an affordable amount over 12 to 18 months. To be eligible for NILS you must have a Health Care Card or earn less than $45,000 a year (after tax). Loans cannot be used for cash, bond, rent arrears, debt consolidation, holidays or bills.

Find a financial counsellors

Accommodation  

TIP: Remember before signing any contract know your rights as a tenant in NSW

Fact: There are many different types of accommodation to choose from while you study here at Newcastle. All of them are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. The Act and the regulations set out a standard residential tenancy agreement that gives rights and obligations to landlords and tenants. The Act gives the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) power to hear and settle disputes about residential tenancies, including bond disputes.

Hunter Homeless Connection

Has Local services in Newcastle, supports available for different categories i.e. housing, food, NILS and other helpful resources, just go to: Hunter Homeless Connect Community Directory

Ask Izzy

Find the help you need, now and nearby by searching Ask Izzy.

Saver  Plus

Saver Plus supports families and individuals on a tight budget to develop lasting savings habits through a financial education program.

Cost of Living

Cost of Living is provided by the NSW Government to help ease the cost of living with more than 70 rebates and savings.

Additional support for international students

Emergency Food Assistance

Study NSW has partnered with Foodbank NSW & ACT to provide free food hampers* to international students in NSW.

Visit Study NSW to find out more.

*Limited numbers available

Centrelink eligibility

The Australian Government supplies cost-of-living allowances for eligible full-time students via Centrelink. The amount you will receive depends on variables such as your income and assets. However these are payments, not loans - you are not required to pay them back.

Resources:

Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded to many different kinds of students for a range of purposes. They aren’t just considered based on your academic performance. Perhaps you contribute to the community through sport or music. Maybe you’re from a remote town, or have financial difficulties.

Visit our scholarships page to find out what’s available and whether you may be eligible.

Find a scholarship

Moneycare - Free Financial Counselling on Campus

Moneycare - Free Financial Counselling on Campus is available on selected Tuesdays during March for more details please go to  event details.

Greater Bank Finance Academy

Greater Bank Finance Academy provided by University of Newcastle and Greater Bank to build financial literacy in the community. Educational program are available, for more details go to: Greater Bank Finance Academy.

University of Newcastle Legal Centre

The University of Newcastle Legal Centre (UNLC) is the centrepiece of the Newcastle Law School’s clinical program. UNLC offers a range of services to the public, including free legal advice and assistance, representation, law clinics and community education seminars. All of the services are overseen by our in-house lawyers and delivered together with law students. For more details please visit: University of Newcastle Legal Centre (UNLC).

University of Newcastle Students' Association Free Food

University of Newcastle Students' Association (UNSA) provides various support, services and activities. During semester Free Food Friday and various free barbecues are available. For more details please visit event page: University of Newcastle Students' Association (UNSA)

Fees Read more about financial assistance options

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.