Tertiary Access Payment (Higher Education)

The Tertiary Access Payment encourages and assists 2020 high school leavers (or equivalent qualification) from outer regional and remote areas to relocate to undertake full time study in an undergraduate course at a CQUniversity campus or CQUni Regional University Centre in 2021.

Scholarship Value: $5,000

Length of Scholarship: 1 (One) Year

Number Available: 543

Opening Date: 01 January 2021

Closing Date: 30 September 2021

Study LevelUndergraduate; Postgraduate (Course work)
Year of StudyFuture; First year
CitizenshipAustralian Citizen; Permanent Resident; Permanent Humanitarian Visa; New Zealand Citizen
Study RegionAll
Study ModeAll modes
Study LoadAll loads

To be eligible to receive the Tertiary Access Payment successful applicants must:
  • Have completed year 12 or the equivalent qualification in 2020*
  • Be enrolled or intending to enrol at CQUniversity in Term 1 or 2, 2021
  • Be from an outer-regional, remote or very remote area where the family home is at least 90 minutes by public transport from a CQUniversity Campus or CQUniversity Regional University Centre
  • Be relocating to study at CQUniversity
  • Be enrolled in any of the following eligible courses with a duration of at least one academic year:
    • Diploma
    • Advanced Diploma
    • Associate Degree
    • Bachelor (with or without Honours)
    • Graduate Certificate
    • Graduate Diploma
  • Studying internally on a CQUni Campus or studying by distance from a CQUniversity Cooma, Geraldton, Karratha, Murray Bridge or Port Pirie Regional University Centre
  • Studying with a full-time term study load (unless extenuating circumstances, disability or medical conditions apply)
  • Whose parent/s or guardian/s have a combined income of less than $250,000 per year
  • Not have received a CQUniversity Tertiary Access Payment before

*The minimum age for a student to be eligible is 16 years (applicants who are independent and aged 15 are eligible).  The maximum age is 22 years at time they commence their course, noting some students may have taken a break during their secondary studies for reasons outside of their control such as medical reasons or emergencies, or have completed their Year 12 qualification over multiple years.

The Tertiary Access Payments will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis on receiving a complete application and then assessed against the eligibility criteria.

Please note that payment allocations may be exhausted before the end of the advertised application closing date.


The Tertiary Access Payment provided to full-time students is exempt from income tax as per Section 51.10, 2.1A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

Impacts on Centrelink Benefits

The Tertiary Access Payment is considered an equity or merit-based scholarship by Services Australia. This means it won’t be counted as ordinary income when Services Australia are determining whether an Applicant is eligible for other income support payments, like Youth Allowance. However, Services Australia will consider these scholarships as income if the Applicant receives other scholarships with a combined total of more than $8,355 per year. This may affect the payment rate of other student payments the Applicant is receiving. 


As a part of the evaluation process of the Tertiary Access Payment program, recipients may be invited to provide feedback either to CQUniversity or to the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment. 

Payment of Scholarship

The successful applicant is required to enter their current financial institution details (banking details) into their MyCQU for payment to occur.  This must be done prior to Census Date to avoid delays.

Payment will be made as follows:

$3,000 in first term of study

$2,000 in second term of study

Payment will be made to the successful applicants before Week 6 after final post Census date eligibility checks. Payments will be credited electronically to the student's nominated bank account.

All applications must include the following supporting documents:

  • Evidence of Australian or New Zealand Citizenship (birth or Citizenship certificate or passport), permanent residency or holder of a humanitarian visa (Australian Visa)
  • Proof of identity (in addition to evidence of citizenship or residency) such as Australian driver's licence, Australian or foreign passport or proof of age card.
  • Proof of residence in an outer regional, remote or very remote area in Australia (electricity bill, vehicle registration etc)
  • Supporting document that shows intention to relocate (Eg Application CQUni Student Residences Accommodation Application, tenancy application or agreement, utilities connection or account/bill etc). Applicants will be followed up to provide confirmation of the new address once the  relocation has occurred. (tenancy agreement, updated address on driver’s licence etc)
  • Parent/s or guardian/s 2019/2020 Australian Taxation Office Notice of Assessment or Centrelink Income Statement (if not parents receive Centrelink benefits not requiring a tax return to be lodged)

To apply for the Tertiary Access Payment, complete an online Scholarship Application Form, ensuring all supporting documentation is attached:

For Current students (applicants who already have a Student ID number) apply through MyCQU. You will need to log in with your student details.

For Future students (applicants who have applied or are intending to apply to study at CQUniversity but not yet received or accepted an offer) apply now

Complete Applications must be received by Student Scholarships by 5pm DST on the closing date.

Applicants will be notified as soon as possible following the assessment of their application. Please note that applications are assessed on a first-come, first-served basis on receiving a complete application. Payment allocations may be exhausted before the end of the advertised application period.
Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment