Student life – structure your study so it’s affordable
Financially, being a student has it’s challenges. It’s important to get a clear view of your finances, and how you can structure your study so you can afford to live.
On this page:
What costs do you need to think about?
There is some financial help available. You may be able to get the Student Allowance for example. But you may still need to work to make ends meet.
Do the numbers - use the calculators on this website to find out what things could cost and what you could get. Then think about your choices.
What’s student life like? What costs do you need to think about?
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If you're leaving school, you might be keen to leave town and get a flat. Be realistic about what you can afford. If you don't have enough money to pay for basics like rent, power and groceries, you'll get stressed and your study will be affected.
If the money looks too tight, there are different things you could do. For example:
- If the course you want is available in your home town, it could be better to stay where you are and keep living with your family.
- If you have to move out of town think about whether there are friends or family you could stay with.
- You could work for a year and save money towards studying the next year.
- You could work while you study.
- Check whether you could study through an employer such as the military. The Army, Navy or Air Force would house and feed you, help you with the cost of study and give you a job when you graduate.
Whether you study full-time or part-time will affect whether you can get things like the Student Allowance and Student Loan Living Costs.
Do the numbers then shop around to find the best option for you.
What if the numbers don't stack up?
If it looks like you just can’t afford to study just yet, maybe you need to think about a long-term plan.
You can come back to it in a year and see whether things have changed.
It’s better to decide that study isn’t for you just yet, than to rush into it and find that worrying about your finances is taking over your study commitments.
Apply early - apply online
If you’re still deciding where and what to study, you can still apply, and give us the details later. The sooner, the better for peace of mind.
What if you don't like how it’s going?
If things aren’t turning out the way you’d hoped, you may be able to change the way you’re doing things to stay on track.
If you are thinking about changing your course, talk to StudyLink first, as it could affect your payments.
If you are struggling financially, talk to us. We may be able to help you.
Read about students who didn’t like how study started, but turned things around to suit them, on the Career Services website.