Plan Your Career

Funding your Education in Australia

You will need to decide and select your funding sources before you apply to a University in Australia. This is very important as many universities will ask you to mention whether you wish to apply for a scholarship or not in the application form itself. You should not answer this question until and unless you are very sure.

Not only that, but to apply for the Australian student visa, you will need to prove that you have sufficient funds available with you so as to study and live in Australia for the first 18 months of your course.

It becomes important to have finalized your funding before you apply to a university so that your education does not suffer later on due to the mismanagement or lack of funds. Clarity about their funding sources helps international students make decisions regarding scholarships and visa applications.

The first thing you need to is to calculate the total costs that you will have to incur while studying in Australia. This will include the tuition fee, living costs and personal expenses. Estimates of all these will be mentioned on the university websites.

Compare the total costs of studying a Bachelors degree in Australia with the total funds you have at your disposal and answer the following questions:

Will my parents be able to afford this university/course?

If yes, then what will be the source of funding?

And if not, then are there any financial aids available?

The best situation is in which you have sufficient funds to study and live in Australia for the whole duration of your degree.

However, if you feel that the course/university is beyond your budget, then try considering the factors that affect your total expenditure while in Australia. It is possible that you might have to choose a university which is more affordable.

If the total costs still exceed your budget, then you should consider applying for a scholarship or any other form of financial aid that is available for Indian students who wish to study an undergraduate course in Australia.

Financial Aids and Scholarships:

There are a variety of financial aids and scholarships available for international students who want to study in Australia. Even though a majority of these are available at the Post – Graduate and Doctoral levels, there are a significant number of scholarships that help international undergraduate students fund their education.

Merit – Based Scholarships

This is the most common form of financial aid available to international students in Australia. Merit – Based Scholarships are awarded to brilliant students with an exceptional record in academics, sport or arts etc. The purpose of such scholarships is to attract the best and most gifted students to Australian universities.

Most of these scholarships are awarded by the universities to their students. The amount and value of these scholarships differs from university to university.

 For example, at the University of Melbourne, there are 3 types of merit – based scholarships for international students. One allows students a 100% remittance from tuition fees for the whole duration of the degree whereas another allows students a 50% remittance. The third type awards students a one – off 10,000 Australian Dollars remittance from the first year of the degree course.

On the other hand, at the Deakin University, the nature of merit – based scholarships is completely different and international students can receive the academic scholarship which gives students a cash payment of up to 7,500 Australian Dollars per year for the whole duration of the course.

Some merit – based scholarships are also offered by a particular academic department of a university. For example, at the University of Sydney, the Faculty of Engineering & Information Technologies offers a ‘Dr Abdul Kalam International Undergraduate Tuition Fee Scholarship’ which awards gifted students in the field of engineering and technology a 50% fee remittance of the tuition fee for a maximum period of 1 year.

Keep in mind that all such scholarships might not necessarily fund your education completely but can certainly make studying in Australia more affordable for you. However, getting these scholarships is not easy and you will generally need an exceptional academic record to be awarded one.

Each university has its own set of merit – based scholarships and it is best to go through the university website and see the types of scholarships available for international students and their application procedure.

Need Based Scholarships

Need – based scholarships are awarded to students facing financial difficulties in funding their education. Unlike the U.S, there are very few universities that offer such scholarships in Australia.

However, some universities like the Australian Catholic University offer various types of scholarships to internationals student on the basis of financial need. Even though need – based scholarships/grants are usually smaller in their value as compared to merit – based scholarships, they can play a vital role in helping you realize your dream of studying in Australia.

Australian Awards Scholarships

The Australian Government also offers scholarships called ‘Australia Awards’ for international students at both the undergraduate and post graduate levels. The aim of these scholarships is to contribute towards the long term development of Australia’s neighboring countries.

They are available for students who meet certain eligibility criteria. These scholarships include the full tuition fee amount along with return air travel, a small contribution towards the living expenses and the payment for the health insurance (OSHC).

Students who receive these scholarships will have to agree to certain conditions including one that states that they will have to leave Australia for a minimum of 2 years after they complete their scholarship.

Keep in mind that these scholarships are generally offered to students pursuing a particular stream only. For the year 2014, these scholarships were awarded to students who were studying or working in a field related to water management.


Apart from the above financial aids that are offered by colleges and universities, International students can apply for loans in various national and international banks. These loans are provided to students who meet certain criteria that can range from exceptional academic recordsto the availability of collateral.

Indian banks are more likely to provide you with such loans as compared to international banks. It is advisable to go to the bank and find out whether you’re eligible for such loans and if yes, then what would be the terms and conditions of the loan.

Part – Time Work

Working part – time alongside your studies in Australia is a great way to help with the funding of your education. However, this is only applicable if you have sufficient funds for the tuition fee but not for other expenses, as the earnings from such work are very less.

Keep in mind that working part – time will not generate a significant – enough income to allow you to fund your tuition fees as you will only be allowed to work for 40 hours per fortnight and not more. Also, the type of salaries from such work will generally be very less, ranging from 10 – 15 Australian Dollars per hour. However, working part – time can certainly help you part – fund your living expenses so that studying in Australia becomes more affordable for you.

How to apply for such scholarships and aids?

Getting any form of scholarship is a very difficult task and you will need an exceptional academic record to receive one. You will have to take the initiative and approach universities, banks and external organizations.

The first thing you need to do to get a scholarship or any other form of financial aid is research. Go through university websites and find out about the various forms of scholarships that they offer to international students at the undergraduate level. Contact banks, both national and international, and find out about the availability of educational loans.

It can also be beneficial to visit the Indian and Australian Government websites and go through their sections on undergraduate education and scholarships.

Some universities might require you to fill in separate forms for scholarships while some include the scholarship application in their main application form.

Go through the eligibility criteria for a scholarship beforehand to make sure that you’re not ineligible. It is advisable that you apply for as many scholarships and financial aids as possible, provided that you meet their eligibility criteria.

Find out and apply for scholarships and aids early so that you do not miss their deadlines.

Keep in mind that you should not rely on receiving any such scholarship until and unless you’ve been confirmed that you will be receiving it in due time. There are thousands of applicants for any scholarship and you will only be awarded one if you are considered to be the best and most suitable out of all the other candidates.

Study in Australia