Budgeting and Financial Aids - International Students


There are a number of facets to consider when budgeting for costs at university: tuition fees, accommodation fees, course expenses like textbooks and materials, and general living expenses.
  • Education Costs

According to Study in Australia, the official government site for international students, tuition fees per year for international students at different levels are:
  • Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree range from AU$15,000 (US$14,005) to AU$33,000 (US$30,810);
  • Postgraduate Master’s Degree ranges from AU$20,000 (US$18,673) to $37,000 (US$34,546);
  • Doctoral Degree from AU$14,000 (US$13,071) to $37,000 (US$34,546). 
For an international undergraduate degree per year, Australian National University (ANU) charges from AU$24,746 (US$22,830) for many Bachelor of Arts programs, to AU$59,573 (US$55,551) for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. For graduate level programs, annual fees are from AU$24,746 (US$22,830) for a few master’s programs and up to AU$31,601 (US$29,466) for the majority of PhD programs.

Tuition fees are generally calculated per unit, not per degree. Each unit falls into a fee band, and most students will be studying a combination of units from different bands, which means that the fees will be different for everybody. But some universities publish estimates, such as Australian National University (ANU – the top-ranking Australian university in 2013). As an international student, the tuition fees are payable before the study.
  • Living Cost

Living costs include accommodation, food and bills, and clothing as necessary, and will vary according to the lifestyle one pursues. The estimated annual cost for a single student living in Australia comes to a total of approximately AU $18,610. As a general guide, the average international student in Australia spends about AU $1,550 per month (approximately AU $390 per week) on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transport, international and domestic travel, telephone, and incidental costs (AU $18,610 per year).

Types of Financial Aids

i. Student Loan: Hitting the books overseas is expensive, and many students struggle to fund their international studies. A Student loan can cover up to the total cost of attendance, as determined by your school, minus any other assistance received. Few of the costs your international student loan will cover:
  • Tuition
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Travel and transportation
  • Health insurance
  • Living expenses
ii. Scholarship: A scholarship is a financial award given to a student on the basis of academic accomplishment and promise. There are assortment of scholarships provided by the Australian government, individual educational institutions, and other organizations that target specific fields of study or students from various regions of the globe.

iii. Income Support & Bursaries: Income support & Bursaries are necessary to enable the broader participation and eventual success for many students. Student Income support include Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY.

iv. Youth Assistance: Youth Assistance offers financial assistance for young people who are studying full time, undertaking a full-time Australian Apprenticeship or training, looking for work or sick.

Financial Aid & its Types

Each University has different amounts that a student can borrow for long term loans. Long term financial aid loans are for the following uses:
  • Class costs
  • Living costs
  • Other school related costs

Evaluation Criterion for Students Loans

Applicants for Financial aid are looked at by a University Student Loans fund committee. The University Fund committee looks at:
  • Student’s personal income and well as his or her parent’s income
  • Require the student to submit their expenditure for the upcoming school year i.e. demonstrated financial need
  • Academic results and school progress
  • Citizen or eligible non-citizen of the country
  • Not be in default on any other federal loan
It is imperative for prospective students to be well devised with their financial budgeting and future prospects.


For International Students, a guarantor from the student home country such as mother or father will most likely be acceptable for a majority of the Australian Universities.  A guarantor is somebody who gets full responsibility to pay back the debt of the borrowed loan if the student is not able to repay the loan sum. A guarantor must be at least 21 years of age and must have full time employment or have enough assets to pay off the loan.

The significant thing about financial assistance from Australian Universities is that Loans granted to students are interest-free up to the agreed upon repayment date. Interest is charged to a student total amount of an overdue payment.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Every University has their own way to apply for financial aid. Contact the prospective University by phone for more information or go the Universities website and locate financial aid and/or loan information sections.

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