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New scholarship program to ease boarding school fees

Eligible families across regional, rural and remote Australia will be able to apply for up to $20,000 per year to go towards boarding school fees from today, Monday 23 October 2023.

Assistant Minister for Education & Regional Development, Senator Anthony Chisholm said the Commonwealth Regional Scholarship Program will help reduce the cost of boarding school for secondary students from regional, rural and remote communities.

“We’re committed to supporting all students and their families, no matter where they live, to access the education they need to help them achieve their goals,” Assistant Minister Chisholm said.

“Students in country areas are less likely to complete Year 12 and pursue further studies at university or TAFE, so we know there is an education gap for these students.

“Today’s announcement is about ensuring we provide more opportunities to help secondary school students living outside of our major cities and towns to succeed at school and further their studies.”

Up to 100 scholarships will be available under the pilot program. Fifty scholarships of $20,000 per student, per year will be available to support low-income families meet the cost of boarding school.

A second tier of scholarships worth $10,000 per student per year will also be available to 50 students from low-to-middle-income families experiencing financial hardship.

Assistant Minister Chisholm also praised the advocacy of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) who welcomed today’s announcement. Federal President, Ms Louise Martin, said the program reflects the additional financial burden associated with education costs and fluctuating incomes common to families from regional, rural and remote areas.

Regional Education Commissioner, Ms Fiona Nash, said families from regional, rural and remote communities are often challenged by the limited options available for their children’s education.

“This scholarship program will have a positive impact on families by helping children who might otherwise not be able to access high quality education because of where they live,” Ms Nash said.

Assistant Minister Chisholm thanked the Regional Education Commissioner for her input into the design of the program.

The pilot program provides scholarships for up to six years so students can be supported until they complete Year 12 or equivalent.

Find out more information about the program here.

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