Support for low income and disadvantaged students

We acknowledge that many students may experience financial difficulties at some time. There are a range of services and supports that may assist you if you are experiencing financial hardship.

For information on special entry schemes and ways to get a place at University go to Pathways to La Trobe.

COVID19 financial support

Visit our specific COVID19 financial support page.

Financial counselling

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you may benefit from seeing a financial counsellor.

You can access free financial counselling via La Trobe's Financial counselling service.

International students

Payments are available for on-shore enrolled international students experiencing significant financial hardship. This fund is part of the International Education Resilience Fund (IERF) by the Victorian Government to support our international students most impacted by COVID-19. International students who received an International Student Aid Bursary earlier this year may apply again.

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be an international student located on-shore
  • Have been enrolled in a La Trobe University course as of 31 March 2022
  • Be physically residing in Victoria

You will need to demonstrate you have experienced exceptional circumstances of financial hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic arising or due to other extreme personal circumstances.

Based on Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances, these include but are not limited to the following:

  • Serious illness or injury;
  • Death of close family members such as parents or grandparents;
  • Major political upheaval or natural disaster in the home country which has impacted on your studies;
  • A traumatic experience which could include involvement in, or witnessing of, a serious accident; or witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime; when this has impacted on you;
  • Facing any technology related issues that are impacting on your studies.

Please ensure you have proof of documentation related to your circumstances and include a personal statement.

Emergency Aid Application

Emergency Aid is a one-off payment of AUD$250 to support students in crisis for one-off unexpected emergencies that will have a negative effect on a student’s wellbeing. It is paid via a digital prepaid Mastercard that is sent directly to your mobile phone.

Your smart phone must have NFC technology enabled to receive the payment. NFC technology powers contactless payments via mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Check that your phone has this technology enabled prior to applying for the Emergency Aid payment.

If your phone is not NFC enabled, contact the scholarships team before applying.


To be eligible you need to:

  • Have a current enrolment at La Trobe University.
  • Be studying and located in Australia.
  • Not have had an Emergency Aid payment in the current semester.
  • Not have any La Trobe financial sanctions (you can check this on StudentOnLine). *You may be eligible to apply again once your sanctions are cleared.

Note: students enrolled with partner institutions are not eligible for Emergency Aid.

Emergency Aid applications will be processed up to 1 (one) business day after the application is received.

All iPhones from the iPhone 6 and above are NFC technology enabled. To check an Android phone, go to the settings app, connections, then NFC/ Contactless payments. You may need to search online for instructions to enable NFC on your Android phone.

If successful, it will be paid the same day via a digital prepaid Mastercard which will be sent directly to your mobile phone via text message. It will be important that your mobile phone number is current and correct in StudentOnLine.

You will need to follow the instructions in the text message to download the Universal Gift Card App to begin using your digital card.

The prepaid digital Mastercard card can be used in-store via Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay wallet, or online by tapping the card image to reveal the card details.

It can be used anywhere that a physical Mastercard can be used, however you cannot redeem the card balance for cash.

If you have a small amount of credit left on the card and can’t use it on a split payment transaction, you can put the remaining balance towards credit on a future bill.

If you have any questions, please respond to your successful notification email for assistance.

Please contact Corporate Prepaid Cards on 1300 181 032 or

Community and Government services

Infoxchange - Search for Community Services in your area

DSS Grants Service Directory - Search for Emergency Relief and other government-supported services in your area

The Department of Human Services has a Bond Loan Scheme you can use to pay your rental bond.

The Victorian Government Housing Website has information and resources that may assist you in finding housing or staying in your current home. This website also has information about applying for public housing or community housing.

If you are experiencing difficulties in paying your utility bills you may benefit from the Utility Relief Grant.

You may be eligible for a Victorian Public Transport Concession Card. You will receive your public transport tertiary concession card application form in your La Trobe Student email within 24 hours of you meeting all of the eligibility criteria.

  • Check you are enrolled on a full time basis (at least 0.375 EFTSL per semester) via StudentOnLine. If you have submitted a variation to enrolment form you may not meet the public transport concession card eligibility criteria until this form is processed (i.e. the subject appears as enrolled on StudentOnLine)
  • Check your application for your student ID card has been approved. You will receive a photo approval email when your photo has been processed and your card is printed (this is different to the upload confirmation email you will receive - please visit Getting your student ID card). Your public transport concession card application form cannot be prepared until your student ID card is approved.

You may be eligible for a Health Care Card, even if you are not entitled to other Centrelink benefits. Health Care Cards may provide a range of benefits, including discounts on some utility bills.

Student Start-Up Loans are available through Centrelink for full-time students who are studying an approved course and receiving Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY.

If you are regional student and experiencing financial difficulties in getting student travel passes to get to and from University, Travellers Aid may able to assist you. For application and more details please read VLine Travel Assistance.