Commonwealth Learning Scholarship 2005

APPLICATIONS CLOSE - 5pm Monday 8th August, 2005

Beginning in 2004 the Federal Government has introduced the Commonwealth Learning Scholarships Programme to assist full-time students from low socio-economic backgrounds with costs associated with higher education. The Scholarships are open to students who are Australian citizens or holders of Australian permanent humanitarian visas. To be eligible these students must also have a Commonwealth Supported place for full-time study in an undergraduate degree. Students in a full fee-paying place (who have probably completed a FEE-HELP application) are NOT eligible.

There are two scholarships - one for educational costs and one for accommodation costs. Both will be merit based, non-repayable and will target full-time students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Eligible indigenous students are encouraged to apply. Eligible applicants can apply for both scholarships, however an individual student can only be the recipient of one scholarship at any one time. Students who are already studying at the University can apply at any time during their course. Applicants for admission to the University are also eligible to apply when submitting their admission application.

The Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (CECS) is designed to assist students with general education costs and is valued at $2,000 per year (indexed) for a maximum of four years.

The Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship (CAS) is designed to assist rural or regional students with accommodation expenses and is valued at $4,000 per year (indexed) for a maximum of four years.

Commonwealth Learning Scholarships – Who can apply?
The scholarships are open to new and continuing students who meet and are able to demonstrate the following criteria:

  • are an Australian citizen or who hold a permanent humanitarian visa;
  • are in receipt of a Commonwealth Supported place in the areas of teaching, Medicine or Nursing on the Fremantle campus, or in a Commonwealth Supported place on the Broome Campus;
  • are, or intending to be, a full-time (see definition of ‘full-time’ below), undergraduate student;
  • do not currently hold a bachelor degree or higher level award unless it forms part of the prerequisites of the current undergraduate course;
  • can demonstrate a genuine need for assistance by being in receipt of Government assistance in the form of a pension or allocation such as AusStudy, AbStudy etc;
  • demonstrating financial hardship.

Applicants for the Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship (CAS) must meet and be able to demonstrate the following additional criteria:

  • be a school leaver who has completed the final two years of schooling in a high school or college in a rural or regional area (see definition below);
  • have lived in a rural or regional area for the previous three years immediately preceding the commencement of the course. (Please note, students who were boarders in a city secondary school whose permanent residence meets this requirement are eligible to apply);
  • demonstrate that it was necessary to move away from the rural or regional area in order to undertake the course of study by showing that travel from the previous residence would be an unreasonable demand and present a barrier to meeting the requirements of the course;
  • that personal circumstance made it necessary to move to undertake the chosen course of study;
  • be enrolled as an internal student, ie be attending lectures on campus;
  • be living independently (i.e. not living with natural or adoptive parents) unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

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Full-Time Study

A full-time study load is considered to be at least 75% of the course full-time study load. For example, a student enrolled in a course that requires the completion of 24 credit points per year (12 credit points each semester) as the full-time study load must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit points per semester to be considered an equivalent full-time student.

A student who is prevented from studying a full-time load due to exceptional circumstances may submit a statement with their application form outlining these circumstances. Any submitted statement will need to be accompanied by supporting documentation. For example a student with a disability may submit a doctor's certificate, while a student with significant responsibility as a carer may submit a doctor's certificate or other health professional certificate or a statutory declaration.

The documentation provided must be such that the University will be confident in determining the student is unable to undertake a full-time load.

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Rural or Regional Definition

Rural or regional is defined as any area outside a state or territory capital city with a population less than 120,000 residents. The local Shire Council will be able to supply population statistics.

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Commonwealth Learning Scholarships – How to Apply?

  1. Interested applicants need to obtain an application form, available from Student Administration or by clicking here.
  2. Completed Application forms with supporting evidence can be returned by post or in person to the addresses below:

By post In person
Private & Confidential Private & Confidential
Scholarships Officer Scholarships Officer
The University of Notre Dame Australia Student Administration
PO Box 1225 Building ND1/107

For further information please contact the Scholarships Officer, by email or telephone on (08) 9433 0520.

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Selection Policy

The University wishes to encourage access to a university education by students who would otherwise be discouraged from attendance due to personal circumstances.

Applications are sought from students who meet all the criteria for each scholarship or can demonstrate exceptional circumstances apply.

Applications are assessed by a Scholarships Committee as part of a competitive process. Continuing students will need to have achieved a satisfactory academic performance to date. Unsatisfactory academic progress is defined in the University General Regulation 11.2 (i). Actual grade values will be considered where applicants are otherwise equal.

Students can apply for a CLS at any year level of their undergraduate enrolment.

Successful and unsuccessful candidates are informed by letter.

Continued eligibility for these awards is assessed at the start of each semester prior to forwarding the scholarship monies to the recipient. The scholarship will be terminated if a student:

  • does not continue to meet the award criteria;
  • if the full value of the scholarship has been paid;
  • after a period of deferral a scholarship recipient does not recommence studies;
  • the scholarship recipient is found guilty of serious misconduct; or
  • the scholarship recipient fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

The University will endeavour to give special consideration to indigenous students and will endeavour to award Commonwealth Scholarships in proportion to the number of indigenous students in the student body.

Students in receipt of a Commonwealth Scholarship who are transferring from another higher education institution are not able to transfer their Commonwealth Scholarship to The University of Notre Dame Australia as assessment procedures may vary between institutions. However they are eligible to apply for a new Commonwealth Scholarship in the next application round.

A student can be selected for either a CECS or CAS award but both cannot be held at the same time unless extraordinary circumstances can be demonstrated.

Applicants must be in receipt of a Commonwealth Supported place at the University on the Fremantle or Broome campus.

Offers of Commonwealth Learning Scholarships may exceed the number of scholarships on offer if the Commonwealth Learning Scholarships grant funds allow, taking into account deferrals and withdrawals.

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Selection Process

Students will be assessed on the above criteria with other applicants as part of a competitive process and will be informed in writing whether they have been successful or not.

Lodgement of an appeal against the assessment of a scholarship application can be made up to 14 days from date of the letter informing the applicant of their success or otherwise. Appeals should be addressed to the Deputy Vice Chancellor and include all relevant information and supporting documentation. The applicant will be informed of the final determination by the Deputy Vice Chancellor in writing within 14 days of receipt of an appeal.

If an applicant or scholarship recipient has a grievance they wish addressed during the selection process or during the duration of the scholarship then the grievance must be outlined in a letter addressed to the Deputy Vice Chancellor which includes all supporting documentation. The Deputy Vice Chancellor and Registrar will make a final determination on the circumstances outlined in the grievance letter and instigate an appropriate response. The applicant or scholarship recipient will be informed of the final determination by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, in writing, within 14 days of receipt of a grievance letter.

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In keeping with the University of Notre Dame's privacy policy all applications will be kept confidential and only individuals involved in the selection or appeals process will have access to the applications. The University of Notre Dame Australia abides by the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000. Information provided to the University on the CLS Application Form(s) will be used to assess the eligibility of students for the scholarships and for statistical and administrative purposes. Federal Government regulations require successful applicants be reported to the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).

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Successful applicants need to agree to the following conditions:

  1. Scholarship recipients must continue to meet the eligibility requirements for the duration of a scholarship, and may need to agree to provide confirmatory personal information in order to assess their ongoing eligibility twice yearly and as requested by the University.
  2. Scholarship recipients must maintain a satisfactory academic progress. A continuing student applying for a CLS must have achieved a satisfactory academic performance to date. Unsatisfactory academic progress is defined in the University General Regulation 11.2 (i).

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Payments for a CLS will commence on or after a student's first census date for a unit of study. Payments will be made directly to students in the form of two payments per calendar year for CAS and one payment per calendar year for CECS. These payments will normally occur after the census date and after confirmation of ongoing eligibility in each semester. Where a student is awarded the scholarship in second semester, there will be only one payment of half the annual amount for that year.

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Commonwealth Learning Scholarships – Frequently Asked Questions

Will my income from either of these scholarships affect my pension or study allowance?

These scholarships are not considered income under the Social Securities Act and should not affect your Centrelink payment. CLS income will not be taken into account when applying the Personal Income Test for Youth Allowance, Austudy, Abstudy or the primary payment of students receiving a Pensioner Education Supplement.

What if my circumstances change?

If any of your circumstances change you must notify the University in writing addressed to the Scholarships Officer, Student Administration (see above for contact details). If posted the letter must be sent by Registered Post. If changes to circumstances mean a scholarship recipient no longer meets the criteria the scholarship will cease. Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence under the Criminal Code.

Will I get to keep my CLS if I defer my commencement or take an approved leave of absence?

Yes, if you defer your commencement of your course or take a leave of absence your CLS will be suspended for the duration of your leave of absence or until you commence your course. However, if you do not resume your studies at the nominated time the scholarship will cease.

What evidence will I need to supply if I am shortlisted?

The following documents will be required. Please see the application form for further information:

  • Income statement from Centrelink (or other evidence of Government Assistance) or other assistance
  • Other income statements to demonstrate financial hardship, eg. pay slips, bank statements, tax return, etc.
  • Evidence of indigenous background (see application form)
  • Rural or regional school transcripts and/or evidence of residence in a rural or regional area with a population of less than 120,000
  • Proof of being the holder of a Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • Medical certificate(s) regarding illness or disability for yourself and/or your dependents
  • Statutory declaration regarding personal income and circumstances

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Related Links:

Further information on the scholarships and DEST guidelines can be obtained at the DEST website at
Application Forms for CAS
Application Form for CECS