Commonwealth Scholarships for Indigenous students

James Cook University administers the following scholarships for Indigenous students.
The Commonwealth Scholarships (CS) Program aims to help Indigenous students to have better access to and increased participation in higher education.

Scholarships Available

Eligibility

Applications

Selection process

Payments

Ongoing eligibility

Frequently asked questions

Further information

Scholarships Available

Scholarship

Level of Study

2014 Value

Duration

Indigenous Access Scholarship (IAS)

Commencing students only

$4,702 *

One in a lifetime

Indigenous - Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (ICECS)

Undergraduate
or
Graduate Diploma of Education

$2,492 * per year

Up to 4 years

Indigenous - Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship (ICAS)

Undergraduate
or
Graduate Diploma of Education

$4,985 * per year

Up to 4 years

Indigenous Enabling - Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (IECECS)

Tertiary Access Course (TAC)

$1,246 * for 6 months TAC

Up to 1 year

Indigenous Enabling - Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship (IECAS)

Tertiary Access Course (TAC)

$2,492.50 * for 6 months TAC

Up to 1 year

*Indexed annually

  • A student can NOT receive both an ICECS or IECECS and a Student Start-Up Loan for the same period. The student must reject the Student Start-Up Loan in order to accept the ICECS or IECECS.

  • A student can NOT receive both an ICAS or IECAS and a Relocation Scholarship for the same period. The student must reject the Relocation Scholarship in order to accept the ICAS or IECAS.

  • Students receiving IECECS and/or IECAS who progress to an undergraduate degree course will receive ICECS and/or ICAS automatically.

  • Students receiving an IECECS and/or IECAS at another institution need to reapply to JCU.

Scholarship combinations

It is possible for a student to be awarded any of the scholarship combinations below depending on circumstances and availability. Students who receive an IAS may receive the relevant CECS and CAS, if eligible, where funding allocation is available. Although priority will be given to commencing students, current students may also apply.

Combination

2014

IAS + ICECS + ICAS
or
IAS + IECECS + IECAS

$12,179

IAS + ICECS
or
IAS + IECECS

$7,194

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Eligibility

You are eligible to apply for CS for Indigenous students if you:

  • are an Australian citizen;

  • are an Indigenous person;

  • are financially disadvantaged;

  • are enrolled or will be enrolled as a Commonwealth supported student in an undergraduate course, Graduate Diploma of Education or Tertiary Access Course;

  • are enrolled or will be enrolled as a full-time student (unless there are exceptional circumstances that prevent you from studying full-time because of disability, significant carer or Indigenous community responsibilities;

  • have not previously completed a bachelor degree (unless it is a prerequisite to your current course); and

  • have not already received a CS for the maximum duration from any institution.

Additional requirement for IAS

  • are a commencing student;

  • have not already received a part or whole payment of IAS from any institution.

Additional requirement for CECS

Additional requirement for CAS

You must meet all the requirements by the first census date of the semester in order to receive the scholarship payments. If you defer your study before your first census date, your scholarship offer will be withdrawn and you will be required to reapply.

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Applications

Students need to apply directly to JCU. Applications must be received with all required documentation by the dates below. Details of documentation required are outlined on the application form. All applicants, successful or unsuccessful, will be notified of the outcome in writing.

Information sheet

Application form

Round

2014 Closing Dates

Early Offer Round

29 November 2013

Round 1

21 February 2014

Round 2

25 July 2014

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Selection process

Scholarship applications will be assessed by the Selection Committee and ranked on the information provided in the application and supporting documentation and will be allocated in order of merit. There will be no interviews. A student will not be awarded a CS unless the University is satisfied that the student meets or will meet the eligibility criteria for a CS by their first census date of the Teaching Period.

In the case of IAS, priority is given to applicants who satisfy the CAS eligibility requirements, followed by applicants who do not meet the CAS eligibility requirements but who had to relocate to study.

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Payments

To accept your scholarship, you must sign and return the Acceptance Form enclosed with your CS offer letter as soon as possible. If this is not returned payments cannot be made, and the scholarship offer will lapse.

IAS recipients will receive full payment of their IAS in their first Teaching Period, generally in two installments. The first payment will be made as soon as practical after the Acceptance Form is returned. Full payment will be made by mid April for Teaching Period 1 starters and by mid September for Teaching Period 2 starters. CECS and CAS payments (in any category) will be made in two equal installments into the nominated bank account generally within 6 weeks of the census date.

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Ongoing eligibility

All recipients must agree to provide the Ongoing Eligibility Form to the University at the beginning of each semester (Teaching Period) in order to confirm their ongoing eligibility for CS payments. Payments will not be made until the University is satisfied that the student meets or will meet the eligibility criteria on the census date.

Termination of a Commonwealth Scholarship

Scholarships will be terminated by the University for any of the following reasons:

  • If the student has ceased to meet any of the eligibility criteria; or

  • once the maximum scholarship entitlement period has been reached; or

  • if the student has failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress and they are suspended or excluded from their course of study under the provisions of the Academic Progression Policy and there are no extenuating circumstances for such failure; or

  • if the student has committed serious misconduct during a course of study while completing a course at the University; or

  • if the student is found to have provided false or misleading information in their original CS application or at any other time the student was requested to confirm their eligibility.

Suspension of a Commonwealth Scholarship

Scholarship payments may be suspended for up to one year if the student is on approved Leave of Absence. For students progressing from an IECECS or an IECAS to an ICECS or an ICAS, the maximum suspension between courses is one year. After that time, the scholarship will lapse and you will be required to reapply.

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Further information

Additional information is available to help you complete your application form as follows:

JCU Policy: Administration of Commonwealth Scholarships

Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines

Please read this information and the application form carefully.
If you have further questions, please contact the Scholarships Office.

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Frequently asked questions

Is my application confidential?

How are the successful applicants selected?

How will I know if I am successful?

If successful, what do I need to do?

If successful, how will I be paid?

Will I need to repay the scholarships money?

Will I be able to keep my scholarship if I transfer to another university?

Can I still receive payments if I study overseas or at another university through a cross-institutional arrangement?

Will the income from a CS affect my Centrelink entitlements such as Youth Allowance, Austudy, or ABSTUDY?

Will I have to pay income tax on the scholarship?

If awarded a scholarship, do I need to reapply in future years?

Can my scholarship be terminated by the University?

If unsuccessful, can I appeal a decision?

Can I reapply for a scholarship next year if I am not successful this year?

Is my application confidential?

Yes. All information and documentation supplied by you will be treated confidentially in accordance with JCU’s Privacy Policy. Information will only be disclosed to those people who are involved in the administration and selection process of the scholarship. The collection of information is authorised by the Department of Education, Employment and Work Relations (DEEWR). The purpose is to assist the proper administration of the CS. Your personal information will be disclosed to DEEWR for the Department’s purposes of administering the CS program, and disclosed by DEEWR to Centrelink to be used for Centrelink’s purposes of administering the Relocation Scholarships and Student Start-Up Loans. No information will be disclosed to any other agency or person, except as authorised in the Privacy Act 1988 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

How are the successful applicants selected?

Scholarship applications will be assessed by a Selection Committee and ranked based on the information provided in the application and supporting documentation. Scholarships will be allocated in order of merit. There will be no interview. You will not be awarded an Indigenous CS unless JCU is satisfied that you meet or will meet the eligibility criteria for an Indigenous CS by the first census date of the Teaching period. In determining the allocation of the IAS, priority will be given to students who have to relocate from a regional or remote area to attend their course, and who meet the additional CAS eligibility requirements.

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How will I know if I am successful?

Applicants, successful or unsuccessful, will receive notification in writing.

Please see Applications.

If I am successful, what do I need to do?

To accept your scholarship, you must sign and return the Acceptance Form enclosed with your scholarship offer letter as soon as possible. If this is not returned payments cannot be made and the scholarship offer will lapse.

If you decide to accept an Indigenous-CECS or an Indigenous Enabling-CECS, you must reject any Student Start-Up Loan from Centrelink. If you decide to accept an Indigenous-CAS or an Indigenous Enabling-CAS, you must reject any Relocation Scholarship from Centrelink. It is your responsibility to notify Centrelink and the University of which scholarship you will be accepting.

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If I am successful, how will I be paid?

Payments will be made directly to your nominated bank account.

Please see Payments.

Will I need to repay the scholarship money?

No, if you remain enrolled full-time (unless granted part-time enrolment approval) and meet all the eligibility requirements at the census date, you do not need to repay the scholarship. If you are in receipt of IAS before your first census date, but for legitimate and genuine reasons, you do not meet the eligibility requirements at the first census date, you may not be required to repay the first scholarship payment.

However, you will be asked to repay the scholarship payment by Centrelink if you:

- receive a CECS and a Student Start-Up Loan for the same period; or

- receive a CAS and a Relocation Scholarship for the same period.

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Will I be able to keep my scholarship if I transfer to another university?

No. You will need to reapply for a CS at your new university. Please advise the Scholarships Office if you decide to transfer to another university. You will not be able to access the scholarship(s) at your new university unless they are terminated at JCU.

If you hold a CS from another university and transfer to JCU you must re-apply for a CS. Should you be granted a CS at JCU you will only receive the payments remaining from the CS you were previously awarded.

Can I still receive payments if I study overseas or at another university through a cross institutional arrangement?

If you undertake study overseas or with a host provider approved by JCU through a cross-institutional arrangement as a Commonwealth supported student, and this study counts toward the requirements for the course in which you are enrolled at JCU, you will continue to receive payments. You must provide proof of enrolment and approval for cross-institutional study to the Scholarships Office by the census date. Payment will be made by JCU, not by the host institution.

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Will the income from a CS affect my Centrelink entitlements such as Youth Allowance, Austudy, or ABSTUDY?

No. Income from a CS will not be subject to the social security income test. As a result, any income support payment that you receive (except a Student Start-Up Loan and a Relocation Scholarship) will not be affected by the awarding of CS.

Will I have to pay income tax on the scholarship?

JCU does not offer taxation advice regarding scholarships. If you are a part-time student, the income may be assessable. You are advised to consult a taxation professional or the Australian Tax Office phone 13 28 61, for further information on your income tax liability.

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If awarded a scholarship, do I need to reapply in future years?

You will be required to complete an Ongoing Eligibility Form each Teaching Period to assist the University to evaluate your continuing eligibility. The University will send you an email with the relevant form to complete and return. If you are progressing from Tertiary Access Course to an undergraduate course and continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the scholarship that you have been awarded, and your scholarship has not been terminated, then your scholarship will continue without you reapplying.

Can my scholarship be terminated by the University?

Yes. Your scholarship will be terminated by the University for any of the reasons listed at Ongoing Eligibility.

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If unsuccessful, can I appeal a decision?

You may appeal the decision on the basis that appropriate policy was not adhered to or correct procedures were not followed or that the decision was made without due regard to facts, evidence or circumstances. An appeal must be lodged with the Manager, Enrolments and Fees within 14 days of the date of notification from the Scholarships Office. The appeal must be accompanied by a copy of the letter received from the Scholarships Office; and include details of the complaint and details of the action which has been taken to date and the grounds for the appeal, including the evidence in support of the student’s case, together with supporting documentation. For more information on the appeal process, please refer to the policy Administration of Commonwealth Scholarships or write to The Manager, Enrolments and Fees, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811.

Can I reapply for a scholarship next year if I am not successful this year?

Yes. You may reapply any year that you meet the eligibility criteria. As the applicant pool will be different each year, you may be successful in a subsequent year. If you have met the eligibility criteria but your application was unsuccessful, it will be considered for the next offer round (if available). You must keep your information as accurate as possible at all times and notify the scholarships office if your circumstances change (i.e. address, financial situation, etc.).

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