Many students are forced to live on very little money while studying. Here are some ideas that might help you get by.


University Scholarships and Financial Assistance Office: 8627 8112. Loans are interest-free, and bursaries do not need to be repaid. Talk to them about your situation and they’ll guide you to the most suitable option.

There are a range of different ways to qualify for a scholarship. Talk to the University about which ones you’re eligible for and how to apply. There are also some competitions you could enter that have cash prizes.

SRC Emergency loans up to $50 are good to fill that gap the day before payday or if you forget your wallet. 9660 5222


When you don’t have enough money to make little mistakes it is a good idea to have a budget plan. Write down how you are going to spend money each week, including putting some aside for unforeseen expenses if you can. Look for “leaks” that can help you to save a bit more. Check out: “budget planner”


The SRC Legal Service will work with you to clear your debts. This service is free to undergraduate students.

If you have a problem with gambling, free, confidential help is available at the University. Call 1800 482 482 for more information.


Cheap quality accommodation is hard to get. Most of the cheap options go very quickly, so you’ll have to be patient and flexible. If you are in urgent need of housing, ask an SRC Caseworker about emergency accommodation.

If you are about to move into a home or if you are behind in rent and are on the lease you might be eligible for Rentstart through Housing Pathways (Housing NSW).

Check out NSW Tenants’ Union fact sheets on your rights & responsibilities as a tenant / sub-tenant, bond etc.


Pre-paid accounts allow you to give yourself a fixed budget for phone calls.Encourage your friends to call you or text to make a skype date. Viber and WhatsApp also allow you to make free texts or calls. However, be aware that you are using your internet/data for this.


There is no reason to be hungry if you live in Sydney.There are many places around Sydney that offer free meals and a few that may do food parcels.


Bulk billing (or direct billing) doctors means that you will not be charged for the appointment. This is covered on Medicare and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). e.g. University Health Service in the Wentworth Building.

Safer sex is important. You can pick up free condoms from the

SRC office, level 1 Wentworth Building.

Clean needles and injecting packs are available from the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS). Call their 24-hour confidential telephone service on 9361 8000 or 1800 422 599. Some chemists do needle and syringe exchange. In Newtown, this includes Chemist on King and Ford’s Pharmacy. In Auburn, there’s Alpha Pharmacy and Rite Aid Pharmacy. There’s also Camden Pharmacy and Adore Pharmacy Rozelle.

Dentists can be super expensive on a student budget, but taking care of your teeth is important. There are some limited services you may be able to access for free. Speak to SRC HELP caseworkers.

Australian citizens and permanent residents can apply for a Low-Income Health Card if you earn $564 a week or less, or if you are receiving a Centrelink student payment. This gives you a reduced price on prescription drugs, free ambulance cover etc. You do not need to be receiving a payment from Centrelink (eg. Austudy or Youth Allowance) to be eligible for a Health Care Card.

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