In 2019, the SRC is introducing a new Textbook Subsidy Program. The SRC is providing subsidies, of up to $100, for undergraduate students. The purpose of this new initiative is to support low socio-economic students with purchasing textbooks, readers, learning materials and equipment. This can include any prescribed and recommended readings, calculators, lab coats and materials that are linked to your University studies.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for this program, you need to be:

• A current undergraduate student (eg a Bachelor degree) at the University of Sydney; and

• Experiencing financial need. That is, students who are finding difficulty in being able to afford the costs of living as well as the cost of study. For example, after paying for groceries, rent, utilities, and travel, you have less than $75 per week.

Please note that postgraduate, Study Abroad and exchange students are not eligible. Local and international students are all welcome to apply. And we encourage students at our satellite campuses to apply.

How to apply?

Applying is simple!

1. You need to fill out an online form at Online applications open at 10:00am on Wednesday 7 August 2019.

2. You will be contacted and will need to attend a short interview with a professional, confidential caseworker employed by the SRC between weeks 2 to 6 to declare you are in need and confirm you are an undergraduate.

You will need to be successful at both stages to receive the subsidy. If you are successful, you will receive your subsidy by electronic funds transfer.

In the first round, applications will close on 21 August 2019 or when 400 valid applications have been received.

Why is the SRC doing this?

The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) commits itself to playing a large role in improving student life across all University campuses.

Through the SRC’s representation and advocacy functions, we have found that many students have raised issues pertaining to the high and often prohibitive costs of making upfront purchases of textbooks, equipment and materials at the beginning of each semester, generally for four units of study. The SRC is concerned that the absence of cheaper or low-cost textbook shops on campus would render the provision of essential classroom material extremely difficult for some students, particularly students from a low socio-economic background. We are concerned that this could cause some students to ‘skip’ these purchases or purchase materials on informal networks that are fraught with risk, creating a class of disadvantaged students within our University.

What else does the SRC do?

The SRC represents all undergraduate students at the University of Sydney. We have professional staff that can help with a variety of issues including: academic rights and appeals, show cause, special consideration and academic integrity matters, tenancy and accommodation, Centrelink and legal issues (including visa and migration). We also provide loans of $50 (short term emergency loan), calculators, lab coats, and other equipment.

What are the protections for privacy?

The SRC takes your privacy very seriously. All data collected for the Textbook Subsidy Program will be strictly confidential for professional casework staff at the SRC and may be used for statistical analysis purposes. We do not share data collected for the Textbook Subsidy Program with student representatives, any third-party organisation or the University of Sydney.

For more information

For more information, contact a professional caseworker at

The Textbook Subsidy Program is managed by the Vice Presidents. Contact them at