Whilst university students from regional areas may have suffered a setback with the House of Reps deciding not to debate on the youth allowance bill, all may not be lost.

As a student from a regional area, youth allowance is basically how I survive as a university student – I pay my rent with it…. yeah that’s about all I can do with it. There isn’t much left over.  However, I was quite fortunate to have been able to score my Youth Allowance the old way – by working to earn $19,500 in 18 months.

NOW, those who want to go to uni and be paid by the government at the same time have to work an average of 30hrs a week for 18 months, which was a way to cut out some of the more fortunate ones who had wealthy parents and spent a gap year gallivanting overseas.

My younger brother was one of those people who had to abide by the new system in order to get his Youth Allowance for this year. Fortunately for him, he had no shortage of work. But I worry for others – those who might struggle to find a job at the start of the 18 months, or those that might be unwell for a prolonged period of time and are therefore not working for that time. What then?

They have to work even more once they finally get back to work in order to meet the standards of Centrelink? Continue to work the same amount of hours once they become a full time student? (A tough gig for regional students who have to move to a new city to go to university)

Going to university is a pricey affair as it is, let alone having to move to do so.

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