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Financial support

General bursaries


Who can apply

General bursaries are a form of financial support for eligible domestic students worth up to $2000 per semester, dependent on available funds.

If you're an international student, you may be eligible for a general bursary worth up to $2000 per semester if you've experienced  extenuating circumstances. Alternately, you can apply for a financial support voucher.

Students who have been directly affected by a natural disaster and require financial support may also be eligible for a general bursary.

A bursary is a type of scholarship awarded based on financial need, designed to help cover essential living and study expenses (excluding fees). General bursaries are available to domestic undergraduate and postgraduate students who meet the eligibility criteria or who are able to demonstrate extenuating circumstances. If you apply for any form of financial support, you will automatically be considered for a general bursary if you meet the eligibility criteria.

You must provide supporting documents to demonstrate your financial hardship.

Your application will be recorded against your student record for auditing and compliance purposes only and will be treated confidentially. Any personal or sensitive information submitted as part of your application will be managed carefully by the University as per our Privacy Policy (pdf, 219KB)

Extenuating circumstances

If you are experiencing financial hardship and do not meet the below criteria, in extenuating circumstances you may still be able to access bursary assistance and applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. For example, we understand that there may be other circumstances impacting your academic progress.

Additionally, you may be eligible for support if you've been referred to Financial Support Services by other teams at the University such as but not limited to the Student Counselling Service, Disability and Inclusion, the Gadigal Centre, the Fees Office, a Student Liaison Officer or an Associate Dean, Student Life.

If you're unsure whether you qualify, you can ask us by submitting a financial support enquiry.


You are eligible to apply for a general bursary if you:

  • are a domestic student currently enrolled at the University of Sydney
  • are currently residing in Australia
  • are making satisfactory academic progress (this generally requires a WAM of at least 50, but in extenuating circumstances your WAM will not impact your ability to access financial support)
  • can provide evidence of experiencing genuine and immediate financial difficulty
  • have not received more than two general bursaries in the same year
  • are studying full-time. This means:
    • for coursework students - a minimum of 18 credit points per semester
    • for research students - the Equivalent Full-Time Student Load (EFTSL) of 1.0 per year.

If you’re studying less than this full-time load due to a disability and you’re receiving some form of government support (such as the Disability Support Pension or National Disability Insurance Scheme), you can apply for a bursary provided you meet the other eligibility criteria.

If you’re studying less than this full-time load for any other reason, you can apply for a bursary provided you meet the other eligibility criteria, but will qualify for up to $1000 per semester.


If you have been directly affected by a natural disaster and require financial support we encourage you to apply for a general bursary.  You are eligible if you are enrolled at the University of Sydney, have been directly affected by a recent natural disaster, and are experiencing financial difficulties.

You will need to supply proof of address in an identified natural disaster affected area, along with proof of financial situation (e.g. Bank statement) and outline how the natural disaster has had a significant impact on you and your household.

Contact us by submitting a financial support enquiry if you need more advice.

How to apply

Supporting documents

To be considered for financial support, you need to provide the following supporting documents in your application:

  • bank account statement with transaction history of your everyday account, for the past 30 days
  • bank account statements for all savings accounts and investment accounts you hold
  • documents that show upcoming financial responsibilities (for example bills, invoices, quotes and calculations)
  • proof of Centrelink (if relevant).

All bank account statements need to be in PDF format and contain:

  • the official header of your financial institution (e.g. bank name, logo)
  • your full name
  • the account number.

Screenshots, photos or CSV files of bank statements will not be accepted.

You don’t need to provide your academic transcript.

It is important to upload all relevant supporting documents or your application will be declined. You will need to reapply which will lead to a delay in processing your application. You cannot update your application after you submit it.

Logging in to apply

You need to follow these steps to apply for financial support.

  • Submit a general bursary application through Sydney Student (go to ‘My finances’, ‘Scholarships, prizes, bursaries and loans’, then ‘Apply for financial support’).
  • Submit supporting documents including a recent 30-day bank transaction history, along with any additional relevant documents using the financial assistance supporting documents submission form. If you don't upload all required supporting documents, your application will be deemed unsuccessful.
  • If you would like to be considered for a no interest loan, please state this in a Personal Statement that should be submitted as a single Microsoft Word document and uploaded with your supporting documents. You will need to demonstrate your capacity to re-pay the loan to be eligible.

In your application, you will need to:

  • demonstrate how you are experiencing difficulty meeting rental obligations and other living expenses in the immediate future.
  • provide your current aggregate bank account balance (including your account for everyday transactions and any savings accounts) which indicates an immediate need for financial support with your living expenses and to support the successful completion of your studies.
  • ensure all relevant bank accounts have been disclosed, bank statements are provided from the last 30 days and that no transfers have been made to other undisclosed bank accounts prior to your application.

If your current aggregate bank account balance does not indicate an immediate need for financial support with your living expenses, you will need to submit a personal statement. This will need to clearly outline your current financial need, what expenses the financial support would cover, and why the need has arisen. The personal statement needs to be submitted as a single Microsoft Word document. Alternatively, you may re-apply at a later date.

You can apply once per semester if necessary. If your application is successful you cannot apply again until the following semester. If your application is unsuccessful, you can re-apply if your financial situation worsens.

Providing false information

We expect all students to provide genuine, truthful evidence of financial hardship. Providing misleading information such as transferring funds to a hidden account is in breach of the Student Charter and will be dealt with accordingly. Such conduct is a very serious matter. It also increases the processing time of applications for all students and may delay the granting of funds to students in genuine need.

What happens next

We process applications in the order in which they are received. You need to check your University email address regularly after applying as we may contact you on your University email if further information is required.

Most applications are processed within three weeks, provided all your documents are included. After your application has been assessed you will receive a recommendation in Sydney Student.

If your application is successful, follow the prompts in the message to enable your payment. Payments will be made to your nominated bank account within 4 to 10 working days. Make sure your bank details are correct in Sydney Student (go to ‘My finance’, ‘Your finances’, then ‘Bank details’).

If your application is unsuccessful and your financial situation worsens and you are unable to afford your rent, food or essential living expenses, you will be able to lodge another application for consideration.

If you have questions about the outcome, contact the Office of Student Life online by submitting a financial support enquiry.

Financial Support Service

  • Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus
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Last updated: 14 June 2024

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