23 May, 2016
Read 2068 times
I know right, not the most exciting of blog topics... But as a current medical student, GAMSAT® Exam Tutor and former taxation lawyer, I have a morbid interest in the budget and I am here to break it down for you.
University fee deregulation
You can breathe a sigh of relief on this one. It’s been confirmed that fee deregulation has been scrapped once and for all, and no major changes will take place in 2017. However, changes to higher education funding are inevitable so if you’re interested in some of the proposed changes you can check out the policy options paper here: https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/he_reform_paper_driving_innovation_fairness_and_excellence_3_may_2016_-_.pdf
Although the 2014-2015 budget proposed scrapping the 25% loan fee for undergraduate Full Fee Places (FFPs), the current loans schemes remain unchanged (for now). In any case, as UMelb and UND now offer the Masters level MD, medicine FFPs won’t attract the 25% loan fee. After what’s always a pretty expensive GAMSAT® Exam season, this is good news!
Medical school places
Nothing new on this front. The Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship was scrapped last year, so the place types are either Commonwealth Supported Place (unrestricted CSP or Bonded Medical Place) or Full Fee Place (University of Melbourne and University of Notre Dame only).
A budgetary measure from the 2014-2015 budget has just come into effect and it’s worth noting here. The Centrelink Student Start-up Scholarship (that $1k chunk of cash that accompanies your Centrelink benefit at the start of every semester) has been converted into a loan. That means that from 1 January 2016 new recipients of student support payments (Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY) are still eligible for the payment (now called a Student Start-up Loan), but will have to pay it back as part of the HECS-HELP debt. The good news is that the changes have been grandfathered, so if you’re already in receipt of the Scholarship and remain on student support continuously, you’ll continue to receive the Scholarship rather than the Loan.
Ok, enough of the budget talk. Keep an eye out for more blog posts from your GradReady GAMSAT® Exam Tutors about GAMSAT® Exam, GAMSAT® Exam preparation, medical school applications and everything in between!