Commonwealth Scholarships


The Commonwealth Scholarships Programme (CSP) provides support to eligible Indigenous higher education students with the general costs of study and support where they have had to move from a rural or remote area in order to study.

Commonwealth Scholarships Programme

The Commonwealth Scholarships Programme (CSP) assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from low socio-economic backgrounds, particularly those from rural and regional areas.

The scholarships programme changed in 2010 and is now only available to commencing Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students. The CSP continues to support students who were awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship prior to 1 January 2010 under transitional arrangements provided they maintain their eligibility.

Changes to the CSP occurred due to significant income support reforms including the introduction of the Student Start-up and Relocation Scholarship. An eligible student may choose between a Centrelink Student Start-up Scholarship or a CSP Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (CECS). An eligible student may also choose between the Centrelink Relocation Scholarship and the CSP Commonwealth Accommodation Costs Scholarship (CAS). A student may not receive both scholarships (ie Centrelink scholarship and CSP) at the same time.

Applying for Scholarships

The CSP is administered on behalf of the Australian Government by an eligible University. The University is responsible for conducting their own application and selection procedures on the basis of guidelines issued by the Commonwealth. Potential applicants need to direct their enquiries on application procedures and timeliness to the University where they are studying or plan to study.

Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines

The Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines are instructions for administering the CSP and includes descriptions of scholarships available.

The Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Education) 2010 was registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI) F2010L00696 on 17 March 2010 and an Amendment was registered on 2 July 2010. The Guidelines and a copy of the Amendments are available on the Attorney-General’s Department website.

Values in 2015

Scholarship values are indexed annually. The value of CSP scholarships in 2015 are:

  • Indigenous Access Scholarship (IAS) $4,823
  • Indigenous Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (ICECS) $2,543
  • Indigenous Enabling Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (IECECS) $2,543
  • Indigenous Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship (ICAS) $5,087
  • Indigenous Enabling Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship (IECAS) $5,087

Questions and Answers

To assist in managing the Commonwealth Scholarships, a series of Questions and Answers have been established. In providing these Questions and Answers, the Department in no way represents that the Minister will or will not make any particular decision in relation to a provider’s compliance with the Guidelines.