Financial help for isolated students

Student travel scheme

You may be able to get financial help under the student travel scheme if your child has to live away from home to attend an NT primary, middle or senior school

The student travel scheme only applies during semester or half-semester breaks.

For travel outside of semester breaks you should check if you are eligible for the mid-term travel scheme.

The subsidy is available for full-time students at NT-based primary, middle or senior schools.

To be eligible you and your child must be permanent residents of the NT.

Your child must also:

  • be living away from home so they can attend school on a daily basis
  • be approved for Basic Boarding Allowance or Second Home Allowance under the Australian Government’s Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC) scheme.

Your child isn't eligible for the subsidy if they are receiving ABSTUDY payments.

You can find out more about the AIC scheme and ABSTUDY on the Australian Government's Department of Human Services website.

What trips you can claim

A maximum of four return trips per school year may be reimbursed. Travel times must coincide with the beginning and end of each semester or half semester.

Travel must be from the student’s home to school and return.

The journey must be undertaken for the sole purpose of transporting the student to and from school. If the student is transported for any other activity, the journey is not eligible.

If no public transport is available, reimbursement will be calculated using the most direct and economical form of travel available.

Trips by plane

Regular passenger flights must be booked at least 4 weeks prior to travel. The reimbursement may be reduced if less than 4 weeks.

Trips by private vehicle

The nominated vehicle you use to transport your child must be a private vehicle that you own.

If the vehicle is owned by someone else, you must include a statutory declaration from the owner giving their consent for you to drive the vehicle for the purpose of transporting your child to and from school. This declaration must accompany each application you make.

The nominated vehicle must be registered with the NT Motor Vehicle Registry for the intended claim period.

You must apply for the subsidy in advance and before you submit a claim.

You need to submit a new application each year. The application is due by 30 September in the year that you will be making a claim.

Once your application has been approved, you can claim for reimbursement of travel costs.

To apply for the subsidy, fill in the application.

Student assistance application PDF (723.6 KB)
Student assistance application DOCX (153.9 KB)

You must include the following supporting information with your application:

  • a copy of your child's current AIC Basic Boarding Allowance or Second Home Allowance statement
  • a statement of boarding fees covering the intended claim period.

If travel is by private vehicle

You must also include:

  • a statement of distance travelled
  • a sketch map or google map of the journey between home and school
  • a copy of each applicant’s drivers licence covering the intended claim period.

If your application has been approved, you can make a claim for reimbursement of travel costs.

Claims must be submitted to the Department of Education by 31 March following the year of travel.

Fill in the below claim form.

Student travel scheme claim form PDF (36.0 KB)
Student travel scheme claim form DOC (61.5 KB)

Completed claim forms must be stamped and signed by the school principal or registrar of your child's boarding facility to verify their attendance.

Trips by plane

If travel is by regular passenger flight then you must attach used tickets or the electronic ticket receipt and boarding pass to the claim.

If the boarding passes are lost or misplaced, you will need to attach a statutory declaration.

The declaration must state the student's:

  • name
  • flight number
  • date and time of travel
  • departure and arrival location.

Trips by private vehicle

If travel is by private vehicle, reimbursement is based on the distance travelled, multiplied by the conveyance allowance unit.

In 2022, the conveyance unit is $0.48 cents per km.


If you travelled 350km on a return trip in 2022, you would get a reimbursement of $168.

350km x $0.48 = $168.

Trips by plane

If your child travels on a regular passenger flight, reimbursement will be based on the cost of the most direct and economical fare available.

You can claim reimbursement for the base cost, GST, booking fee and credit card surcharge.

You can't get reimbursed for the cost of changing booked flights.

If charter flights are used, the payment will be calculated as if a private vehicle were used for the journey.


Submit your application either by email, fax or post using the following contact details:

Student assistance officer
Corporate Support
Department of Education

GPO Box 4821
Darwin NT 0801

Phone: 1800 019 157 or 08 8901 4965
Fax: 08 8901 4976

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Last updated: 14 October 2022

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