Financial help for isolated students

Tertiary fares reimbursement scheme

If you live away from home to study at a tertiary institution, such as university, you may be eligible for help with travel costs.

Students who are studying interstate must make sure their course meets the requirements of the reimbursement scheme.

Check your eligibility below.

The subsidy is available for full-time students.

To be eligible the student and their parent or guardian must both be permanent residents of the NT.

Students aren't eligible if they are:

  • working full-time
  • receiving travel assistance through Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY or Austudy
  • receiving any other financial assistance that includes a travel component, including:
    • cadetship
    • scholarship
    • entitlement
    • award
    • allowance
    • other similar assistance.

Interstate students

Students who have moved interstate to study must also meet the below requirements.

The course being studied must:

  • be considered a priority field by the Charles Darwin University (CDU) Standing Committee based on hard to fill jobs in the NT
  • not be available in any form at the same level at CDU or any other registered training authority in the NT
  • lead to an award that is recognised as sufficient for entry to further study in the same field or specialised employment in that field.

What trips you can claim

Travel must coincide with the beginning and end of each semester or half semester.

You can claim a maximum of:

  • 3 return trips per school year for NT students
  • 2 return fares per school year for interstate students.

The trip must be made for the sole purpose of travelling to and from the tertiary institution.

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 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 travelling to and from the student's 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 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.

To apply for the subsidy, fill in the application.

NT tertiary fare reimbursement scheme application PDF (177.3 KB)
NT tertiary fare reimbursement scheme application DOCX (111.0 KB)

You must attach proof of your tertiary enrolment to the application.

If you are studying interstate, this proof must include completed and proposed units, and the previous year's academic record.

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 you change your course

You will need to submit a new application if you change your course enrolment.

If your application is approved you will only be entitled to benefits for up to 4 years unless your degree takes longer than this to complete full time.

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 form below.

NT tertiary fare reimbursement scheme claim form PDF (179.2 KB)
NT tertiary fare reimbursement scheme claim form DOC (111.0 KB)

Your claim must be signed and stamped by an authorising officer at your tertiary institution to confirm your enrolment.

You must attach evidence of your academic progress. Your claim won't be processed unless you can demonstrate satisfactory progress.

If your progress has been unsatisfactory and there are extenuating circumstances for this, you can include details for review by the department.

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 you travel 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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