MGA Welfare Assistance Program

The MGA has expanded its Welfare Assistance Program to support graduate students struggling with financial hardship to meet the essential needs of everyday living and studying, as well as for one-off emergency situations.

Life can deal unexpected challenges sometimes. If you are struggling, the MGA can help support you with a one-off grant.

The MGA is a not-for-profit student association who understands that graduate students can sometimes experience financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances. Our Welfare Assistance Program comprises a number of grants aimed to meet some of the unexpected challenges our graduate students might face throughout their studies. 

Unlike a loan, a grant does not need to be repaid.

To access the Welfare Assistance Program, students:

  • must be a currently enrolled graduate student at a Monash University Australian campus;
  • must be experiencing financial hardship;
  • must be a current resident in Australia; and
  • may be required to meet certain additional eligibility criteria for each grant, failing which the application will be rejected.

Please note that we cannot provide funding for tuition fees or editing services. Approved payments will be made by EFT into an Australian bank account only.

The following grants are available:

  • Food Vouchers – support to buy groceries and other essential personal items.
  • Study Essentials Grant – essential equipment, materials and textbooks.
  • Carers Grant – costs associated with the care of a child or family member.
  • Placement and Internship Grant – travel and accommodation related to placements and internships.
  • Visa Extension Grant – costs associated with the renewal of your visa.
  • Graduation Ceremony Grant – costs associated with attending a graduation ceremony.
  • Accommodation Grant – provision of short-term, emergency accommodation.
  • Domestic Violence Grant – costs associated with maintaining personal safety.
  • Emergency Grant – costs associated with unexpected challenges and emergencies.

To find out more about these grants and your eligibility to apply for them, please check the tabs below.

For those students who need support for groceries and other essential items, the MGA provides digital supermarket vouchers. Food vouchers are available from $50 in value. If eligible, they can be provided to students soon after completion of an MGA Welfare Assistance application form.

Eligibility Criteria 

To apply you must:

  • be a currently enrolled graduate student through a Monash Australian campus;
  • currently reside in Australia;
  • be unable to afford basic groceries;
  • be experiencing financial hardship.

You may be required to provide:

  • proof of course enrolment (a screenshot or PDF of WES enrolment);
  • evidence of financial hardship (30-day bank statements of all your accounts);
  • any other relevant documentation the MGA advocate may require in order to process your application.

The costs of study can be difficult to manage if you are struggling financially. When it comes to choosing to pay your rent or to buy an expensive textbook, we understand that rent has to take priority, and your studies may be impacted as a result.

If you are unable to afford essential items for your studies this semester, the MGA can offer up to $500 assistance to meet essential study costs. You do not have to repay this grant.

Examples of supported costs:

  • Textbooks
  • Technology (software license, webcam, repairs, etc.)
  • Lab equipment (safety glasses, lab coat, protective equipment, etc.)
  • Assessment materials (art or design materials)
  • Other essential study materials

Eligibility

To be eligible for the MGA Study Essentials Grant, you must:

  • be a graduate student currently enrolled through a Monash Australian campus;
  • currently reside in Australia;
  • be experiencing financial hardship and unable to afford the cost of the study items.

Application Process

To apply for the grant, you may be asked to provide any or all of the following:

  • a completed MGA welfare application form;
  • proof of course enrolment (a screenshot or PDF of your WES enrolment);
  • evidence of financial hardship (e.g. 30-day bank statements of all your accounts);
  • evidence of partner’s income and/or bank statements;
  • evidence that the item requested is a requirement for your unit or course;
  • confirmation of item pricing from a store or website (e.g. a screenshot or link).

An MGA advocate may request more information about your situation or offer you other support and assistance. If needed, you may be asked to provide further supporting documents. The application will be considered in accordance with our Welfare Assistance regulations.

Application Assessment Considerations

When making a decision as to the amount, if any, for this grant, the senior advocate will consider the following:

  • your financial position as disclosed;
  • your personal circumstances;
  • the importance of the requested items for your course/unit completion;
  • previous grants to other students in similar circumstances;
  • any previous grants provided to you.

Approved payments will be made by EFT into an Australian bank account only.

Carer responsibilities can have a direct impact on the ability to study. If you have primary responsibility for the care of children or dependant family members and are struggling to meet the costs of everyday living, the MGA may be able to support you with a one-off grant of up to $500 per semester. You do not have to repay this grant.

Examples of supported costs:

  • Childcare costs
  • Home-aid/carer costs
  • Rent and utility bills

Eligibility

To be eligible for the MGA Carer’s Grant, you must:

  • be a graduate student currently enrolled through a Monash Australian campus;
  • currently reside in Australia;
  • be experiencing financial hardship;
  • be the primary carer for children or other dependent family members.

Application Process

To apply for the grant, you may be asked to provide any or all of the following:

  • a completed MGA welfare application form;
  • proof of course enrolment (a screenshot or PDF of your WES enrolment);
  • evidence of financial hardship (e.g. 30-day bank statements of all your accounts);
  • evidence of partner’s income and/or bank statements;
  • details of your family situation;
  • evidence of Carer status (e.g. Screenshots of Centrelink or MyGov that identify dependent children, or Disability Support Services registration, Carer Card, other Centrelink details).

An MGA advocate may request more information about your situation or offer you other support and assistance. If needed, you may be asked to provide further supporting documents. The application will be considered in accordance with our Welfare Assistance regulations.

Application Assessment Considerations

When making a decision as to the amount, if any, of this grant, the senior advocate will consider the following:

  • your previous and current living conditions;
  • previous grants to other students in with similar circumstances;
  • your financial position as disclosed;
  • your personal circumstances;
  • the nature of the requested support in relation to the needs of any dependants and your ability to meet your academic requirements;
  • any previous grants provided to you.

Approved payments will be made by EFT into an Australian bank account only.

At times, students are required to attend placements or internships as a compulsory part of their course. Placement or internship requirements can mean that students need to give up part-time work or that they may need to relocate for the period of the placement or internship, adding to the cost of accommodation and/or travel.

Attending placements or internships can make an already difficult financial position a lot worse. If you are required to complete a mandatory placement as a part of your course, then you may be eligible for the Placement and Internship Grant. This is a one-off grant for up to $500 to help you through your placement or internship. You do not have to repay this grant.

Examples of supported costs:

  • Travel to/from the placement or internship (where the placement or internship is not located at your usual place of study) and where it is outside the metropolitan area or a significant distance from your home.
  • Temporary accommodation at or near the placement or internship location.
  • Travel to/from rural placements or internships.
  • Urgent living expenses incurred as a result of the placement or internship.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the MGA Placement and Internship Grant, you must:

  • be a graduate student currently enrolled through a Monash Australian campus;
  • currently reside in Australia;
  • be experiencing financial hardship;
  • be enrolled in a placement unit that is a mandatory component of your course or an internship which is a mandatory component of your degree.

Application Process

To apply for the grant, you may be asked to provide any or all of the following:

  • a completed MGA welfare application form;
  • proof of course enrolment (a screenshot or PDF of your WES enrolment);
  • evidence of financial hardship (e.g. 30-day bank statements of all your accounts);
  • evidence of partner’s income and/or bank statements;
  • evidence of loss of income (if applicable);
  • confirmation of placement or internship dates and location.

An MGA advocate may request more information about your situation or offer you other support and assistance. If needed, you may be asked to provide further supporting documents. The application will be considered in accordance with our Welfare Assistance regulations.

Application Assessment Considerations

When making a decision as to the amount, if any, of this grant, the senior advocate will consider the following:

  • your financial position as disclosed;
  • your personal circumstances;
  • the distance of the placement or internship business from your home and from your ordinary campus or place of study;
  • the location of the placement or internship in relation to your place of residence;
  • your mode of travel;
  • the duration of the placement or internship;
  • previous grants to other students in similar circumstances;
  • any previous grants provided to you.

Approved payments will be made by EFT into an Australian bank account only.

Sometimes life gets in the way of course progression. Coming to a new country or losing a part-time job can be devastating for international students. This often means a costly application for a new student visa to cover the additional time needed to complete a course. 

If you are an international student who needs to extend your student visa to complete your studies at Monash, but find yourself unable to afford visa extension costs due to financial hardship, the MGA has a one-off grant of up to $500 to assist you. You do not have to repay this grant.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the MGA Visa Extension Support Grant, you must:

  • be a currently enrolled graduate student through a Monash Australian campus;
  • currently reside in Australia;
  • be experiencing financial hardship;
  • have paid for your visa and applied for the Australian Government student visa refund and been rejected, having arrived in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022;
  • be facing visa expiry in the next three months and need to extend your visa to complete your Monash studies.

Application Process

To apply for the grant, you may be asked to provide any or all of the following:

  • a completed MGA welfare application form;
  • proof of course enrolment (a screenshot or PDF of your WES enrolment);
  • evidence of financial hardship (e.g. 30-day bank statements of all your accounts);
  • evidence of partner’s income and/or bank statements;
  • updated eCoE showing new course completion date (or equivalent University document);
  • evidence of application for refund and rejection of application for refund only applicable to students arriving in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022;
  • previous and current visa, showing expiry dates.

An MGA advocate may request more information about your situation or offer you other support and assistance. If needed, you may be asked to provide further supporting documents. The application will be considered in accordance with our Welfare Assistance regulations.

Application Assessment Considerations

When making a decision as to the amount, if any, of this grant, the senior advocate will consider the following:

  • your financial position as disclosed;
  • your personal circumstances;
  • your point in the candidature (if applicable);
  • previous grants to other students in similar circumstances;
  • any previous grants provided to you.

Approved payments will be made by EFT into an Australian bank account only.

Your graduation ceremony is an important part of your student journey, and an important celebration of a significant achievement. If you are unable to afford to attend your graduation ceremony due to financial hardship, the MGA can contribute to the costs associated with your graduation attendance.

Note: This is currently for $150 and is subject to change. You do not have to repay this grant.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the MGA Graduation Ceremony Grant, you must:

  • be a graduate student currently enrolled through a Monash Australian campus and eligible to graduate in an upcoming Monash University graduation ceremony.
  • currently reside in Australia;
  • be able to show financial hardship.

Application Process

To apply for the grant, you may be asked to provide any or all of the following:

  • a completed MGA welfare application form;
  • proof of course enrolment (a screenshot or PDF of your WES enrolment);
  • evidence of course completion and eligibility to graduate (e.g. invitation to apply, course completion letter);
  • evidence of financial hardship (e.g. 30-day bank statements of all your accounts);
  • evidence of partner’s income and/or bank statements.

An MGA advocate may request more information about your situation or offer you other support and assistance. If needed, you may be asked to provide further supporting documents. The application will be considered in accordance with our Welfare Assistance regulations.

Application Assessment Considerations

When making a decision as to the amount, if any, of this grant, the senior advocate will consider the following:

  • your financial position as disclosed;
  • your personal circumstances;
  • previous grants to other students in similar circumstances;
  • any previous grants provided to you.

Approved payments will be made by EFT into an Australian bank account only.

Having access to safe and secure accommodation is a basic human right. If you are experiencing a sudden or unexpected loss of accommodation, the MGA will try to help you avoid homelessness by funding temporary accommodation for up to 7 nights. This will give you time to look for and secure, suitable long-term accommodation. You do not have to repay the cost of emergency accommodation.

Accommodation booked by the MGA will be at one of the Temporary Accommodation providers approved by Monash University, subject to the availability and location best suited to you.

Eligibility

You may apply if:

  • you are experiencing an unsafe home environment (e.g. threats to safety, unsafe building structure).
  • there is an unexpected change to your existing accommodation arrangements (e.g. breakdown of relationship with landlord or partner, fire, flood, building damage).
  • you are a new or returning student who has unexpectedly lost access to planned long-term accommodation.

To be eligible for the MGA Accommodation Grant, you must:

  • be a graduate student currently enrolled through a Monash Australian campus;
  • currently reside in Australia;
  • be unable to access accommodation due to a sudden and unexpected change in circumstances;
  • be unable to secure accommodation;
  • be experiencing financial hardship;
  • have contacted Monash Connect for emergency accommodation help prior to applying to the MGA.

Application Process

To apply for the grant, you may be asked to provide any or all of the following:

  • a completed MGA Welfare Application form;
  • proof of course enrolment (a screenshot or PDF of your WES enrolment);
  • evidence of loss of existing accommodation arrangements;
  • evidence of financial hardship (e.g. 30-day bank statements of all your accounts);
  • evidence of partner’s income and/or bank statements;
  • proof of all your income;
  • evidence of attempts to secure accommodation (e.g. rental application, MRS enquiries);
  • response from Monash Connect.

An MGA advocate may request more information about your situation or offer you other support and assistance. If needed, you may be asked to provide further supporting documents. The application will be considered in accordance with our Welfare Assistance regulations.

Application Assessment Considerations

When deciding as to the amount, if any, of this grant, the senior advocate will consider the following:

  • your previous and current living conditions;
  • previous grants to other students in similar circumstances;
  • your financial position as disclosed;
  • your personal circumstances;
  • your efforts to secure accommodation;
  • any previous grants provided to you.

Approved payments will be made by EFT into an Australian bank account only.

The MGA is committed to protecting and promoting the safety of all Monash graduate students. If you have experienced domestic or family violence, an unsafe home environment, or are in a situation where you are in fear of harm, the MGA may be able to offer you a one-off payment of up to $500. You do not have to repay this grant.

Examples of supported costs:

  • Groceries
  • Essential household items
  • Rent and bills
  • Transport and relocation costs
  • Replacement of essential household items such as clothing, toiletries, furniture, or appliances

Eligibility

To be eligible for the MGA Domestic Violence Grant, you must:

  • be a graduate student currently enrolled through a Monash Australian campus;
  • currently reside in Australia;
  • be able to show financial hardship and unable to afford essential costs (e.g. accommodation, medication/therapy, groceries, essential clothing and household items);

Application Process

To apply for the grant, you may be asked to provide any or all of the following:

  • a completed MGA welfare application form;
  • proof of course enrolment (a screenshot or PDF of your WES enrolment);
  • evidence of financial hardship (e.g. 30-day bank statements of all your accounts);
  • evidence of partner’s income and/or bank statements.

An MGA advocate may request more information about your situation or offer you other support and assistance. If needed, you may be asked to provide further supporting documents. The application will be considered in accordance with our Welfare Assistance regulations.

Application Assessment Considerations

When making a decision as to the amount if any of this grant, the senior advocate will consider the following:

  • your financial position as disclosed;
  • your personal circumstances;
  • any immediate or short-term threat you face;
  • your previous and current living conditions;
  • the purpose of the assistance required in relation to your needs;
  • previous grants to other students in similar circumstances.

Approved payments will be made by EFT into an Australian bank account only.

Emergencies can be all the more difficult to navigate when you’re struggling financially.

If you have been unexpectedly affected by an event in the past three months that has placed you in financial hardship, and you are struggling to pay essential bills and living costs, the MGA may provide a one-off grant of up to $1,000 to help you get on your feet and ease the financial burden. You do not have to repay the emergency grant.

Examples of support for the Emergency Grant:

  • Paying utility bills
  • Replacing essential appliances (e.g. fridge, washing machine)
  • Costs associated with an emergency

Eligibility

To be eligible for the MGA Emergency Grant, you must:

  • be a graduate student currently enrolled through a Monash Australian campus;
  • currently reside in Australia;
  • have encountered a financial emergency as a result of an unexpected event (e.g. illness, accident, family emergency) within the past three months of the application date;
  • agree to the terms of the grant.

Application Process

To apply for the grant, you may be asked to provide any or all of the following:

  • a completed MGA welfare application form;
  • proof of course enrolment (a screenshot or PDF of your WES enrolment);
  • evidence of financial hardship (e.g. 30-day bank statements of all your accounts);
  • evidence of partner’s income and/or bank statements;
  • payment invoice relating to the emergency (if applicable).

An MGA advocate may request more information about your situation or offer you other support and assistance. If needed, you may be asked to provide further supporting documents. The application will be considered in accordance with our Welfare Assistance regulations.

Application Assessment Considerations

When deciding as to the amount, if any, of this grant, the senior advocate will consider the following:

  • any immediate risks/dangers faced by you;
  • previous grants approved for students in similar circumstances;
  • your financial position as disclosed by you;
  • your personal circumstances;
  • your previous and current living conditions;
  • your point in your candidature (if applicable);
  • any previous grants provided to you.

Approved payments will be made by EFT into an Australian bank account only.

If you have read through the different grants available and believe you are eligible to apply, please click the button below to begin your application.

Got questions? Contact one of our helpful advocates at mga-advocacy@monash.edu.

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Over the years we have compiled a list of FAQs in response to the inquiries we have received at the MGA advocacy service. Bookmark this page for future reference and if your question isn’t listed, get in touch with us!

Click here to read our advice and advocacy FAQs.

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Advocacy for Distance Education graduate students

Need to talk to an MGA advocate? The best way to contact one of our advocates is by email. For students located off-campus or studying via distance education, advice can be provided by email or Zoom.