Cost of living: support available for students

Cost of living: support available for students

RMIT student intern Finn chats with Katie, a Student Welfare Advisor about the support available for students in response to the rising cost of living.

My name is Finn, I'm in my third year at RMIT studying Bachelor of Professional Communications and I'm an intern in the Student Experience team at RMIT.   

It’s no secret that students are doing it tough right now. The cost of living crisis in Australia is affecting us all, yet corporations are reporting record profits whilst more young people than ever are working multiple jobs. 

Between the cost of Uni life and other necessities, it can feel incredibly overwhelming when it comes to managing your time and money as a student.

It is important to know what help is available to give you the support you need. 

If you or someone you know is struggling financially, the RMIT student welfare team can help you out.

I spoke with Katie, a Student Welfare Coordinator at RMIT, about what services are available for students and her advice on how to ask for help.  

RMIT Student Welfare Support

Meeting with a welfare advisor is a free, confidential service available for RMIT students.

“We not only provide short-term financial assistance, but we can also discuss sustainable financial options with students,” shared Katie. 

“[These can include] looking for affordable housing, state government initiatives, accessing the full benefit of Centrelink payments, and other money management and counselling referrals.”

Advisors can also refer you to other support networks that can help with more specific needs, like the Study Melbourne hub for international students, the Job Shop or the Student Legal Service.

For those in need of immediate support for extraordinary circumstances, RMIT offers hardship assistance grants of up to $1000 in cash grants or vouchers, as well as emergency accommodation.

While there has been an increase in applications for these grants in 2023 due to the rising cost of living, the team still encourages students to reach out and ask for help. 

“We understand students may not be aware that out service exists or may feel nervous about taking the first step.

“We want students to feel comfortable to book a one-on-one appointment with us over the phone or in-person to discuss their needs.

“The hardest step is the first one to reach out for help and we acknowledge that.”

Students can find out more about the RMIT financial support and legal services or get in contact with a welfare advisor here.

Story: Finn Hurley 

19 September 2023


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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.