7 Ways to Fund Your PhD Studies at UNSW Canberra
A PhD can be a very enjoyable and fulfilling time in your life, however it can also be very costly, so you need to start thinking about how you are going to fund your studies as soon as possible. While many universities offer some scholarships to help students fund their studies, the majority of the financial burden falls on the students themselves. The good news is that there are plenty of different options available that will allow you to pursue your dream of earning your PhD without breaking the bank! Here are 7 ways you can fund your PhD at UNSW Canberra…
1) Tertiary FEE-HELP
Tertiary FEE-HELP is a loan scheme and does not require your parent’s income, it just requires you to be enrolled in an eligible course at an approved institution. The rate of HECS-HELP that you pay depends on your household income and living arrangements. The threshold level for 2018–19 is $48,869 for single independent students and $68,957 for independent students with dependents. If your annual household adjusted taxable income (ATI) exceeds these amounts, you will pay a higher amount of FEE-HELP each year.
2) Low Income Financial Supplement
An income and assets test is applied to determine eligibility for low income student payments. Undergraduate students are eligible for a maximum rate of $4,070 for one year, whilst postgraduate students can receive a maximum rate of $5,148 per annum. Note that the rates listed above do not include Rent Assistance (for renters) or Fares Allowance (for public transport users). You may also be eligible for other payments such as Family Tax Benefit Part A, if you have dependents or Health Care Cards if you’re receiving medical treatment. If you’re feeling particularly flush and in between research grants then consider investing in some high-yield financial products with your spare cash.
3) Scholarships & Fellowships
Scholarships and fellowships are great options for doctoral students since they’re awarded based on merit. But there are a lot of scholarships and fellowships out there, so how do you decide which ones to apply for? To make things easier, let’s break down some of your main options: At UNSW Canberra, we have four scholarship opportunities available in 2017: The Australian Government (ARC) Postgraduate Award (PGA), Overseas Research Student Support Scheme (ORS3S), University Women’s College Scholarships (UWC) and Eileen Field Scholarship.
4) Research Assistantships
Research assistantships are competitive positions in which you work with faculty on an ongoing basis as a part of their research team. Each year, we have numerous awards up for grabs that would cover your stipend and tuition, and possibly a small travel allowance. As one of my most memorable mentors said: If you’re not growing, you’re dying. That is certainly true in academia – if you don’t stay current with research in your field and gain new skills along the way, then you’ll quickly be left behind by those who do. So make sure that even when it’s tough (and it will be), you don’t stop seeking out opportunities to develop yourself as a researcher and expand your network of contacts. You never know where something like that might lead!
5) Teaching Assistantships
Over 3,500 positions are available on campus each year through the University’s Employment Service. Successful applicants will be paid a salary of up to $40,000 p.a. for their work as a teaching assistant in one of our many undergraduate or postgraduate courses and units. This is an opportunity for you to gain invaluable teaching experience and help subsidise your studies by $12,300 per year (based on an average course load).
6) Equity Investment Plans
Most Australian superannuation funds have an option for investors to purchase a part of a business. Depending on how well your fund is doing, you could secure a lifetime income by putting your money into equities and enjoy strong returns on investment. This option is only recommended if you’re sure that you won’t need access to your super savings for a long time, as it may take up to 20 years or more for some shares in smaller companies or growth businesses before they become profitable and your investment makes money. You should also do some serious research about what companies have done well in the past and which ones are worth investing in before making any decisions.
7) Borrowing Against Your Home
If you are fortunate enough to own your home, one of your most valuable assets is probably your family home. Whether or not you can obtain a loan against it will depend on factors such as your credit rating and amount of equity in your property. It also depends on whether you want a fixed rate or variable rate loan (which will usually carry a higher interest rate). Also, only some banks offer such loans, so shopping around for home loans will be necessary. Before deciding to take out a loan against your home, ensure that you have explored all of your other options first.