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According to the 2007 study by “Universities Australia” called the “Australian University Student Finances 2006: Final Report of a National Survey of Students in Public Universities,” the education scenario in Australia has steadily been changing to a “student pays” system.

Though this system professes to ease the financial burden of students of higher education by providing them with easy student loans and other sources of funds for studies, it has added a lot of stress in addition to their ever increasing syllabus.

However, if students learn to manage their finances well, they will find the going pretty easy – but for most students that’s a tall order because if students do not manage their finances well they will leave college and university with a large financial debt – even before joining the workforce.

Sources of finance for studies
Students have to come with annual fee ranging between 5000 to 9000 dollars. The only way a student can come up with this kind of cash is either through scholarships, or educational loans. Following are some sources of finance for students:

1). The Australian Government has a HECS-Help (Higher Education Contribution Help) scheme and quick loan program to help students with finance. However, the student has to be an Australian and be able to contribute at least 500 dollars towards the course fee. Students receive a 20 percent rebate of this loan amount.

2). Student loans from banks are another option to provide cash finance for higher studies. Students not eligible for government schemes can resort to bank loans that they can repay once they start earning. Some banks offer loans where the interest begins to accrue after they graduate.

3). Scholarships are few and far between abut are an option for eligible students.

4). Getting a part time job to pay for college is fast becoming popular among students who find it easier to work a few hours each day and pay their way through college instead of availing a loan.

Managing expenses
Getting a loan for studies is all alright, but if a student cannot manage his or her finances well, can only be heading for trouble. Some expenses most students have to meet are mobile bills, food, accommodation, internet bills and credit card bills.

Using pre-paid mobile phones can cut down on the huge post-paid mobile bills. In fact, using pre-paid mobile cards help budget phone expenses a great deal. In addition, instead of using credit cards to pay for course fee it is better and more economical for the student to go through the university to avail of a student loan. The process is easy, economical and less of a hassle. Students can also consider applying for a “means-tested” scholarship from the university.

Share accommodation with a group of students instead of hiring a single room for yourself. Sign up with a cafeteria for your meals instead of “eating out.” Use public transport instead of your car, or if you have to commute a lot, use a two wheeler instead of the car. This can reduce your expenses greatly.

It is important to make a budget before entering university or college. The typical budget of a student looks something like this:

Food $50, petrol $20, travel pass $30, mobile phone $12, accommodation $120, credit card payments. There will be other expenses such as car registration, insurance and books. Expenses will vary with each individual so each has to make his personal budget and when making a budget remember to set aside a small amount for personal expenses too.

Too many students drop out of university because they are unable to cope with their finances. In most cases students are just unable to manage their finances and get into trouble in the process. Learning to manage student finances is of utmost importance if they are to be successful.

This article has been written by John Smith, an expert finanical writer for