The Disability Scholarship Program is an initiative from the department's Disability Action Plan. The program aims to achieve a long-term increase in the number of qualified people with a disability employed across all areas and all levels of the public service.

The 2020 program will be offering a limited number of scholarships for people with a disability in Victoria in the following areas of study:

  • law
  • criminology
  • para-legal
  • psychology
  • social work
  • other justice-related fields.

The scholarship will be awarded on a merit principle, taking into account an applicant’s eligibility, past academic results, ability to complete a course of study, and competitiveness against other scholarship applicants.

The scholarship program will provide eligible students with a fortnightly study allowance as detailed in the scholarship guidelines.

Full details of the 2020 Disability Scholarship Program are contained in the attached guidelines. 

How do I apply?

Read through the guidelines on applying for a scholarship. 

Download a copy of the Disability Scholarship Program 2020 application form above and submit via post, email or in person. 

If you would like a copy of the application form and guidelines to be sent to you, email (External link)

Applications for the 2020 program close on 27 March 2020.


To be eligible for a scholarship, an applicant must:

  • have a disability
  • have resided in Victoria on a full-time basis for a minimum of two years immediately preceding lodgement of the application  
  • earn less than $25,000 gross per annum from employment undertaken during the scholarship period (if an applicant has dependents, gross annual income from employment may include an extra $5,000 per annum per dependent)
  • declare, and provide details of, any scholarships currently awarded by the Victorian state government or non-Victorian government entities
  • if a current undergraduate student, demonstrate a minimum pass grade in all subjects undertaken in the semester immediately preceding the intake semester when the application is lodged
  • be seeking a scholarship for an accredited course. All registered higher education providers and their courses are listed on the national register for tertiary education providers and courses (External link).

Undergraduate applicants

Undergraduate students are eligible to apply for a scholarship if they have successfully completed all units for:

  • one year of a three-year full-time course (or part-time equivalent), or
  • two years of a four-year full-time course (or part-time equivalent)

and have not withdrawn from the course of study for which they are seeking the scholarship.

Postgraduate applicants

For postgraduate applicants to be eligible for a scholarship, they will need to have successfully gained entry into a postgraduate course.

Persons ineligible for a scholarship

Persons are ineligible to receive a scholarship if they are currently:

  • completing a sentence through non-custodial means (for example parole)
  • on bail or on remand in custody
  • in lawful custody for committing an offence (in a Youth Justice Centre as defined in section 478 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (External link) or imprisoned in an adult correctional facility within Australia), or
  • in receipt of a scholarship offering financial assistance for study purposes and which exceeds $20,000.  

Assessment of applications

If an application meets all eligibility criteria, it will be assessed on merit, together with the applicant’s personal circumstances, academic history and achievements, and any previous assistance received for study purposes, excluding financial assistance provided through Centrelink. 

Scholarship requirements

Scholarship recipients must provide proof in writing to the department’s Disability Scholarship Contact Officer of:

  • enrolment at the commencement of each academic year
  • continued enrolment at the educational institution and in the course of study throughout each semester (such documentation is required to be endorsed by the educational institution)
  • copies of results at the end of each semester
  • their Tax File Number
  • any change to workload or contact details, address and telephone number (within 14 days of the change).

A scholarship holder is required to complete the proposed course of study within the duration of the scholarship. Scholarship holders will be required to demonstrate a satisfactory standard throughout the duration of the scholarship for both the academic and work placement, if undertaken. Failure in any subject in any semester could result in the scholarship being cancelled.

A scholarship will not be approved until the applicant is formally accepted into the course of study, as detailed in their scholarship application. Evidence of acceptance will be required in the form of written advice from the educational institution.

Other documents you will be required to provide

Past academic results

An essential element in assessing an applicant’s ability to complete their course of study for the duration of the scholarship is their past academic performance.

Applicants will be assessed on their documented results from previously undertaken study, for example at the secondary or other academic level.

Academic reference

Each applicant is required to provide, as part of their application, an academic reference from a nominated referee who can provide an appraisal of their academic performance and ability.  A template for the referees report is included with the program application forms.

Study load

The applicant is required to provide the department with written confirmation of the part-time or full-time workload status of their course of study from the educational institution at which they will be studying during the scholarship period.

Receipt of other scholarships

It is the responsibility of the applicant to immediately advise the Disability Scholarship Contact Officer if they accept an offer of other financial assistance through a study scholarship after lodgement of their application.

Centrelink payments

It is the responsibility of each scholarship holder in receipt of Centrelink payments to advise Centrelink that they have been successful in securing a scholarship.


Any Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) or Higher Education Loan Payment (HELP) fees associated with an applicant's study will be met by the applicant.


It is the responsibility of successful applicants to apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for an individual private ruling for an exemption from income tax to the scholarship received through the program.  Information on how to apply to the ATO for an exemption will be provided to successful applicants by the Disability Scholarship Contact Officer at the commencement of the scholarship.

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