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Rural Access Scheme

The Rural Access Scheme exists to recognise the challenges that are often faced by students from Rural and Remote backgrounds. 

For selected courses through CQUniversity (CQU), Griffith University (GU), The University of Queensland (UQ), University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC), and University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ), a number of places are allocated to applicants who are from Rural and Remote backgrounds to study as part of the Rural Access Scheme.

For, QUT you will be provided with an adjustment to most courses if you are currently living in Rural and Remote areas of Australia. If you are year 12 boarder, please make sure your residential address is your home address.

Find out more about each university’s scheme by following the links below:

Am I eligible?

If you have lived in Rural and Remote areas of Australia for five years consecutively (60 full months) or ten years cumulatively (120 full months), the chance to study as part of the scheme may be available to you.

Rural and Remoteness is determined if you have lived in an Australian Statistical Geographic Remoteness Area category 2 to 7. 

You can check your Remoteness Area category by visiting the Health Workforce Locator website. Choose the “Modified Monash model” section and select “2019” as the year when searching for your current or previous permanent home address.

How do I apply?

If you have applied to a Rural Access Scheme eligible course, you will automatically be sent an invitation to apply for the scheme after you submit your application.

You will need to download and complete the cover sheet and upload it to your QTAC application with supporting documentation by the due date outlined on the form.

Please note the cover sheet is not required if you are solely applying to QUT.

What supporting documentation can I provide?

Please see the Rural Access Scheme Supporting Documentation Guide for detailed information about accepted documentation.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have never lived in a rural area, why have I been sent an invitation to apply for the rural access scheme?

All applicants applying to Rural Access Scheme eligible courses are sent a Rural Access Scheme request. If the scheme does not apply to you, then you do not need to do anything further – please disregard the request.

I go to school in Brisbane and I am currently boarding/ living here while I study, but my permanent home address (family home) is in a rural area. Do I qualify for the rural access scheme?

Yes, if you live at your family home when you are not at school, then you can be considered for the Rural Access Scheme.

I have been living in a rural area for 3 years to date and intend on residing here for a total of 5 years. Am I eligible for the Rural Access Scheme?

No. To be eligible for the Rural Access Scheme, you must meet the criteria of having lived rurally for five years consecutively or ten years cumulatively at the time of applying. Future dates will not be accepted.

I am planning to move rurally at the end of the year. Can I apply for the Rural Access Scheme?

No. The rural residence claimed must be your current or previous primary residence and cannot include future places of residence. To be eligible, you must be able to provide evidence that you have lived in a rural area for five years consecutively or ten years cumulatively.

I live in Brisbane, but my family has a property in a rural area which we visit a few times a year. Can I apply for the Rural Access Scheme?

No. Holiday homes, investment properties and secondary residences do not qualify. The Rural Access Scheme is assessed based on your primary residence only.

Do I get additional consideration if I have lived in a rural area for longer compared to other applicants?

No. All applicants meeting the minimum eligibility requirements of five years consecutively or ten years cumulatively are considered equally regardless of the amount of time spent in a rural area.

I can’t find my address on the Health Workforce Locator; how can I check if I am eligible?

If you are unable to find your address, try searching more broadly for your suburb only.

Can I provide a Statutory Declaration to support my claim?

Statutory declarations are strictly not accepted by QTAC as supporting evidence for the Rural Access Scheme, however may be requested by some institutions on a case by case basis. You should not provide a statutory declaration, unless requested to do so.

I have applied to the CQUniversity Bachelor of Medical Science (Pathway to Medicine) and I live in or have previously lived in Central Queensland and Wide Bay – am I eligible for additional adjustments?

If you have lived in and can demonstrate residence of 5 years consecutively or 10 years cumulatively in Central Queensland and/or Wide Bay you may be considered for additional adjustments for CQ University. To apply, you must download the Rural Access Scheme Coversheet and complete all sections including the CQUniversity nomination. Failure to complete this will result in you not being considered.

What does 5 years consecutively mean?

5 years consecutively means that you have lived rurally for 5 years in a row. For example, from January 2015 to January 2020 would be 5 consecutive years (5 years in a row). You must provide supporting documentation for each year that you lived rurally.

What does 10 years cumulatively mean?

10 years cumulatively means that you have lived in a rural area/s for a total of 10 years at any time across your lifetime. You may have moved back and forth between metropolitan and rural areas, but you can account for a total of 10 years where you lived rurally. You must provide supporting documentation for each period that you lived rurally.

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