Post-grad allowances

The Dom Post reports:

Wellington mum Tracy Merson has been forced to abandon her studies just short of a master’s degree – for a possible career as a psychologist – after new student allowance legislation whipped the financial rug out from under her.

As far as I know you don’t need a masters to be a psychologist? Who not start the career with the bachelors and then gain your masters?

Because she is on a domestic purposes benefit, she does not qualify for student loan living costs, and the $172.50 maximum a week would not be enough to support her daughters, aged 12 and 13.

I do wish the story would make clear what the figure refers to. Most would take that as being the DPB is only $172.50 a week . The DPB pays $33.01 a week gross or $293.58 a week net. On top of that you get $157 WFF family tax credit so that is around $450 a week in the hand. There may be accommodation supplement on top of that and it is unclear if one can also get $172.50 student loan on top of all that also.

This is not to say it is challenging to be a post-grad student, especially as a sole parent. But we need to have clear facts on what the financial situation is, to accurately judge the adequacy of policy settings.

UPDATE: I’m told you now need a Masters to practice. It used to be a BA Applied was sufficient, but obviously times change.

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