I had the privilege of supporting Katrina, a full-time Bachelor of Science student, who relocated from NSW to study at USQ Toowoomba, due to a change in family circumstances.
Katrina experienced a significant change in her financial situation, describing her experience as “literally starting from scratch”.
Once settled into her new home, Katrina was successful in gaining part-time work to support herself during her time as a student. Even with this income and supplementary Government support, Katrina realised she would need to significantly adjust her spending habits to manage financially.
I sat with Katrina and we discussed her budget and worked together to develop strategies to adjust her spending to better reflect her new income. We also explored local cost-effective grocery options and I provided her with information on local supports available to reduce her spending on costs.
Katrina applied for an interest-free Educational Support Loan, using the new online loan form. She was able to submit all required documents online via her Student Login and I was able to access her information easily and processed her loan quickly. Following her application, Katrina was successful in being granted a loan for the amount she needed to purchase her required textbooks and can comfortably repay the loan in her new budget.
Katrina was also able to explore the scholarship options available to her circumstances and I pointed her in the direction of the amazing support offered by USQ Library and to the USQ Access job board.
Interest Free Student loans, budgeting advice and referral to other support services has allowed many new and continuing students to start the new academic year with the necessary textbooks, supplies and equipment. It's now easier than ever to link in with a USQ Wellness Advisor, with loan applications and appointments now available online.
During COVID when the student emergency support fund was in place, an online application process was developed to expedite the delivery of much needed funds to students impacted by COVID. Over $3M was delivered using this process by the Welfare team to students during this time. This online process led to the development of a more streamlined method of processing our existing Interest-free Loans.
Our USQ Health and Wellness Team are constantly looking for ways to improve our service delivery to students, improving your student experience and supporting your success in their studies.