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Helping Country Youth Kick Accommodation Costs to the Curb Series: St Martin’s

By September 17, 2023No Comments

St Martin’s College is making it much easier for country students to study at Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) Wagga Wagga by partnering with Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) to deliver accommodation scholarships.

Finance company Finder reported that 70% of Generation Z respondents to its survey stated they were under financial stress, in its latest cost of living report in March.

CEF’s Accommodation scholarships have proved critical in 2023, as well as it’s other streams of grant and scholarship funding, with 60% of recipients reporting they used at least some of their funds for accommodation this year- an increase of 14% from 2022.

Through its ‘CEF Extra’ program, CEF has an accommodation partnership with St Martin’s – a residential college located at the Charles Sturt Wagga Wagga campus, which through its CEF partnership offers three students per year scholarships of $2500 – approximately a third of their annual fees. Students are eligible if they have already received a grant from their local CEF foundation.

Since starting its CEF partnership last year St Martin’s has provided three scholarships to the value of $7500, enabling them to complete their studies at CSU without financial stresses.

St Martin’s focuses on rural, regional and remote (RRR) students accessing tertiary education in fields such as veterinary science, social work, arts, nursing, teaching and a wide range of agricultural sciences.

Head of St Martin’s, Susan Bazzana, said the college was committed to providing a low-cost accommodation option that was well below that of metropolitan universities.

“Students receiving CEF scholarships tell us that the scholarships funds enable them to afford to live on campus and to reduce the number of hours they need to work in part time jobs enabling them to focus more time on their university studies,” she said.

“The investment in tertiary students provided by CEF and St Martin’s College is really an investment in the future of the regions through well-educated, committed employees and innovators who understand regional, remote and rural communities and are invested in them.”

This year there were two recipients of the CEF – St Martin’s scholarships – Dannielle Spencer supported by CEF Griffith and Rachel Charles by CEF Namoi.

CEF University Partner:
St Martins College, Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga campus

Partnership Commenced:

Number of Scholarships Awarded:

Total Funds Committed:

Student Spotlight – Dannielle Spencer

Dannielle Spencer
Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga campus
Bachelor of Secondary Education
St Martin’s College Accommodation Scholarship

Local CEF Foundation:

Country Education Foundation of Griffith

CEF student Dannielle Spencer, of Griffith, says her St Martin’s scholarship and CEF grant funding has given her “ease of mind,” and understands the cost of living has put pressure on so many university students.

Ms Spencer received the scholarship to live there while studying a Bachelor of Education at Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga campus.

She initially received $1500 from her local CEF foundation, CEF Griffith, which she has also contributed to her accommodation fees.

Now in her second year of study, she said the funding she’d received had allowed her to spend her own money on more minimal expenses.

“The cost of living has been challenging and has put pressure on a lot of university students,” she said.

“The funding has meant I haven’t had to dedicate as much time to part time work and have been able to spend more time on my studies.”

For more information on the cost-of-living crisis our youth are facing, check out the first blog in the Helping Country Youth Kick Accommodation Costs to the Curb Series.”

Joshua Matic

Author Joshua Matic

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