With the school year fast approaching, many families struggle to afford all of the expenses associated with their child’s education. School uniforms and various fees can add up quickly and, if you have a low-income, finding the money isn’t always easy.
Luckily, there are programs designed to help make these costs more manageable. Here are a few you can explore if you are having trouble buying school uniforms or paying the fees.
Many low-income families receive assistance through the School Card scheme. It can help make fees and uniforms more affordable and even helps with things like camps and excursions.
To qualify, certain eligibility requirements must be met. This includes adhering to minimum attendance stands as well as being deemed eligible based on the income audit. In some cases, those experiencing a temporary hardship may also qualify for assistance, such as those going through a period of unemployment or managing high costs associated with medical issues.
Typically, this program only applies to students at government schools, so those attending other institutions will need to explore other options.
States may also offer separate forms of assistance that can lead to lower fees and discounted or free school uniforms. Like the School Card scheme, eligibility requirements must be met to qualify.
Contact the School
Certain schools can provide assistance to low-income families to help make uniforms and fees more affordable. They may have relief programs as well as scholarship options that can lower the total expense associated with your child’s attendance. If your child brings some profile to the institution, such as through academic or sport related achievement, they may be willing to waive certain fees as well.
Many charities are able to provide financial assistance to low-income families including funds for school uniforms and fees. Each organization manages their own eligibility requirements, so you will need to contact them directly for more information.
It’s important to keep in mind that these organizations often operate on a first come, first serve basis and with a limited budget. That means money might not always be available, but it is an option worth exploring.
Friends and Family
If you have friends or family member whose children attend the same school, you may be able to obtain used uniforms that no longer fit their child. Often, this requires knowing someone whose son or daughter is older than your child, but it can be worth exploring.
Friends and family members may also be willing to assist with fee costs. Typically, they have a direct interest in your child’s success, so they may be ready to gift or loan money to make these expenses more manageable. Just make sure to clarify the arrangement in advance as a misunderstanding regarding whether the money was a gift or loan can damage the relationship if repayment expectations aren’t met.