Indigenous Student Success Program

Today’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students are the leaders of tomorrow. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university graduates go on to professional or academic careers, making important contributions to communities, families and the knowledge of our country.

The Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP) commenced on 1 January 2017 and provides supplementary funding to universities to help students take on the demands of university and succeed. Universities can offer scholarships, tutorial assistance, mentoring, safe cultural spaces and other personal support services. The flexibility of the ISSP assists universities to tailor their services to match student needs.

ISSP funding is particularly prioritised towards the support of Indigenous students who are financially disadvantaged and/or from remote and regional areas.

Universities receive ISSP funding based on enrolments, unit success rates and course completions of Indigenous students. A special loading also recognises the additional costs associated with assisting Indigenous students from regional and remote areas.

2018 ISSP Review

The Government is conducting a review of the ISSP to ensure the program settings that commenced on 1 January 2017 are operating effectively and as intended. The Government has released a discussion paper offering stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on the first 18 months of the program and to inform improvements that might be implemented from the 2019 academic year.

The Government welcomes feedback on the program and encourages institutions and organisations to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students and stakeholders in developing their response to the discussion paper.

Responses to the discussion paper should be submitted by 31 August 2018 and may be submitted:

  1. Via the online response form; or
  2. By completing the Word response template and attaching it in an email addressed to (please do not convert the document to PDF); or
  3. Hardcopy submissions can be addressed to:

ISSP Review
Education, Community Safety and Health Division  
Indigenous Affairs Group
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
GPO Box 6500

Any questions on the Review can be directed to

ISSP Scholarships

Applications for new ISSP scholarships should be directed to the Scholarships Office or Indigenous Higher Education Units at the institution where the student intends to study. Any application for a new scholarship must include information on any other scholarship or financial assistance potentially or already received.

Higher education providers are expected to advise eligible students of their scholarship value, duration and method of payment prior to the start of semester. Other Government support such as the Centrelink Residential Cost Option, Relocation Scholarships or Student Start-up Loans may impact ISSP eligibility. Providers are expected to advise students where eligibility may be impacted. Late or incomplete student applications may lead to delays in scholarship advice or payment.

Providers must record the offer and award of ISSP scholarships in the Higher Education Information Management System.

Students who were in receipt of an Indigenous Commonwealth Scholarship in 2016 or earlier may be eligible to receive a Preserved ISSP scholarship under transitional ISSP arrangements.

ISSP Reporting

General information on ISSP Reporting DOCX | PDF

Information on Performance Reporting DOCX | PDF

Information on the Financial Acquittal DOCX | PDF

More Information

The Indigenous Student Success Program is administered under Part 2-2A of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Indigenous Student Assistance Grants Guidelines 2016 . An explanatory statement is available to assist interpret the guidelines.

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