Low income: Q-Step Scheme

If you're from a low-income background, our Q-Step Scheme offers an OP (or rank) boost and a guaranteed scholarship.

OP or rank bonus

You can apply for a bonus of up to three OP scores (or six ranks) to help you improve your chances of being offered a place at QUT.

Financial support

If you're accepted through the Q-Step Scheme and you're studying at QUT for the first time, you'll also receive a QUT Equity Scholarship to help you with study and living costs.

If you apply for:

  • Semester 1, you'll receive an Equity Scholarship $3,500 for one year
  • Semester 2, you'll receive an Equity Scholarship of $1,750 for six months.

Am I eligible for the Q-Step Scheme?

You can apply if you're from a low-income background and you're:

  • an Australian citizen (including dual citizenship holders)
  • an Australian permanent resident
  • an Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder
  • a New Zealand citizen.

There are also some rules around prior university or VET study that may affect your eligibility, but don't be discouraged. Contact us to find out if these rules will affect you.

What does 'low-income background' mean?

We don't have a set definition of 'low-income'. We assess every application individually.

We base our decision on things like:

  • your income
  • your family's income
  • the number of children in your family
  • any Centrelink payments you've received over the last year.

Does it apply to the course I want to do?

The Q-Step OP or rank bonus applies to most undergraduate courses. If your course isn't eligible for the OP or rank bonus, you may still be able to receive the guaranteed Equity Scholarship component of the Q-Step Scheme.

If your course has additional entry requirements, like an audition, interview or questionnaire, you may be eligible for the Q-Step OP or rank bonus, but you still need to complete all the additional requirements successfully.

Check the course information to find out about any additional requirements. If you're accepted to Q-Step you might not have to pay audition fees for Creative Industries courses.

Courses you can't get the Q-Step OP or rank bonus for

You can't get the Q-Step OP or rank bonus if you're applying for:

  • music single and double degrees
  • Fine Arts single and double degrees with additional entry requirements
  • Dean's Scholars programs (any faculty)
  • courses with prior study entry requirements.

But even if you're applying to one of these courses as your first preference, you can still apply for the Q-Step OP or rank bonus for your other preferences.

How to apply for the Q-Step Scheme

Please read carefully.

1. Apply for your course via QTAC. Indicate on your QTAC application that you want to be considered for the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) (category 1: financial hardship). You'll need to print and complete a cover sheet, and provide supporting documents.

How to apply via QTAC for undergraduate courses

2. If you have any questions about QTAC's Educational Access Scheme (EAS), contact QTAC on 1300 467 822.

What happens next?

If QUT is one of your QTAC preferences, and you apply for the EAS (financial hardship), we'll send you a letter letting you know whether you're eligible for the Q-Step Scheme's 3 OP (or 6 rank) admission bonus.

If you're eligible, you don't need to anything else. Your OP/rank bonus will be applied to your preferences, and once you're enrolled at QUT, you'll automatically receive an Equity Scholarship of $1,750 if you start in Semester 2 or $3,500 if you start in Semester 1.

If you're not approved under the EAS (financial hardship), you won't be eligible for the Q-Step Scheme. We encourage you to apply to our Equity Scholarships Scheme, which provides around $4 million each year in scholarships, bursaries and free computers to students who need financial help.

How to apply for Equity Scholarships

School guidance officers

If you're a school guidance officer, you can organise for your Year 10, 11 and 12 students to attend conferences, skills and development days, and information days.

To find out more contact the Explore Uni program team.

More about the Explore Uni program


Q-Step Scheme

  • Phone: 3138 5582
  • Int. phone: +61 7 3138 5582
  • Fax: 3138 5600
  • Email: qstep@qut.edu.au
  • Level 3, C Block, Room 301
    Kelvin Grove
    Victoria Park Rd
    Kelvin Grove QLD 4059
  • Postal address:
    QUT Q-Step Scheme
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001