|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
5 October, 2010
Following a review of the Aspire Scholarship scheme, Associate Education Minister Hon Rodney Hide was today pleased to announce changes to the scheme's eligibility criteria which will see more students able to apply.
"At present, the scheme does not take into account the number of children in a household and how Working for Families credits affects their income. This means that larger families are more likely to exceed the income eligibility criteria," Mr Hide said.
"To solve this, the 2012 eligibility criteria will now exclude all Working for Families income received by a family when assessing their total income. This will allow for a gliding income threshold on the basis of family size, while still having a fixed threshold for other income.
"This is great news for large families who will no longer be penalised solely because they receive more Working for Families tax credits.
"As part of this change, the income eligibility threshold will reduce to $56,000 to maintain an alignment with the original threshold of $65,000 which was inclusive of Working for Families tax credits.
"The net worth threshold will increase from $150,000 to $200,000 to take into account the rise in house prices which resulted in many low-income families being excluded. In addition, the value of household items will be excluded from the net worth threshold to enable a more practical and consistent assessment of eligibility.
"Since its inception 12 months ago, the Aspire Scholarship scheme has been running very well and has received positive feedback from the students involved. It's great to be able to announce these changes to the eligibility criteria which will mean that even more students will have the opportunity to apply," Mr Hide said.