Refund or remission of fees - withdrawal due to special circumstances

If you have withdrawn from a course, after the semester census date, due to unexpected circumstances which have adversely impacted on your ability to continue with your studies, you can apply to have the associated course fee refunded or HELP debt remitted, and the course removed from your academic record.

Applications for Waive Academic Penalty and Fee Reversal must be submitted within 12 months of the end of the relevant study period and must include independent supporting documentation verifying the circumstances outlined in the application.

Please Note:  Upfront payment of the Student Services and Amenities Fee is non-refundable. Further, there is no capacity under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 for remission of an SA-HELP debt under any circumstances.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must demonstrate that they experienced unexpected circumstances which meet all of the following criteria.

  1. The circumstances were beyond your control, and
    • the circumstances must not be as a result of your own action or inaction, either direct or indirect.
  2. The full impact of the circumstances did not become apparent until on, or after, the census date.  Circumstances may occur:
    • on or after the census date,
    • before the census date, but worsen after that date, or
    • before the census date, but the full impact does not become apparent until after that date.
  3. The circumstances prevented you from successfully completing the requirements of the course i.e., as a result of the special circumstances you were unable to:
    • undertake the necessary private study, attend sufficient lectures or tutorials, or meet other compulsory attendance requirements;
    • complete the required assessment items;
    • sit the required examination; or
    • complete any other compulsory course requirement.

Special Circumstances

Applicable special circumstances may include:

  • serious illness or injury which results in significant functional impacts on a student’s ability to successfully complete the requirements of the course;
  • bereavement;
  • significant personal circumstances involving the health or wellbeing of a close relative;
  • employment related circumstances, such as an unexpected and substantial increase in work hours, employer directed transfer or unexpected additional responsibilities;
  • other exceptional circumstances beyond your control (e.g. natural disaster, damage to significant property, impacts arising from being the victim of a crime, etc.).

Circumstances not considered to meet the requirements for withdrawal without financial and/or academic penalty include:

  • circumstances which do not impact on your ability to successfully complete the requirements of the course e.g., did not occur during the relevant study period,
  • short-term illness or impairment,
  • known impairment such as chronic illness, injury or disability unless medical evidence confirms that, despite appropriate management, there has been an unexpected change or worsening of the condition*
  • circumstances which are more appropriately covered by other administrative processes (e.g., deferred or supplementary assessment or examination, or special consideration),
  • the removal of fail grades from previous study periods,
  • inability to pay tuition fees or repay a HELP debt,
  • failure to appropriately manage your enrolment in relation to the census date.

* Where applications are repeatedly made for the same or similar circumstances, the application may be declined on the grounds that the circumstances are not unexpected.

Supporting Documentation Guidelines

Your application must include independent* supporting documentation from a relevant authority who can verify the circumstances outlined in your personal statement.  Supporting documentation must be date-based (i.e. documentation stating that circumstances commenced “after the census date” will not be sufficient to support your application) and must address how the circumstances prevented you from completing the requirements of the course/s for the relevant study period.

Medical

Documentation required: a letter from your treating healthcare professional stating:

  • Consultation date/s relating to the stated medical condition;
  • The date your medical condition began or changed;
  • The duration of your medical condition;
  • How your condition impacted on your ability to study; and
  • When it became apparent that you could not complete the requirements of the course/s.

Documentation must include the practitioner’s name, provider number and contact details and the date the letter was issued.

Family and Personal

Documentation required: a letter from a relevant professional (e.g. healthcare professional, counsellor, legal professional) or independent member of the community stating:

  • The date your family or personal circumstances began or changed;
  • How your circumstances impacted on your ability to study; and
  • When it became apparent that you could not complete the requirements of the course/s.

Employment

Documentation required: a letter from your supervisor/employer issued on official letterhead stating:

  • The date and reasons your employment circumstances changed and when you were advised of the change;
  • Your previous employment conditions i.e., work hours, responsibilities, location;
  • Your current (changed) employment conditions i.e., work hours, responsibilities, location.
  • How your circumstances impacted on your ability to study; and
  • When it became apparent that you could not complete the requirements of the course/s.

* supporting documentation must be from an independent source i.e., your application cannot be supported by family members or friends.  Statutory Declarations are not considered independent and will not be accepted as supporting evidence. Photographs should not be included as supporting documentation with your application and will not be considered as evidence.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted through the online request section of your Student Centre.  Your application must include a personal statement detailing when the circumstances occurred and how the circumstances adversely impacted on your ability to complete the requirements of the course.  Your circumstances must be verified by independent supporting documentation from a relevant authority.  

Please contact the Student Support team if you need assistance with your application.

Notification of outcome

You will be notified of the outcome of your application within 4 – 6 weeks of the date your application was submitted.  Notifications are issued via email to your University email account.

Unsuccessful applications - Review of Decision

Unsuccessful applicants may request reconsideration of the decision.  Information on how to submit a Review of Decision request is included in the Notice of Decision letter.  Review of Decision requests must be received within 28 days of the date the original decision was issued.

Notification of the outcome of your Review of Decision request will be issued within 45 days of the date your request was received.  If your Review of Decision request is unsuccessful, information on your right to seek an external review will be included in the decision notification letter.