If you were unable to complete a subject or failed a subject due to special circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for Fee Remission. If granted, you would receive a refund or remission of fees. Fee Remission is a difficult process to pursue, so we suggest you read this information carefully before applying.
It is very important to consider if your circumstances might be better suited to Special Consideration before applying for Fee Remission. If you haven’t already, read our webpage on the difference between the two processes here.
On this page you will find the following information:
Is Fee Remission the right path for me?
The University has two separate processes that you can follow when you are impacted by difficult circumstances: Special Consideration and Remission of Fees in Special Circumstances.
You need to understand the distinction between the two processes so you can apply for the right one. If you haven’t already, we recommend you check out our webpage on this issue here.
If you are looking to apply for a Fee Remission on the basis of special circumstances, such as illness, before you apply you should read our quick explainer to make sure you are following the best procedure in your situation — in some circumstances Special Consideration is a better option.
Once you have established that Fee Remission is the right process for you, you can either read our quick guide to get an overview of the Fee Remission process, or read on for details.
Am I eligible for Fee Remission?
The criteria for Fee Remission are set out in the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth). The legislation states that a student can receive Fee Remission in Special Circumstances. Special circumstances are defined as circumstances that:
- are beyond your control, and
- make their full impact on, or after, the census date, and
- make it impracticable for you to complete the subject requirements
Fee Remission can be difficult to pursue. To be eligible you must meet all the criteria. The University’s fees team administers the Fee Remission process and takes a very strict approach to interpreting the criteria.
Circumstances beyond your control
To meet this element, your circumstances must not be due to your action or inaction, either direct or indirect and are unusual or uncommon or abnormal.
It’s important to note that the University expects students to take responsibility for their own enrolment. Applications for Fee Remission based on not knowing census dates and withdrawing from subjects too late, or not following the correct administrative process to apply for a Leave of Absence, would generally be unsuccessful if there were no special circumstances.
Census dates for standard Semester 1 and Semester 2 subjects are 31 March and 31 August, respectively. However, census dates can be different for each subject and you can check the subject census dates in the University Handbook, or on your Enrolment Record/Statement of Liability.
When assessing your application, the University requires formal documentation and will check the dates you were impacted by special circumstances.What this means is that the documentation must show the full impact on you:
- before the census date but worsened after it, or
- before the census date but the full effect doesn’t become apparent until after the census date, or
- after the census date
Impractical to complete subject requirements
These requirements could include attending required lectures, tutorials or examinations, completing the required assessable work, undertaking the private study required, or meeting other compulsory attendance requirements. The Government guidelines set out an non-exhaustive list of examples of circumstances that may have hampered your ability to complete your studies, such as, medical circumstances, family or personal circumstances, or employment related circumstances.
How do I apply for Fee Remission?
Once you have determined Fee Remission is the right path for you, there are a few important factors to consider when applying.
You must apply within 12 months of withdrawal or, if not withdrawn, 12 months from the end of the study period for the subject/s.
There is some scope for applying outside this timeline if the student can demonstrate that it was not possible to make a timely application due to the nature of the special circumstances impacting them, and the date of their application was the earliest possible time they could submit.
Every claim you make in a Fee Remission application must be supported by formal documentation. For example, if you were unwell during this period, you will need documentation from a treating health care professional.
When providing documentation, you need to consider the criteria for Fee Remission. That is, the documentation must reference a situation which was outside of your control, clearly state the period you were impacted by the special circumstances (this must be after the census date) and adequately describe how the impact of your circumstances made it impracticable for you to complete the subject requirements.
Fee Remission applications are submitted via an online form. If the application is for Medical Circumstances, the Fee Remission Special Medical Circumstances form must be completed by your treating medical practitioner and submitted with your application.
If you need help with an application or an internal appeal, we encourage you to contact us for guidance — you can do that here.
How do I appeal a unsuccessful application?
If your application for Fee Remission is unsuccessful, you can submit an internal appeal within 28 days of being notified of the result. There is some scope for late appeals in exceptional circumstances.
In your appeal you must respond to the reason why the initial application was assessed as ineligible. Some common reasons applications are rejected are:
- the circumstances are considered to be within your control or their impact is not considered to be profound enough to have been impractical to complete your subject requirements.
- the date or period that your special circumstances impacted you is before the census date or did not worsen after the census date
- the documentation you provided does not verify your claims to Fee Remission
Will Fee Remission remove the fail grade on my transcript?
If Fee Remission is granted for a failed subject, you will be considered for a grade change to withdrawn (WD).
Useful resources and relevant University policy