Special Consideration or Fee Remission?
Choosing Your Path Wisely
The University has two separate processes that you can follow if you are too unwell to complete assessments; Special Consideration and Fee Remission in Special Circumstances. While similar, these processes have different criteria, documentation requirements, as well as outcomes, so it’s important to understand the distinction between them.
The University has recently attempted to ‘streamline’ its application processes to make it easier for you to apply for late withdrawal and fee remission. This sounds good in theory, but we have noticed that in practice the outcomes are not always especially good or convenient. In fact, we are of the view that the process the University is advising students to follow is actually making things harder and more complicated than it should be.
The easiest way to establish which process you should follow is to first identify what kind of outcome you are seeking.
Special consideration is about academic adjustments to ensure your academic results and progress are not unfairly impacted by exceptional circumstances or chronic issues which need equitable accommodation.
Fee remission is about getting your money back for subjects you could not complete due to exceptional circumstances.
If you want an outcome that changes the requirements of an upcoming assessment task, or recognises past illness or circumstances that had a significant bearing on your capacity to complete a subject, then what you are seeking is best referred to as an academic adjustment.
Examples of academic adjustments include:
- Alternative assessment tasks
- Special arrangements for assessment tasks (such as alternative exam arrangements)
- Reweighting of assessments
- Special exams
- Late withdrawal from a subject
If this is what you are seeking, then you should apply for Special Consideration.
If you are simply looking for a remission of fees paid, or the reversal of a HELP debt, then Fee Remission in Special Circumstances is the most appropriate process for you to pursue.