Current Students

Refund of tuition fees or recredit of FEE-HELP

Further information

The processes and procedures described in this document are consistent with obligations prescribed in:

You can apply for a refund of tuition fees and re-credit of FEE-HELP in certain circumstances.

Procedures for applying for a refund and appealing a decision regarding a refund are explained here.

  1. Refund
  2. Commonwealth Assistance Notice
  3. Apply for refund
  4. Appeal against outcome
  5. Appeal against procedures
  6. Appeal to external tribunal

These procedures complement the University’s Student Grievance Resolution Policy.

Contact Student Administration for help understanding your tuition fees or FEE-HELP debt.  

Refund

You can apply for a refund of paid tuition fees and re-credit of FEE-HELP balance if you withdraw from your studies after the census date or if you have not completed the requirements of the unit and special circumstances apply that are:

Your FEE-HELP debt in relation to a unit of study is taken to be remitted if your FEE-HELP balance is re-credited.

You can clarify your FEE-HELP balance through the Study Assist website. Student Administration staff can assist you in understanding your tuition fees and FEE-HELP debt.

Eligibility

Refund of paid tuition fees and / or re-credit of FEE-HELP balance is dependent on various conditions and circumstances:

'Special circumstances'

Special circumstances do not include:

  • lack of knowledge or understanding of the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003
  • Higher Education Support Act requirements
  • a person’s incapacity to repay a Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debt
'Beyond your control' 

Circumstances are beyond a person’s control if a situation occurs which a reasonable person would consider is not due to the person’s action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which the person is not responsible. This situation must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal. (For example, a lack of knowledge of how FEE-HELP works is not considered beyond a person’s control).

'Do not make their full impact on you until on, or after, the census date'

Circumstances that do not make their full impact on the person until on, or after, the census date for the unit if the person’s circumstances occur:

  • before the census date, but worsen after that day
  • before the census date, but the full effect or magnitude does not become apparent until after that day
  • on or after the census date
'Impracticable to complete the requirements for a unit of study'

Circumstances that make it impracticable for the person to complete the requirements for their unit of study include:

  • medical circumstances. For example, where a person’s medical condition has changed to such an extent that he or she is unable to continue studying
  • family / personal circumstances. For example, death or severe medical problems within a family, or unforeseen family financial difficulties, so that it is unreasonable to expect a person to continue studies
  • employment-related circumstances. For example, where a person’s employment status or arrangements have changed so that the person is unable to continue his or her studies, and this change is beyond the person’s control
  • course-related circumstances. For example, where the University has changed the unit it had offered and the person is disadvantaged by either not being able to complete the unit, or not being given credit towards other units or courses

A person is unable to complete the requirements for a unit, for example, if the person is unable to:

  • undertake the necessary private study required
  • attend sufficient lectures or tutorials
  • meet other compulsory attendance requirements in order to meet their compulsory course requirements
  • complete the required assessable work
  • sit the required examinations
  • complete any other course requirements because of their inability to meet the above

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Commonwealth Assistance Notice

Following the census date in each teaching period, UWA issues to eligible students a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN). This notice contains details of units enrolled at the census date and financial liability.

The information in your CAN will be reviewed if, within 14 days, you write to the UWA Student Administration Officer (fees) including details of the grounds for your request for a review, for example, withdrawal that has not been recorded. Your request should be accompanied by supporting documentary evidence. Your request will be reviewed by the Senior Administrative Officer (fees). The review officer will, as appropriate:

  • verify enrolment details
  • confirm tuition fees and / or FEE-HELP balance for the relevant teaching period
  • re-issue a new CAN where a correction / refund of paid tuition fees and / or re-credit of FEE-HELP balance is approved
  • advise relevant sections of Department of Education and the Australian Tax Office if required

The Student Administration Officer (fees) will write to you, normally within 14 days, advising the outcome of your review.

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Apply for refund

You may request a formal review for the refund of paid tuition fees and / or re-credit of FEE-HELP balance by submitting a completed Application for refund of paid tuition fees and / or re-credit of FEE-HELP balance in special circumstances.

Your request must be made within 12 months of the period of study in which the unit was, or was to be, undertaken. Where you are permitted to defer completion of your studies, the twelve month period applies from the end of the extended period.

Your application must include the reasons for the request and any additional documentation (original or certified copies) that may assist your case such as a letter from your doctor or counsellor which demonstrates:

  • that your circumstances changed after the census date
  • how your circumstances prevented you from continuing your studies
  • when you became aware you could no longer continue with your studies, and
  • that these circumstances beyond your control prevented you from withdrawing from your studies prior to the census date[s]

The manager will write to you, normally within 14 days, advising the outcome of your review (that is, a refund or re-credit if successful).

If your application is successful, the Notice of Decision letter will include the:

  • reasons for the decision to refund your paid tuition fees and / or re-credit your FEE-HELP balance
  • FEE-HELP balance that will be re-credited
  • FEE-HELP debt that will be reduced (if applicable)
  • upfront payment amount that will be refunded if you have made such a payment
  • who to contact for further questions

If you application is unsuccessful, the Notice of Decision letter will include the reasons for the decision not to refund your paid tuition fees and / or re-credit your FEE-HELP balance. It will also advise you how to submit a valid request for a review of this decision and who to contact for further questions.

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Appeal against outcome

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request for refund of your paid tuition fees and / or re-credit of FEE-HELP balance you may appeal to the Student Administration manager within 28 days from the day you first receive notice of the outcome.

Your application will be acknowledged in writing. You will be advised of a decision within 45 days.

If your application for review of the decision is successful, the Notice of Decision letter will include:

  • reasons for the decision to refund your paid tuition fees and/or re-credit your FEE-HELP balance;
  • FEE-HELP balance that will be re-credited
  • FEE-HELP debt that will be reduced (if applicable)
  • upfront payment amount that will be refunded if you have made such a payment
  • who to contact for further questions

If your application for review of the decision is unsuccessful, the Notice of Decision letter will include the reasons for the decision not to refund your paid tuition fees and / or re-credit your FEE-HELP balance. It will also advise you where to obtain further information on the University’s formal Student Grievance Resolution Policy; and who to contact for further questions.

If additional relevant information or evidence has come to hand which was not available previously and that you believe will impact the outcome of your application, please submit this additional information to the Manager, Student Administration.

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Appeal against procedures

If, after completing all the steps above, you consider that the University’s published procedures were not followed, you may wish to consider lodging a submission under the University’s Student Grievance Resolution Policy.

The University is not empowered to use this procedure to reconsider or change decisions made by the review of decision officer in relation to refunding paid tuition fees and / or re-crediting FEE-HELP balance, however, you may access the procedures if you think there has been maladministration in relation to your application for refund of paid tuition fees and / or re-credit of FEE-HELP balance.

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Appeal to external tribunal

If, after completing all the steps above, you are still not satisfied with the outcome of the review of decision, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review within 28 days from the day you first receive notice of the review of decision outcome. Student Administration can provide the contact details and address of the nearest AAT registry.

A filing fee is normally payable to the AAT. However there are some circumstances in which you do not have to pay the fee and you should contact the AAT to obtain more information.

 

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