Refunds and remissions

Sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you are unable to continue with your studies. If, after the census date has passed, you discontinue from a unit or are unable to complete the requirements of the unit, you may be eligible to apply for a refund of the tuition fees you have paid upfront or a remission of a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP debt due to special circumstances.

It is important to note that the criteria for receiving Special Consideration and criteria for Fee Remission are not the same. Approval of Special Consideration does not guarantee you are eligible for a fee remission/refund.

You are not eligible to receive a refund/remission if you successfully completed your unit(s) of study, regardless of the pass grade received.

Domestic students

Excess payments

If you are paying your full fees upfront and accidentally pay too much, we will automatically refund the excess payment to your nominated bank account after the census date.

Refund of upfront paid fees/re-credit of HELP debt

In limited circumstances, you can apply for remission of fees you have paid directly to UWA or of HELP debt you have accrued (HECS- and FEE-HELP), where you have withdrawn from units after the census date and special circumstances applied to you. Applications are assessed in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003, 36-21 and 36-22. Under legislation, the University is not permitted to refund SA-HELP debt and does not refund upfront SSAF payments.    

  • Eligibility criteria

    To be eligible, the special circumstances must have been:

    • beyond your control; and
    • did not make their full impact on you until on or after the census date of the unit; and
    • made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements of the unit.

    Special circumstances do not include:

    • lack of knowledge or understanding the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003
    • requirements in the Higher Education Support Act
    • an inability to repay a HELP debt

    You are not eligible to receive a refund/remission if you successfully completed your unit(s) of study, regardless of the pass grade received.

    Beyond your control

    Circumstances are considered 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.

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

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

    • before the census date, but worsen significantly 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 a person to complete the requirements of the unit of study may 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 to such an extent 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 student 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 if, for example, the person is unable to:

    • undertake the necessary private study required to successfully complete the unit
    • attend sufficient lectures or tutorials that make it impracticable to catch up on the missed material, or
    • meet other compulsory attendance requirements in order to meet compulsory course requirements
  • Supporting documentation

    Documentation must be supplied with your application. It is essential that you provide independent supporting documentation to support your application. It is not sufficient to provide only a personal statement or statutory declaration.

    Medical reasons

    If your medical condition occurred prior to your unit’s census date, your supporting documentation must certify a deterioration in your medical condition on or after census date which prevented you from completing the unit requirements. A medical certificate alone is not sufficient.

    You will need a letter from your medical practitioner stating:

    • the date your medical condition began or changed
    • how your condition affected your ability to study, and
    • when it became apparent that you could not continue with your studies

    You should inform your medical practitioner that the statement will be sent to the University in support of your Fee Remission application and the University may contact them to clarify information provided. You should authorise your medical practitioner to release information to UWA staff if contacted about your application.

    Family/personal reasons

    You will need a statement from a doctor or counsellor stating:

    • the date your personal circumstances began or changed
    • how your circumstances affected your ability to study, and
    • when it became apparent that you could not continue with your studies

    Employment-related reasons

    You will need a statement from your employer stating:

    • your previous work hours and location
    • your current work hours and location
    • the reason for changed hours and location, and
    • the date the changes took effect and when you were given notice of the change

    Course-related reasons

    You will need a statement from your Student Advising Office stating that you have been disadvantaged by changed arrangements to your unit or course and that it was impossible for you to undertake alternative units or courses prior to census.

  • Application time limit

    Commonwealth legislation requires fee remission applications to be submitted within 12 months of the date of unit withdrawal or, if the unit was not withdrawn, within 12 months from the end of the teaching period in which the unit was undertaken.

    The Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth) (HESA), 36-23 (b) provides for a waiver of the application period only on the ground that it would not be, or was not, possible for the application to be made before the end of that period.

    Applications submitted outside the 12-month time limit will not be considered unless you can demonstrate, with evidence, that it was not possible for you to apply within this timeframe. Being unaware of fee remission is not accepted as a reason for not applying within the application period. Information on fee remission is published on the University website and is accessible to all students.

    Applications for a waiver of the 12-month time limit should be submitted to the Fees Team via askUWA.

  • How to apply

    Complete the Application Form and submit it, along with your supporting documents, to the Fees Team via askUWA.

    If approved, your HELP debt will be re-credited to your HELP balance. If you paid upfront, the money will be refunded to you. The University is not permitted to refund SA-HELP and has no discretion in this area.

International students

Excess payments

If you have accidentally or intentionally paid too much money, your excess funds will be held in credit to be used towards the next teaching period, as per the Fee Refund Policy that you signed as part of your Acceptance Contract.

Receiving credit for paid tuition fees

In limited circumstances where you have withdrawn from a unit, you can apply for the fees you have already paid to be credited to your account to be offset against future enrolments. If you do not wish to receive the money as credit and instead want the money transferred to your bank account, the same principles contained within the Fee Refund policy will apply. You will be eligible for a refund of 50 per cent of the tuition fee for that unit(s), less an administrative fee of 10 per cent or AUD$1000, whichever is the lesser.

  • ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

    To be eligible, the special circumstances must have been:

    • beyond your control, and
    • did not make their full impact on you until on or after the census date of the unit, and
    • made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements of the unit

    Special circumstances do not include:

    • lack of knowledge or understanding the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003
    • Higher Education Support Act requirements
    • an inability to repay a debt

    You are not eligible to receive credit if you successfully completed your unit(s) of study, regardless of the pass grade received.

    Beyond your control

    Circumstances are considered 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.

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

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

    • before the census date, but worsen significantly 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 a person to complete the requirements of the unit of study may 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 to such an extent 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 student 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 if, for example, the person is unable to:

    • undertake the necessary private study required to successfully complete the unit
    • attend sufficient lectures or tutorials that make it impracticable to catch up on the missed material, or
    • meet other compulsory attendance requirements in order to meet compulsory course requirements
  • Supporting documentation

    Documentation must be supplied with your application. It is essential that you provide independent supporting documentation to support your application. It is not sufficient to provide only a personal statement or statutory declaration.

    Medical reasons

    If your medical condition occurred prior to your unit’s census date, your supporting documentation must certify a deterioration in your medical condition on or after census date which prevented you from completing the unit requirements. A medical certificate alone is not sufficient.

    You will need a letter from your medical practitioner stating:

    • the date your medical condition began or changed 
    • how your condition affected your ability to study, and
    • when it became apparent that you could not continue with your studies

    You should inform your medical practitioner that the statement will be sent to the University in support of your Fee Remission application and the University may contact them to clarify information provided. You should authorise your medical practitioner to release information to UWA staff if contacted about your application.

    Family/personal reasons

    You will need a statement from a doctor or counsellor stating:

    • the date your personal circumstances began or changed
    • how your circumstances affected your ability to study, and
    • when it became apparent that you could not continue with your studies

    Employment-related reasons

    You will need a statement from your employer stating:

    • your previous work hours and location
    • your current work hours and location
    • the reason for changed hours and location, and
    • the date the changes took effect and when you were given notice of the change

    Course-related reasons

    You will need a statement from your faculty stating that you have been disadvantaged by changed arrangements to your unit or course and that it was impossible for you to undertake alternative units or courses prior to census.

  • Application time limit

    Applications must be submitted within 12 months of the date of unit withdrawal or, if the unit was not withdrawn, within 12 months from the end of the teaching period in which the unit was undertaken.

    A waiver of the application period can only be granted on the grounds that it would not be, or was not, possible for the application to be made before the end of that period.

    Applications submitted outside the 12-month time limit will not be considered unless you can demonstrate, with evidence, that it was not possible for you to apply within this timeframe. Being unaware of the fee credit process is not accepted as a reason for not applying within the application period. Information on fee credit is published on the University website and is accessible to all students.

    pplications for a waiver of the 12-month time limit should be submitted to the Fees team via askUWA.

  • How to apply for tuition fee credit
    Complete the Application Form and submit it, along with your supporting documents, to the Fees team via askUWA. If approved, the unit fee paid will be re-credited to your UWA fee balance to be offset against future enrolments.

Appeals process for domestic and international students

 

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 HELP loan balance, you may appeal to the Manager (Fees, Enrolments and Services) via askUWA within 28 days from the day you first receive notice of the outcome.

Your application will be acknowledged in writing and 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 HELP loan balance
  • HELP loan balance that will be re-credited
  • HELP loan 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:

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, submit this additional information to the Manager (Fees, Enrolments and Services) via askUWA.

 

Appeal against procedures

If, after completing 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 Policy on: Student Complaint Resolution.

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 a HELP loan 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 a HELP loan balance.

 

Appeal to external tribunal

If, after completing these steps you are still not satisfied with the outcome of the review of the 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. A filing fee is normally payable to the AAT; however, there are some circumstances in which you do not have to pay the fee. Contact the AAT for more information.

Fee Refund Policy – International students

Below are the general fee refund rules; however, students are bound by the Fee Refund Conditions that they signed as part of their Acceptance Contract.

For commencing and continuing students:

1.1. Total refund

1.1.1. Tuition fees paid in advance are refundable, subject to any stated conditions which follow, in the event that:

1.1.1.1. a student’s application for a visa is unsuccessful; or

1.1.1.2. an offer of a place is withdrawn; or

1.1.1.3. the University is unable to provide the program (a program is a course of study comprising a defined number of units); or

1.1.1.4. a continuing student withdraws from the University prior to the first day of a teaching period, a full refund of fees paid in advance of that teaching period will apply.

1.1.2. However, if the offer was made on the basis of incorrect, incomplete or fraudulent information being supplied by the student, the University will retain administration expenses totalling $250AUD plus five per cent of total course money received in respect of the student before the default day.

1.2. Partial refund

1.2.1. Where a commencing student gives written notice of their withdrawal from the University not less than four weeks before the start of the first teaching period, all tuition fees paid are refundable less an administrative fee of 10 per cent of the indicative tuition fee for the first teaching period or $1,000AUD, whichever is the lesser.

1.2.2. Where a commencing student gives written notice of their withdrawal from the University less than four weeks before the start of the first teaching period, the student will be eligible for a refund of 50 per cent of the indicative tuition fee for the first teaching period, less an administrative fee of 10 per cent of the indicative tuition fee for the first teaching period or $1,000AUD, whichever is the lesser.

1.2.3. A commencing or continuing student who withdraws from the University for whatever reason after the start of the teaching period but no later than the census date for that teaching period will be eligible for a refund of 50 per cent of their fee liability based on their enrolment on the first day of the teaching period, less an administrative fee of 10 per cent of the indicative tuition fee for the first teaching period or $1,000AUD, whichever is the lesser, for commencing students. The census date is a defined date in a teaching period by which enrolment must be finalised. Refer to Enrolment.

1.2.4. A student who changes their enrolment (unit/s or course) on or prior to the census date for the teaching period will have their fees adjusted automatically. Any credit due will be offset against any subsequent enrolment.

1.3. No refund

1.3.1. No refund of fees will be given to a student who withdraws from a course of study at the University or from one or more units, for whatever reason after the census date for the teaching period.

1.3.2. No refund of fees will be given to a student who is requested to leave Australia because of a breach of their student visa conditions.

1.3.3. No refund of fees will be given to a student who is requested to leave the University due to a breach of the University's statutes, regulations and policies.

2. Cancellation of course by UWA

2.1. In the event that UWA is unable to deliver a course in full, an affected student will be offered a full refund of all the course money paid to date. The refund will be paid to the student within two weeks of the day on which the University ceases to offer the course.

2.2. Alternatively, the student may be offered enrolment in a suitable course delivered by UWA at no extra cost. The student will have the right to choose either a full refund of course fees or to accept a place in another course. If placement in another course is preferred, the student will be asked to sign a document to indicate that they have accepted the placement.