What does remission and refund mean?

If you withdraw from a topic(s) after the census date, or have not successfully completed the requirements for the topic(s), you can apply to have:

  • The student contribution amount or tuition fee you deferred to your HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan scheme remitted; or
  • The upfront student contribution amount/tuition fee you paid, refunded;

To be considered you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be able to demonstrate special circumstances beyond your control;
  • Your special circumstances must have occurred or worsened on or after the census date;
  • Be able to demonstrate how these special circumstances made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements of the topic(s);
  • Lodge the application within 12 months of the end of the semester in which the topic(s) were taken (applications lodged after this time will not be considered, unless independent supporting evidence is provided that confirms your incapacity to submit within this timeframe); and
  • Have withdrawn or have fail grades applied to all topics for which you are applying for remission of debt or refund.

Note: Academic grievances cannot form the basis of a remission or refund, unless a change to the course has occurred after the census date.  Academic grievances should be raised within your academic School in the first place as per Section 4 of the Student Appeals and Complaints policy.


What are special circumstances?

A remission or full refund will be granted where it can be established that there were special circumstances beyond your control that did not allow you to withdraw from a topic or topics by the census date and that the full impact of these circumstances was not felt by you until on or after the census date.  These circumstances may include:

Medical reasons

You have a medical condition that existed prior to the census date, continued past the census date, but deteriorated to the extent that you were unable to continue your studies; or your medical condition only became known after the census date and it was such that you were unable to continue to study the topic(s).

You will need to supply documentation from your medical practitioner addressing each element of your claim.

Family/personal reasons

Unforeseen family/personal reasons that have occurred or worsened after the census date and are beyond your control and mean you are unable to continue to study the topic(s).  For example:

  • a member of your family suffers from a severe medical condition and, after the census date, you are required to provide full-time care and as a result are unable to continue your studies

You will need to supply documentation from, for example, a family doctor or counsellor to substantiate your claim. 

Employment related reasons

After the census date your employment status or arrangements change unexpectedly, due to circumstances beyond your control; and you are unable to continue to study the topic(s). For example:

  • your employer unexpectedly increases your hours of employment after the census date. As a result you are unable to continue with your studies or complete your course requirements.

You will need to supply a letter from your employer to substantiate your claims.

Note: choosing to increase your hours of work or undertake additional employment are not regarded as circumstances beyond your control.  If this is the case, your debt will not be remitted or refunded.

Course related reasons

The University changes the arrangements for your topic or course and, as a result, you are disadvantaged to the extent that you are unable to complete the topic or course requirements.  For example:

  • your topic or course is cancelled after the census date and you are unable to complete the requirements of the topic or course.
Note: misleading or incorrect information relating to your course is considered as a general academic grievance, and should be directed to your Course Coordinator initially as per Section 4 of the Student Appeals and Complaints policy.

Please note that a lack of knowledge or understanding of the HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan schemes, or the Flinders University Student Related Policies and Procedures, is not considered to be beyond your control.


How long do I have to lodge an application?

Applications must be lodged online via the Application for remission in special circumstances page as soon as possible given the circumstances and no later than 12 months from the end of semester in which the topic(s) were taken. The end of the semester will normally be considered to be the last day of exams for the topic(s) requested.


How do I apply for a remission of debt or refund in special circumstances?

Before applying, you should download and read the full  Remission guidelines (PDF 161KB)

Applications for remission in special circumstances must be completed online via the Application for remission in special circumstances page.  Complete all sections of the online form, making sure that you have provided adequate details in the ‘Summary of your circumstances’ text box.

You will need to provide documentation from an independent professional to support your application. For example, if the reason you are applying is medical, you will need to supply documentation from your medical practitioner that substantiates your claim.  The statement outlining your circumstances is not sufficient evidence on its own to have your debt remitted or refunded.

The independent professional supporting your application may use the Professional Statement Form (PDF 72KB)   Otherwise you will need to ensure that your supporting documentation is on official letterhead (if relevant), and is signed and dated.

Use the document uploads in the online form to attach your supporting documentation to the online form. It is your responsibility to ensure that all relevant documentation is included with your application and that this is received within the lodgement timeframe.

Privacy conditions

All personal information collected in your application and supporting documentation will be treated in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and any relevant guidelines.  The information collected is used solely for the purpose of assisting the University  to make an informed decision on your application.  The authority to collect this information is contained in the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Application Declaration

Please read the application declaration carefully.  If you need further information to ensure you understand what this declaration means, contact Flinders Connect for advice.

Submit your application form

Your completed application form plus all supporting documentation must be lodged online via the Application for remission in special circumstances page within the appropriate lodgement timeframe. You will receive an acknowledgement message once you have submitted the form. If you need to submit additional information or supporting documentation, please do so by emailing remissions@flinders.edu.au.

If you have any issues in submitting your application online, please contact Flinders Connect.


What happens after I submit my application?

You will be sent an acknowledgement email confirming the date your application was received and providing you with a reference number.  Please quote this reference number on any further correspondence relating to your application.  If you have not received an acknowledgement within 14 days, contact Flinders Connect.

Your application will be assessed within 28 days of receipt of your application and all relevant documentation.  You will receive emailed confirmation of the outcome and the reasons for the decision via your nominated email address.

If your application is successful you will have a notation of Withdraw Not Fail (WN) recorded against the relevant topic(s) on your academic record.  Refunds are not made in cash and will be paid via Electronic Funds Transfer or cheque, see the Refunds page for more information. The Australian Taxation Office will be advised of the appropriate remission of debt from the HELP loan scheme if applicable.

Please note:  Student services and amenities fees will not be refunded if you withdraw after the census date, regardless of the circumstances.

If your application is not approved, then you will be advised in email correspondence of the reasons for the decision. 


Further information

If you require further advice see the Refund of Student Contribution Amounts and Tuition Fees, and Remission of Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) Debts Policy or contact Flinders Connect.