Implications of withdrawal

To avoid paying fees on a topic you withdraw from, you need to withdraw on, or prior to, the census date. This is generally at the end of March for Semester 1 topics and the end of August for year long or Semester 2 topics. Take particular note of the dates related to Summer Schools and Intensives as special dates apply to them.

If you withdraw after these dates you will consume a Student Learning Entitlement (for Commonwealth Supported students) or you will incur tuition fees (for fee-paying students) even though the topics will not count towards your degree.

Visit Enrolling@Flinders for more information or to submit a request or question.

Special circumstances

If there are special circumstances that result in you withdrawing from one or more topics you will need supporting documentation and the application must be submitted within 12 months of the date you withdrew. Application forms for remission or refund of fees due to special circumstances are available from Enrolment Services.


You must notify Centrelink of any changes to your enrolment as you may lose your entitlements if you fall below 13.5 units per semester. If you do not notify them you may be overpaid and have to pay back that amount later. Generally you do not have to pay back any entitlements that you received for the period you were enrolled in study, just the period from the date you withdrew.

You should also be aware that Centrelink will only provide benefits for students for the equivalent of the length of their course, plus 1 semester (some additional concessions may apply).

If you withdrew from your course, the time you were enrolled may be discounted from any subsequent support you may receive, regardless of whether you received assistance from Centrelink or not. As the regulations are complex, it is useful to check with Centrelink. Flinders Student Association (FUSA) can also offer objective advice through Student Assist.

Your academic record

Flinders has critical dates that you must withdraw by so the topic(s) do not appear as a "fail" (F), or "withdraw - fail" (WF) on your academic transcript. 

If you withdraw before the deadline, the topic is listed as "withdrawn" (WN) on your transcript. If you withdraw prior to the last day to withdraw, but after the census date, then you will still have to pay fees for the topic. If you withdraw prior to the topic census date, the topic does not appear on the transcript and you will not incur a debt for that topic.

What happens if you fail a topic?

An 'F' or 'WF' grade lowers your Grade Point Average (GPA) which can impact on your future options. It may affect you being accepted into other courses or universities - both Australian and overseas. If your GPA falls below a certain level, or you fail the same topic twice, you may need to show cause to the University why you should be allowed to continue with your enrolment.

Scholarships and overseas scholarships

If you are receiving a scholarship and you withdraw, your scholarship may be cancelled. Check with the Scholarships Office.

International students

If you are an international student you should speak to the International Student Services (ISS) prior to withdrawing. If you withdraw from your course, your visa will be cancelled and you will need to return home within 28 days. Your visa may also be affected if you reduce your enrolment. Also note that you must be enrolled as a full-time student as per the Department of Immigration and Citizenship requirements.

Your career

If you withdraw from university, you will need to explore what career options are available. You may wish to take some time off, under-take a different area of study later, enrol at TAFE, or find a job. The Careers and Employability Service can discuss this with you further.


Withdrawing from some or all of your topics may help give you some space to think, look at options and have some time to sort out any issues.

How to withdraw

Before you withdraw, it is a good idea to seek advice from either your Course or Topic Coordinator, or a Counsellor. You need to decide:

  • how many / which topics you want to withdraw from
  • if you withdraw from all topics, do you want to have a break but keep open the option to return to study. If so, an application to defer commencement (commencing students) or apply for leave (continuing students) is required.

To withdraw from some or all topics

Log on to the Student Information System, go to 'My Enrolment' then 'Withdraw from Topics'. Select the topic(s) you wish to withdraw from and click on 'I want to...Withdraw from the selected topics'. You must confirm that you want to withdraw from the topics by clicking on 'I want to...Continue with Withdrawals'. Go to 'View My Current Enrolment' and check your enrolment carefully to ensure you were successfully withdrawn.

To defer or take leave from study

Commencing students who withdraw from all topics prior to the census dates should apply to defer commencement (if eligible) through SATAC or your Faculty.

Continuing students can apply for leave from study for both semesters in the current academic year.

An application is not required for one semester's leave only.

Withdraw from enrolment in any topics using the steps above.

Then submit a request for leave via the Frequently Asked Questions site, or lodge a leave form with Enrolment Services, who will seek approval on your behalf. If leave is approved you will be advised by email to your University email address.

Contact Enrolment Services for more information on 1300 354 633 (Local call cost within Australia).

Withdraw before the census date

You must withdraw from topics before the census date to avoid incurring student contribution amounts or tuition fees. If you withdraw from a topic after the census date you will incur student contribution amounts or tuition fees. Commonwealth legislation means the University cannot make special provisions for students who fail to withdraw on time.

Further information:

Continuing students need to apply for leave if they are withdrawing from a full year of study, prior to their earliest census date.

Other considerations

If you are withdrawing for a semester, you should be aware of any prerequisites for the subjects you wish to enrol in on your return.

First Year students who withdraw prior to their earliest census date (usually 31 March or 31 August for mid-year commencers) will have their enrolment completely removed. You cannot apply for leave, as you will not be enrolled in anything to go on leave from. If you were admitted via SATAC you can seek to defer your place to the following year.

If you are a first year undergraduate student and you withdraw after the semester census date you don't need to apply again through SATAC. You will be sent a re-enrolment package. However, if you apply for a remission and it is granted you need to advise the University through Flinders Connect.

What happens next?

  • If you receive any Centrelink benefits you MUST notify them immediately.
  • Pay any debts you owe to the university (eg loans, fines, accommodation charges etc).
  • Keep a copy of your academic transcript for your own records.
    It can be useful to keep a copy of topic outlines and assignments from any completed topics. This can be useful in the future if you wish to return to university and apply for credit for subjects already done.
  • If you are staying in university accommodation, you may need to find alternative accommodation and ascertain if there are any penalties for breaking the contract.

What if I change my mind?

If you withdraw in haste and then regret the decision you should contact Enrolment Services to find out if it is to be possible to be reinstated. You cannot just recommence attending lectures and submitting assignments. You must be formally enrolled to receive credit for your work.

What if I wish to resume my studies later?

If you have been away from university without having taken leave you are required to re-apply through SATAC for undergraduate courses or the faculty for postgraduate courses.

In other circumstances you will be sent a re-enrolment package. If you don't receive a re-enrolment package, email Enrolment Services.

Adapted with permission from Thinking of Dropping Out?, published by Massey University.