Refund of debt in special circumstances for International students

If you withdraw from your unit/s after the relevant census dates due to special circumstances, you can apply to have any up-front payment of your tuition fees refunded subject to University policy.

You cannot apply for a refund if you have successfully completed or are currently enrolled in the unit of study. If you are still enrolled in a unit you should consider applying for Special Consideration before applying for Refund of debt. Alternatively if you are still enrolled you must withdraw from the unit before submitting your application. If your circumstances are course related, please contact your faculty or Student Complaints.

If you are unhappy about the new grading schema or you have concerns about studying online, this process is not an available option for you. Please submit a Student Complaint.

Refund of debt in special circumstances is about the refund/re-credit of fees and does not relate to grades.

Your application will be assessed within 30 working days of receipt by the University if it is complete and includes detailed supporting documentation. Due to current circumstances there may be a delay beyond 30 working days in receiving your outcome. We appreciate your patience during this time.

For any queries, please contact Student Central.

Eligibility Criteria

The University may decide to refund any fees paid if we are satisfied:

  • you submitted your application for Refund of debt within the 12 month application time limit*
  • you experienced special circumstances outside your control and
  • these special circumstances impacted your studies  on, or after, the census date, and
  • these special circumstances made it impracticable for you to successfully complete the requirements of your unit/s of study

*applications must be submitted within 12 months of the end of the study period, the date or withdrawal or the date of the final assessment for the study period (e.g supplementary examinations). Applications for study periods completed more than 12 months prior will not be accepted.

You are not eligible to apply for Refund of debt in special circumstances if you have a proven academic misconduct outcome, as this is considered to be within your control. if you have a pending academic misconduct hearing, you will need to wait for the outcome of that hearing, before you apply.

Special circumstance examples

To meet the special circumstance criteria, your circumstance must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal for you and be beyond your control. The full impact on your studies must occur on or after the census date.

Determination of special circumstances is based largely on the information and documentation provided in your application. Assumptions about your special circumstances will not be made. The University has no obligation to seek additional supporting information for persons (e.g. doctors) beyond verifying the authenticity of a document.

If your special circumstance is known to you before census date (a pre-existing condition), your application must demonstrate the date when your circumstance changed/escalated and the impact it had on your ability to complete your studies.

If you experienced difficulty discontinuing from a unit or your course, please do not apply for Refund of debt in special circumstances. Please contact Student Central or make an inquiry to Student Complaints to have your situation investigated.

Medical circumstances

Your medical circumstance must have occurred or changed/escalated (for ongoing circumstances) after census date, to such an extent that you were unable to continue studying.

Pregnancy or child birth without complications is not considered a special circumstance for Remission of debt purposes. In addition, if it is not you who gave birth or experienced the pregnancy related complications you will need to obtain detailed medical advice explaining how your studies were impacted by this circumstance.

If you apply based on medical reasons you must provide medical documents.

All medical documents, letters or certificates provided with your application may be verified directly with the medical practice or health care professional. We recommend you inform your healthcare professional of this when requesting documentation.

Family/personal circumstances

You family or personal circumstances must have occurred or changed/escalated (for ongoing circumstances) after census date to such an extent that you were unable to continue studying.

If you apply based on family or personal reasons you must provide independent supporting documents for example a carer certificate.

Examples include: death or severe medical problems within your family or unforeseen natural disasters. If your family or personal circumstances is known to you before the census date, for example family care responsibilities, you will need to demonstrate an unplanned escalation in your care responsibilities.

Employment related circumstances

Your employment related circumstances must have occurred after the census date to such an extent that you were unable to continue studying. Please note, choosing to increase hours of work or to undertake additional employment is not considered beyond a student's control.

If you apply based on employment reasons you must provide a letter from your employer.

Examples include: unplanned changes to your employment conditions or your employer increases your hours or expectation on you after census date and these changes have a significant effect on your ability to study.

Ongoing or pre-existing circumstances

If you have pre-existing or ongoing circumstances, your application needs to clearly demonstrate how your circumstances changed after the census date. A change or escalation must have occurred after the census date.

Course related circumstances

Refund of debt in special circumstances does not apply to course related circumstances, please contact your Faculty. If you were unhappy with your mode of studying, please contact Student Central.

If you did not follow advice from the University, prior to census date, regarding withdrawal or intermission from your studies, and you later withdraw after the census date, this does not meet the criteria as it is not considered beyond your control.

Academic misconduct is not considered a special circumstance.

Supporting documentation

What documentation do I need to support my application?

Your application will be assessed based on the documents provided. Therefore, you should ensure you provide the most relevant and informative documents to support your application. We will not request further documentation from you and will not source documents on your behalf.

  • Your application must include independent documentation to support your personal statement/s. All personal statements must have supporting documents. This means,
    • if you apply based on medical reasons, you must provide medical letters/documents,
    • if you apply based on employment reasons, you must provide a letter from your employer
    • if you apply based on family/personal reasons (not covered by medical or employment reasons) you must provide documents from an independent source who can confirm your circumstances.
  • Supporting documentation must be:
    • date-based - that is include the date your circumstances first occurred or escalated and state the length of time you were impacted
    • relevant to the study period, census date and/or exam period
    • detail the special circumstance/s which occurred
    • explain the impact they had on your ability to complete your studies
    • signed by the author and be on official letterhead.
  • If you reference an assessment extension or special consideration in your personal statement, you must provide copies of emails from Deakin University confirming the original due date and the new due date for assessments and/or examinations. Your application will be considered incomplete if you do not provide these documents.

Medical documents

All medical documentation must be in the form of a letter from your healthcare professional who saw you during the relevant study period. If you provide medical documentation you should inform your healthcare professional that a representative of Deakin University may contact them to verify the document. Medical documents must:

  • confirm the date of appointments attended during the study period
  • include information from a medical professional who saw you at the time
  • confirm the date your circumstances first occurred or escalated
  • confirm the dates/length of time you were impacted
  • confirm an impact on your studies

If your medical documents do not state the date your circumstances change and confirm the dates the health professional saw you during the trimester, your application may not be successful. Medical documents must provide date based information relevant to the study period.

Employment documents

If your application is based on employment reasons please provide a letter from your employer stating

  • the date your employment conditions were changed
  • the length of time the changes were in place for
  • what changes were made
  • that these changes were made by your employer.

Employment letters must be on letterhead and include the contact details of the writer.

Personal/family documents

The documents you provide will depend on your circumstances. Please ensure you provide independent documents that confirm your circumstances impacted your studies after the relevant census date. Letters from family and friends are considered support documents, therefore you must provide other independent documents to support your personal statement.

If your application is based on carer duties, you must provide a carer certificate or other independent document to confirm the details of your carer duties. Please note, letters from friends of family members are not considered independent.

What if my documents are not in English?

If your documents are not in English, you will need to provide official, certified translations. In Australia, you must use translators accredited by the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters.

What file types should I provide?

Acceptable files include, PDF, ZIP and JPEG. Please convert Word files to one of these types before submitting your application. Clear photos of documents are accepted.

What if my circumstances are ongoing?

If you have pre-existing circumstances your documentation needs to clearly demonstrate how your circumstances changed after the census date. If no change or escalation occurs remission is not available to you.

What other documents can I provide to support my application?

You may wish to include the following documents to support your personal, medical and/or employment documents:

  • a Police report
  • a death certificate
  • legal documents
  • correspondence with your faculty, unit chair or lecturer. We may contact the faculty for more information (emails are considered a support document, therefore you must provide other independent documents to support your application).

The following documents are NOT accepted for remission applications on their own, other documentation must also be provided:

  • statutory declarations or letters from family members are not considered independent
  • documentation dated outside the relevant study period - you must provide documents relevant to the study period
  • travel itineraries - you must provide travel documents that show when your travel was booked and the dates of travel
  • hospital admission statements - you must provide a letter from a health professional
  • pharmacy statement or prescription
  • medical documents not accompanied by a letter from your medical provider
  • pathology report
  • Special Consideration Medical form - this is for Special Consideration only. You must provide a letter from your doctor explaining your circumstances and supporting your personal statement.

Any student who is found to have submitted a false statement or supporting documentation will be referred to the Faculty Student  Misconduct Committee.

How to apply

You must apply to the University, within 12 months from the date you withdraw from a unit or the end of the relevant study period (whichever occurs first). If the study period you wish to apply for is outside the 12 month application time limit, please read the information below*.

Applications

Refund of debt in special circumstances is about the refund of fees and should not be used as a way to change grades. Results may not be changed even if your application is approved.

Applications must be date-based and include independent supporting documentation, for example, a letter from your doctor, counsellor or employer to support your claims. Letters from healthcare professionals must clearly indicate the date/s when your circumstances changed and the impact on your studies. You may be requested to submit the original document for verification purposes. You will be contacted directly if this is required. For more information go to Supporting documentation.

Do not submit an application without supporting documentation.

All medical documents, letters or certificates provided with your application will be confirmed directly with the medical practice or health care professional. We recommend you inform your healthcare professional of this when requesting documentation.

Any student who is found to have submitted a false statement or supporting documentation will be referred to the Faculty Student Misconduct Committee.

Complete the Refund of debt in special circumstances application form.

*Request for waiver of application time limit

Refund of debt in special circumstances applications to be submitted within 12 months of the date of subject withdrawal, or if the subject is failed, within 12 months from the end of the study period in which the subject was undertaken. A waiver of the application period will 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 documentary evidence, that it was not possible for you to apply within this timeframe.

Not being aware of the process is not acceptable reasons for waiving the 12-month application time limit. Information is publicly available on the Deakin website and is accessible to all students.

Applications for a waiver of the 12-month application time limit can be submitted by completing the online application form.

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