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Policy: Student refunds

Purpose

This policy sets out the principles for refunds of tuition fees for students.

Overview

This policy covers the refund requirements for differing student situations and refund types:

  • International Students: New Students
  • International Students: New Students deferring an offer of Admission
  • International Students: Continuing Students
  • International students who obtain permanent resident status in Australia
  • International Students: Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
  • Domestic Students
  • Commonwealth Supported Students - Remission of HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP Debt
  • Student Amenities Fee (SA-Fee)
  • Special Circumstances (Late Withdrawal)
  • Appeal of refunds.

Scope

This policy applies to all students, and the staff who administer refunds.

Policy statement

  1. The University recognises that, on occasion, there may be circumstances that warrant a refund of tuition fees collected by the University. 16.1(e) of the Fees Rules states that the Registrar, by notice, may determine the circumstances in which a person may be entitled to a refund of the whole or portion of the fees paid or to the remission of a fees debt.
  2. Partial or full refunds will be given where a student has paid a tuition fee deposit or paid tuition fees, and then withdraws from the program and/or course/s prior to the relevant dates.
  3. For the purposes of determining whether a refund is given, the date of withdrawal from a course or program is the date on which the University receives written notification of withdrawal, or the date on which a course is dropped on ISIS.
  4. Census dates for courses can be viewed on the website http://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au/. Census dates for courses are also displayed under the Enrolment Menu on ISIS.
  5. Refunds will normally be made in the same currency as the fees were originally paid.
  6. This refund policy and procedure do not remove the right of the student to take further action under Australia's consumer protection laws. In addition, a student may commence legal proceedings relating to any dispute arising from this refund policy at any time where that student believes it is reasonable to do so to seek urgent relief.
  7. Where a discrepancy occurs between this policy or procedure and the Higher Education Support Act 2003, the Education Services for Overseas Students (Act) 2000, the Australian National University Act 1991, the Fees Statue 2006, the Fees Rules or the Tuition Fees Order, that legislation will prevail.

International Students: New Students

  1. A new international student is an overseas student as defined in the Higher Education Support Act 2003, enrolled at the ANU for the first time in a given career, who is in their first semester, trimester or session of a program.
  2. A new international student who pays all or part of their tuition fee will be eligible for a refund of all or part of that fee based on which category they fall into below.

A full refund will be paid:

  1. If an offer of a place is withdrawn, or the University is unable to provide the program (unless the offer is withdrawn on the basis of incomplete or incorrect information provided by the student)
  2. If a student's visa application or request to transfer from another institution to the ANU is refused. Evidence of refusal is mandatory. Students provide the decision record from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in the case of a visa refusal.
  3. If a student attempts to but fails to meet any one of the conditions stated in the offer letter and is not permitted to enrol.

In the following circumstances, a fee will be retained by the University. The amount of the administrative fee and withdrawal fee will be reviewed annually and published at http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/costs-fees/fee-refunds:

  1. A student, who cancels their place in a program in writing at least four weeks before the program starts, will be refunded the program fees paid, less the administrative fee amount.
  2. A student who cancels their place or withdraws from a program in writing less than four weeks before the program starts, up until the first census date, will be refunded the program fees paid, less the withdrawal fee amount.
  3. Students enrolled in a non-standard session (e.g. Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring session) and who withdraw from all courses for whatever reason, will only be eligible for a refund for those courses whose census dates have not passed, less the withdrawal fee amount.
  1. If the University withdraws an offer of a place on the basis of incomplete or incorrect information provided by the student, the student will be refunded the program fees paid less the administrative fee amount.

International Students: New Students Deferring an Offer of Admission

  1. A new international student who defers their offer at least four weeks prior to the program start date will be entitled to a refund of the program fees paid, less a security equal to the administrative fee. This security will be held on the student's account. If the student later cancels their offer they will forfeit the amount as it will cover the administrative fee outlined in 9.d.
  2. A student who defers their offer less than four weeks prior to the program start date, will be entitled to a refund of the program fees paid, less a security equal to the administrative fee. This security will be held on the student's account. If the student later cancels their offer they will forfeit the amount as it will cover the administrative fee outlined in 11.e.
  3. Where a student commences their program after deferring their offer, the student will be required to repay the deposit minus the amount that has been kept by the University as security.

International Students: Continuing Students

  1. A continuing international student is a student who is defined as an overseas student in the Higher Education Support Act 2003, has been enrolled in a previous session at the ANU and is continuing this session in either the same program, or has transferred to a new program in the same career.
  2. A continuing student, who withdraws from course/s before the relevant course census date/s, will be eligible for a full refund of the tuition fees paid for the course/s.
  3. A continuing international student who withdraws from course/s beyond the relevant course census date(s) will not be eligible for a refund unless covered by Special Circumstances (Late Withdrawal).
  4. A continuing international student who does not meet Academic Progress Rules and is not permitted to re-enrol or to continue a program will be eligible for a refund of program fees for current or future terms if the fees were paid before the student was advised of termination of enrolment. The refund will not be paid until any appeal under Academic Progress Rules has been finalised.

International Students who Obtain Permanent Resident Status in Australia

  1. A student granted permanent resident status in Australia will pay either the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS), subject to place availability, or full domestic tuition fees (DTF).
  2. Permanent resident (PR) status is recognised from the date proof of PR status is provided to the university, not the date on which the application for permanent residency was made or granted.
  3. For a student who has already paid the tuition fees applicable to international students for the semester, a refund of these fees (less any agent fee applying to the University) will be paid if the student has obtained permanent residence by the census date for that semester; and either:
  • satisfied section 36-40 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA): that is, have completed a Request for Commonwealth Support form on or before the course census date, or
  • have made arrangements with the University to pay fees as domestic student
  1. A student who obtains permanent residence status after the census date in a semester will be classified as an international student for the remainder of that semester. They will be liable to pay the tuition fees applicable to international students for that semester. From the following semester, the student will be classified as a permanent resident and will liable to pay either the student contribution in accordance with HESA guidelines or full fees applying to domestic students.

International Students: Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

  1. An on-shore international student must contact Allianz Global Assistance directly to request for a refund. A student eligible for a refund will need to provide Allianz Global Assistance with the student visa and flight details before leaving Australia at the end of a program of study.
  2. An off-shore international student who will be no longer attending the University will need to request a refund of OSHC from the Student Administration & Records Office. ANU will cancel the COE and students will be advised when this has occurred.
  3. A sponsored international student who does not have their OSHC paid by their sponsor will need to contact Allianz Global Assistance directly to request for a refund.
  4. A sponsored international student who does have their OSHC paid by their sponsor does not need to request a refund as Allianz Global Assistance will liaise with the University to refund the premium to the sponsor.

Domestic Students

  1. A student who voluntarily withdraws from a course before the course census date will not incur a tuition fee liability for the course from which they have withdrawn and will be eligible for a full refund of tuition fees paid.
  2. A student who withdraws from a course after the course census date will incur a tuition fee liability for the course and is not entitled to a refund, except in special circumstances (see Special Circumstances (Late Withdrawal)).

Commonwealth Supported Students - Remission of HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP Debt

  1. If a student withdraws from course/s before the relevant course/s census date(s), the student will not incur a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP debt. If a student has paid their student contribution amount for the course/s before the course/s census date, the student will be eligible for a refund upon request.
  2. Where a student withdraws from a course after the relevant course census date, the student remains liable for the student contribution amount applicable to that course. If the withdrawal is made because of special circumstances (see Part 9) the student may be eligible for a refund of the student contribution amount paid upfront or a remission of the HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP debt for the course/s.
  3. If census date falls on a weekend, the previous working day will be taken as the census date for that particular semester/session.

Part 8 - Student Amenities Fee (SA-Fee)

  1. A student who, prior to the census date of their course/s, voluntarily withdraws from their program, takes program leave from a session of study or withdraws from all their courses in a session of study, will not be liable for the SA-Fee for that session of study. If the SA-Fee was paid upfront to the University the student will be eligible for a refund of the amount paid for that session; or if the student opted to obtain a SA-HELP loan, they will no longer be liable.
  2. A student who, after the census date of their course/s, voluntarily withdraws from their program or withdraws from all their courses in a session of study, will remain liable for the SA-Fee in that session of study and will not be refunded their SA-Fee where paid upfront or remitted their SA-HELP debt if deferred. The student will remain liable for the SA-Fee whether or not the student qualifies for a refund or remission of some or all tuition fees under Special Circumstances (Late Withdrawal).

Part 9 - Special Circumstances (Late Withdrawal)

  1. An application for a refund in Special Circumstances (Late Withdrawal) will be considered on the basis outlined below and for a refund of course tuition fees only. Each application will be examined and determined on its merits.
  2. As a general guide, special circumstances include those that are beyond a student's control; (e.g. a situation occurs which a reasonable person would consider is not due to a student's action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which a student is not responsible. This situation must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal. A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University's rules, due deadlines and administrative procedures is not considered to be beyond a person's control.); and occur either:
  1. On, or after, the census date; or
  2. Before the census date, but the full effect or magnitude does not become apparent until on, or after, the census date; or
  3. Make it impracticable for a student to complete the course requirements. For example, circumstances are such that it is impracticable for a student to undertake the necessary private study required, or attend sufficient lectures or tutorials or meet other compulsory attendance requirements, or complete the required assessable work, or sit the required examinations.
  1. Special circumstances may cover:
  1. Medical reasons: where a medical condition existed prior to the census date, continued past that date and deteriorated to the extent that a student is unable to continue their studies OR a student’s medical condition only became known after the census date.
  2. Family/personal reasons: due to unforeseen personal/family reasons that are beyond a student's control and they are unable to continue their studies.
  3. Employment related reasons: where a student's employment status or employment arrangements change unexpectedly due to circumstances beyond their control and they are unable to continue their studies.
  4. Program/course related reasons: where the arrangements for a student's course are changed and as a result they are disadvantaged to the extent that they are unable to complete the requirements of the course and continue with their studies.
  1. An application under this section must be received within 12 months of the date of withdrawal, or 12 months after the end of the period during which the person undertook, or was to undertake, the course, whichever comes sooner.
  2. Each application will be considered on its merits in conjunction with the supporting documentation provided. Supporting documentation should provide enough detail for an informed decision to be made regarding the case for a refund. Students will be advised of the outcome of their request by letter within 20 working days from the date ANU received the full request with complete supporting documentation.

Part 10 - Appeals

  1. A student requesting a review of a decision about a refund may lodge a formal appeal in writing within 20 days of the notification of an unsuccessful refund application to the Manager, Student Administration & Records Office. The Student Administration & Records Office will then forward the appeal to the Registrar, Student Administration.
  2. The appeal must address the reason/s for the decision not to refund a payment.
  3. The Registrar will then consider the appeal. In undertaking a review of the refund decision, the Registrar will:
  1. Discuss the decision with administration staff involved in the refund process;
  2. Consider the reasons for the decision not to refund a payment; and
  3. Consider the information contained in the appeal from the applicant that addresses those reasons.
  1. On completion of the above the Registrar or nominee may:
  1. Confirm the original decision not to refund a payment; or
  2. Set aside the original decision and approve a refund of the payment.
  1. The Registrar or nominee’s decision on whether to refund the payment must be communicated in writing to the applicant within 7 working days of the decision being made.
  2. A student may, within 20 working days after the decision was notified to the student, appeal against a decision made under paragraph 43 to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor on procedural grounds only.
  3. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor may:
  1. confirm the decision; or
  2. set aside the original decision and refer the matter back to the Registrar to reconsider the original decision in light of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s findings; and make a new decision.
  1. In determining an appeal, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor may inform himself or herself as he or she sees fit.
  2. The decision of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor is final.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Student refunds
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_002609
Version 11
Purpose This policy sets out the principles for refunds of tuition fees for students.
Audience Students
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Students - Finance & Fees
 
Effective Date 11 Dec 2015
Review Date 11 Dec 2018
 
Responsible Officer Registrar, Student Administration
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Division of Student Administration
Authority Higher Education Support Act 2003
Fees Statute 2006
Fees Rule 2016
2064983703