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Fee Adjustments Procedure - Domestic (INTERIM)

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) See Fees Policy .

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(2) This procedure applies to fee adjustments for all domestic students.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(3) Nil

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(4) See Fees Policy .

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Section 5 - Procedures

(5) This procedure relates to the refunding, waiving or payment time extensions on all or part of any fees and charges of domestic enrolled students under specific circumstances, as identified in the Fees and Charges Regulations 2013 Part 3 . Circumstances include:

  1. Withdrawal from a course, or
  2. Change from being a full time to a part time student,
  3. Cease to use, or access, the goods, amenities, services, facilities or equipment provided by the University, or
  4. Exceptional circumstances of personal hardship assessed via specific criteria.

(6) Where the student has cause to cancel their enrolment during the year the Vice-Chancellor, or their delegate, may approve or authorise the refunding of all or part of any local fees and charges.

(7) This procedure applies to the refunding, waiving or extending of fees and charges that include:

  1. Local full fees
  2. Government funded course fees
  3. Ancillary and material fees
  4. Other fees and charges
  5. Student connect fees and charges
  6. Student services and amenities fees, and
  7. Any other fees fixed under Fees and Charges Regulations 2013

(8) This procedure excludes the refunding, adjustment or waiving of fees and charges for:

  1. Offshore student studying at offshore partner institutes
  2. Onshore students studying at onshore partners
  3. Exchange Programs
  4. Study Aboard
  5. Students whose fees are paid via a loan or sponsorship
  6. Exempt Students
  7. International students (see Fee Adjustments - International Procedure )

Part A - Census Dates

(9) The census date in a teaching period is the date by which students' enrolment records are finalised for reporting to government for that teaching period.

  1. Higher Education, including both domestic and international students:
    1. Published Higher Education Semester/Teaching period Census Dates — no earlier than 20% of the way through the period of time during which the unit is undertaken [ HESA - s169-25(2 )].
    2. The period of time during which the unit of study is undertaken includes any normal study breaks, assessment or examination periods (except supplementary examinations as these are not normally undertaken by all the students in the unit of study).

      Where the date for the final examination for a unit is not known, the last day of the examination period must be used as the end of the study period. If a unit does not include a final examination, an examination period must not be included.
  2. Research:
    1. Published Higher Education Semester/Teaching period Census Dates — no earlier than 20% of the way through the period of time during which the unit is undertaken [HESA - s169-25(2)].
    2. The period of time during which the unit of study is undertaken includes any normal study breaks, assessment or examination periods (except supplementary examinations as these are not normally undertaken by all the students in the unit of study).

      Where the date for the final examination for a unit is not known, the last day of the examination period must be used as the end of the study period. If a unit does not include a final examination, an examination period must not be included.
  3. VE/FE Full Fee Local and Government Funded - Skills Deepening (Diploma and above):
    1. No earlier than 20% of the way through the period of time during which the unit is undertaken. The period of time during which the unit of study is undertaken includes any normal study breaks, assessment or examination periods (except supplementary examinations as these are not normally undertaken by all the students in the unit of study).

      Where the date for the final examination for a unit is not known, the last day of the examination period must be used as the end of the study period. If a unit does not include a final examination, an examination period must not be included.

Part B - Roles and Responsibilities

Role Responsibilities
Student Applies for a fee adjustment Supplies all relevant supporting documentation to demonstrate eligibility for the adjustment
Enrolments and Fees Office Forwards the relevant records to the Student Records Unit after they are processed to enable evidence of application, process and decision to be easily located and retrieved if required to be produced by VU at a future date.
Student Welfare Officers Advises students on criteria and eligibility for fee waivers and fee extensions Recommends waivers or extensions to the appropriate Authorised Officer
Authorised Officer ( See Delegations section of Fees Policy) Approves the fee adjustment
Finance Processes the fee adjustment and pays the refund if relevant

Part C - Refunds process

(10) Domestic students can apply to have some types of fees or charges / fines refunded if the relevant circumstances apply.

(11) Fees and charges that can be refunded in full or part include:

  1. Late enrolment charges;
  2. Re-instatement of enrolment charges;
  3. Late enrolment amendment charges;
  4. Late fee payment charges;
  5. Student Services and Amenities Fee (Commonwealth Supported Place fee deferred students or VET FEE-HELP students);
  6. Tuition fees for full-fee paying domestic students;
  7. Library fines;
  8. Any ancillary or material fees charged as part of admission to a course of study.

Refund of late charges and fees

(12) Students wishing to apply for a refund of the charges in (11) a - d above can do so by filling in and submitting the relevant Refund Application form on the VU website. These claims:

  1. Must be lodged within 12 months of paying the fee or charge;
  2. Must provide evidence of the circumstances which are the basis for the claim; and
  3. Must provide proof of having paid the fee or charge (a receipt).

(13) Refund determinations for matters covered in clause (12) are made within 6 weeks of receipt of the request. Determinations are made by the Finance Department in consultation with Student Wellbeing as appropriate.

(14) A student whose refund application for late fees and charges is not approved may apply to have this decision reviewed by the Academic Registrar. The Registrar's decision is final.

Refund of tuition fees

(15) Students who withdraw from their course before the census date are eligible for a full tuition refund for paid tuition fees.

(16) HE students and VE students at or above Diploma level who withdraw from their course after the census date but before the next census date are not eligible for a refund the current semester's tuition fees, but will be eligible for a refund of any fees paid towards subsequent semesters.

(17) TAFE students at Certificate I-IV level are eligible for:

  1. a full refund if they withdraw before the course start date;
  2. a partial refund (less minimum course fee) if they withdraw after the start date but before the last refund date (4 weeks after course start date), unless they are taking up a place at another institution;
  3. no refund if they withdraw after the last refund date.

(18) Students must make all appropriate and timely notifications of their withdrawal, adjustment of time fraction of enrolment, and refund request via the relevant forms available on the Student Services website .

(19) Students who believe they are entitled to a refund and do not receive one can apply to have the decision reviewed by the Academic Registrar. The Student Matters Office can assist in lodging this application.

(20) The Academic Registrar's decision is final.

Refund of ancillary and material fees and charges

(21) Students who have withdrawn from any course of study are eligible to have any ancillary or material fees refunded if they have not received the materials. If materials have been supplied, no refund will apply.

(22) Student should apply for ancillary and material fee refunds via the appropriate form on the Student Services Centre website .

Refund of library fines

(23) All library fines issued for overdue or lost items must be paid by the due date. Failure to do so will result in an encumbrance being placed on the student, which may lead to an inability to re-enrol or graduate.

(24) Generally, no refund of fines will occur unless a fault in the basis for issuing the fine is established.

(25) If the student wishes to dispute the fine on the basis that they believe it was mistakenly issued (ie that an item was returned earlier than stated), they may do so by contacting their most convenient branch library.

  1. Dispute determinations will be made by the University Librarian or their delegate.
  2. If a disputed fine is reversed, a refund will be paid to the student.

(26) If a student wishes to apply for a refund of a library fine on exceptional grounds of financial or personal hardship, they may do so by contacting their most convenient branch library.

  1. Fine refunds on such grounds will be determined by the University Librarian or their delegate.
  2. If a fine is determined to be refundable on these grounds, a refund will be paid to the student.

Part D - Waivers process

(27) Domestic students may apply for a waiver of their Student Services Amenities Fee or any other fee on the grounds of exceptional circumstances of personal hardship.

(28) As the University and the Australian government also provide options to defer or part-pay SSAF, waivers will only be granted in unusual circumstances.

(29) Student Welfare support

  1. Student makes an appointment with a Student Welfare Officer to discuss their application and ensure that all required details are provided.
  2. Student Welfare consults with the College/s in which the student is enrolled, Finance, and any other relevant VU business unit to assist in making a recommendation regarding a waiver.
  3. Student Welfare Officer applies the criteria used to assess waivers (as stated on the relevant form and updated from time to time).

(30) Recommendation and Approval

  1. Student Welfare Officer makes a recommendation for a fee waiver to the Director, Student Wellbeing.
  2. Director, Student Wellbeing approves or does not approve the waiver.
  3. Student Welfare Officer notifies the student of the decision and, if relevant, arranges for the appropriate adjustment within the system.

(31) Review

  1. A student who is not granted a waiver may apply to have the decision reviewed by the Dean of Students.
  2. The Student Welfare Officer will advise the student of their right to request a review and the process that they should follow in doing so.
  3. The decision of the Dean of Students is final and there are no further appeal avenues within the University. External appeals may be available depending on the circumstances.

Part E - Fee extensions process

(32) Three kinds of extensions are available to domestic students: Fee Extension A, Fee Extension B and Fee Extension C.

(33) Fee Extension Part A allows students an additional 3 weeks to pay fees after the invoice due date provided they have:

  1. Contacted Student Services and explained their circumstances before the invoice due date;
  2. Paid $100 plus material fees on the day of enrolment or within 10 days of enrolment.

(34) Fee Extension Part A does not require the submission of a form. For domestic students, it is available to:

  1. Full fee HE students
  2. VE students below Diploma level (Diploma and above must apply for VET FEE-HELP instead.)

(35) Fee Extension Part B allows students a lengthier extension if they are able to pay 50% of their fees on or before the due date provided they have:

  1. Contacted Student Services and explained their circumstances before the invoice due date;
  2. Paid 50% of their total fees before the invoice due date.

(36) Fee Extension Part B does not require the submission of a form. For domestic students, it is available to:

  1. Full fee HE students
  2. VE students below Diploma level (Diploma and above must apply for VET FEE-HELP instead.)

(37) Fee Extension Part C is available in exceptional circumstances to students who are unable to meet their extended payment deadline obtained via a Fee Extension A or B.

(38) Fee Extension Part C is available to:

  1. International Higher Education (Undergrad & Post Grad students),
  2. TAFE International Further Education students;
  3. Local VET students studying at Certificates 1 - 4 courses, and
  4. Post Grad Higher Education students.

(39) The form for applying for Fee Extension Part C is located on the Student Services website .

(40) Students applying for Fee Extension C must make an appointment with a Student Welfare Officer to discuss their application and ensure that all required details are provided.

(41) Student Welfare then consults with the College/s in which the student is enrolled, Finance, and any other relevant VU business unit to assist in making a recommendation regarding an extension.

(42) The Student Welfare Officer applies the criteria used to assess Part C extensions (as stated on the relevant form and updated from time to time).

(43) Recommendation and Approval

  1. Student Welfare Officer makes a recommendation for a fee extension to the Manager, Student Welfare.
  2. Manager, Student Welfare approves or does not approve the extension.
  3. Student Welfare Officer notifies the student of the decision and, if relevant, arranges for the appropriate adjustment within the system.

(44) Review

  1. A student who is not granted an extension may apply to have the decision reviewed by the Director, Student Wellbeing.
  2. The Student Welfare Officer will advise the student of their right to request a review and the process that they should follow in doing so.
  3. The decision of the Director, Student Wellbeing is final and there are no further appeal avenues within the University. External appeals may be available depending on the circumstances.
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Section 6 - Guidelines

(45) Fee Extension Part C Brochure