Special circumstances

Students who withdraw from a course after the census date may apply for an amendment to enrolment and fees in special circumstances if they can demonstrate that special circumstances have impacted upon their ability to study. The special circumstances must be supported by documentary evidence.

Special circumstances, as outlined on the Study Assist government website for HECS-HELP students and FEE-HELP students, are those which include, but are not limited to, medical, family, personal, employment or course related circumstances which were:

  • beyond the student's control, and
  • did not make their full impact on the student until on or after the census date and
  • the circumstances made it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements of the course during the study period in which the student enrolled in the course.

Requests for an amendment to enrolment and fees under special circumstances should be made using the Application for Amendment to Enrolment and Fees in Special Circumstances online form. The form should be completed within 12 months of the student undertaking or withdrawing from the course(s) for which they seek amendment or remission. This requirement may be waived in circumstances where the student can demonstrate that lodgement of the application within the timeline was not possible. However late acceptance of the application does not guarantee that the amendment will be granted.

Student Finance will notify the applicant of the decision in relation to their request within 20 working days of the receipt of the request.

If the request for post-census amendment to enrolment is granted the University will:

  • reverse any HECS-HELP / FEE-HELP debt
  • arrange repayment to the Commonwealth of any HECS-HELP / FEE-HELP loan amounts received by the University
  • arrange a refund of any up-front student contribution payments made.

Please note that charges for the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) and any SA-HELP debt will not be removed when an application is granted.

If the request for post census amendment to enrolment and fees in special circumstances is denied, Student Finance will notify the student of the decision, the reason for the decision and the student's right of review.


Further Information about the Decision Making Criteria

In order to approve your request for special circumstances post-census amendment of enrolment, the University is required by the Department of Education to be satisfied that your withdrawal is justified on the grounds of special circumstances (as defined by the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and related Ministerial guidelines). These circumstances must:

1. Have been beyond your control

i.e. a situation occurred that a reasonable person would consider was not due to your action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which you are not responsible. This situation must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal. A lack of knowledge or understanding of your responsibility regarding enrolment and census dates is not considered to be beyond your control.


2. Not have made their full impact until after the census date:

i.e. Your circumstances occurred:
i. Before the census date, but worsen after that day or
ii. Before the census date, but the full effect or magnitude does not become apparent until after that day, or
iii. On or after census date


3. Mean that it was impracticable for you to complete your course requirements:

i.e. it was impracticable for you to:
i. undertake the necessary private study required, attend sufficient lectures or tutorials, or meet other compulsory attendance requirements in order to meet your compulsory course requirements or
ii. complete the required assessable work or
iii. sit the required examinations or complete any other course requirements because of your inability to meet (i) or (ii).


If you need assistance with this application, please contact the USASA Academic Advocacy service