Policy Directory

FEES POLICY

Date first approved:

3 March 2015

Date of effect:

3 March 2015

Date last amended:
(refer to Version Control Table)

Date of Next Review:

March 2018

First Approved by:

23 November 2007

Custodian title & e-mail address:

Director, Student Services Division student-fees@uow.edu.au

Author:

Manager, Fees & Compliance, Admissions, Fees & Scholarship, Student Services Division

Responsible Division & Unit:

Admissions, Fees & Scholarships, Student Services Division

Supporting documents, procedures & forms:

Administrative Charges Schedule Application for Refund of Fees

International Student Release Procedure

Tuition Fee Instalment Plan Contract

Relevant Legislation &

External Documents:

Student Charges Schedule
Student Services and Amenities Charge Schedule

SA-HELP Study Assist Website

Tuition Fee Instalment Plan Information

Higher Education Support Act 2003

Higher Education Administrative Information for Providers
Student Contribution Bands

Student Contributions Amounts and Tuition Fees for Enabling, Non-Award and Cross-Institutional Courses for Domestic Students

Student Payment Options page

National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007
Education Services to Overseas Students Act 2000

International Tuition Fees

Study Abroad Costs Website

Visiting Research Student Application Form

Student Conduct Rules and Associated Procedures

Audience:

Public – accessible to anyone

Contents

1 Purpose of Policy 3

2 Definitions 3

3 Application & Scope - Exclusions or Special Conditions 5

4 General Conditions (All Students) 5

5 Domestic Students 7

6 Refunds and Remission of HELP Debt for Domestic Students 10

7 Fees for International Students 11

8 Refunds for International Students 12

9 Sponsored Students 15

10 Fees for Exchange and Study Abroad Students 15

11 Special Circumstances 16

12 Supporting Documentation 17

13 Forfeiting 18

14 Disclaimers 18

15 Privacy and Confidentiality 18

16 Roles & Responsibilities 18

17 Version Control and Change History 19

    1 Purpose of Policy

        1. The purpose of this policy is to provide transparency for University of Wollongong (UOW) students in the application and administration of fees and charges, including refunds.

      2 Definitions

Word/Term

Definition (with examples if required)

 

AAT

Administrative Appeal Tribunal

Australia Awards Student

A student with an approved Australia Awards scholarship.

Census date

The date the financial liability for subjects is set and tuition fee is due.

Commonwealth Assistance Notice

A statement of information outlining enrolment, HELP debt and/or student contribution amounts for Commonwealth Assisted Students.

Commonwealth Supported Place

A place in a course of study for which the tuition fees are substantially subsidised by the Australian Government, so that students only pay 'student contribution' amounts for their units of study.

Commonwealth supported student (CSS)

A domestic student whose enrolment is partially funded by the Australian government.

Commonwealth Assisted Student (CAS)

An eligible domestic student who accesses a HELP loan to pay their subject charges.

Credit point

The value attached to a subject that indicates the study load.

Deferment

A student with an unconditional offer requesting to postpone the commencement of study to a later session.

DIBP

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Domestic student

An Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or a New Zealand Citizen.

DPTA

Domestic Postgraduate Tuition Award

Equivalent full-time study load (EFTSL)

EFTSL values calculated for each subject based on what fraction of a standard full time load the subject represents.

Full fee paying student

A student studying in a non-Commonwealth supported place.

Full time study load

Standard full time study load for a particular course.

HDR Student

Higher Degree Research Student. A student studying a PhD or Masters by Research course.

HELP loans

HECS-HELP is a loan available to eligible domestic students enrolled in Commonwealth supported places. A HECS-HELP loan will cover all or part of the student contribution amount. FEE-HELP is a loan given to eligible domestic fee-paying students to help pay part or all of their tuition fees.

Indexation

The automatic adjustment of a student’s HELP debt to a cost-of-living index, so that the balance is adjusted in accordance with the rate of inflation.

International Exchange Partner

An international institution which has an agreement with UOW to send and receive students on study abroad programs.

International or overseas student

A student who is not a domestic student. This includes students on temporary residence visas.

IPTA

International Postgraduate Tuition Award

Remission

A process of removing an incurred HELP loan debt from the Australian Government.

Letter of Release

A letter that formally advises a student that they have been granted a release from the University of Wollongong and may enrol at their intended education provider.

Study Period

Defined period of study per subject.

Sponsor

A third party who pays the fees and charges on behalf of the student and has a formal sponsorship agreement with the University.

Sponsored student

A student for whom fees and charges are paid by a third party under a formal sponsorship agreement with the University.

Student Contribution amounts

The amount of tuition fees a Commonwealth supported student has to pay to UOW.

Student Online Services (SOLS)

SOLS is the official enrolment system of the University of Wollongong. It is a web based system that enables a student to self-manage their enrolment. The system also allows the student to update their personal details, manage fees, apply for academic consideration, check assignment and final results and receive important messages from the University.

Student Services and Amenities Fee (SAF)

The Services and Amenities Fee (SAF) is calculated and charged progressively for each study period, based on enrolment (mode and study load) within a calendar year.

Tuition Fee Deposit

Portion of tuition fees, as outlined in an offer letter, paid by an international student prior to enrolment in a new course of study.

Tuition Fee Instalment Plan

A flexible payment plan applied to tuition fees only and allows for eligible students having difficulty paying tuition fees, to pay half of their tuition fees at Census Date and the balance at a later date.

UOW

University of Wollongong

      3 Application & Scope - Exclusions or Special Conditions

        1. The Fees Policy applies to all UOW students unless otherwise stated.

        2. The Fees Policy excludes:

        a. UOW Accommodation Services fees and charges except for clause 4.14 of the policy

        b. UOW Faculties fees and charges except for clause 4.14 of the policy

        c. UOW Library charges except for clause 4.14 of the policy

        d. UOW Dubai fees and charges except for Commonwealth Supported/Assisted Students (CSS/CAS)

        e. UOW College fees and charges except for clause 4.14 of the policy

        f. Offshore programs with UOW partner institutions except for section 10 of the policy

        g. Overseas Health Cover Fees. Further information can be found at www.uow.edu.au/student/central/overseashealthcover

        3. The policy contains general conditions (section 4) applying to both international and domestic students, and separate domestic sections (section 5 & 6) and international sections (section 7 & 8) to ensure compliance due to differing legislations

        4. All dollar amounts referred to in the Policy are in Australian Dollars, unless otherwise specified.

        5. Students should seek clarification on any aspects of this policy prior to accepting an offer of admission. If students have any questions regarding the policy or are unable to understand this policy, please contact Student Central.

      4 General Conditions (All Students)

        1. Up-to date tuition fees and other charges are available to students online in the Student Online System (SOLS) and are updated every 24 hours. SOLS is used by UOW to communicate important information and should be accessed by current students regularly. Failure to do this may result in not receiving important information (eg. Fees Information).

        2. Where a student remains enrolled in subject/s beyond the census date, they are required to pay for the subject/s.

        3. The oldest fee/charge due date will receive the first allocation of any payment made by a student.

        4. In addition to tuition fees, other fees and charges are outlined in the student charges schedule available on the UOW website.

Student Services and Amenities Fee (SAF)

        5. Some subjects/courses are exempt from SAF. Please refer to the Services and Amenities Charge Schedule for further information. All other students are required to pay the SAF as per the schedule available on the UOW website.

        6. Eligible students may be able to access an SA-HELP Loan to defer all or part of their SAF, in line with eligibility requirements outlined on the Department of Education, Study Assist Website.

        7. Payment arrangements for SAF must be finalised by the payment date. Non-payment of the SAF will result in a restricted/withheld enrolment. Students wishing to defer SAF to an SA-HELP Loan must correctly complete a Request for SA-HELP form through SOLS and provide their tax file number and permission for UOW to use the TFN by the payment due date of the fee.

        8. Students who are required to pay SAF and remain enrolled in a subject or subjects after the census date of the study period will be financially liable for SAF for that study period.

        9. After the census date of each study period, no refunds will be offered for SAF. There is no capacity under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 for a provider to remit an SA-HELP debt incurred by a student.

Tuition Fee Instalment Plans

        10. UOW recognises that some students may experience difficulty paying full tuition fees by the census date. Students meeting eligibility requirements are able to access a Tuition Fee Instalment Plan. Eligibility conditions are outlined on the Tuition Fee Instalment Plan page on the University website (http://www.uow.edu.au/student/finances/UOW119013.html)

        11. The Tuition Fee Instalment Plan applies to tuition fees only and incurs a non-refundable administration fee.

        12. Students approved to undertake a Tuition Fee Instalment Plan are required to complete a Tuition Fee Instalment Plan Contract and are bound by its terms and conditions.

        13. Failure to meet the terms and conditions of the Instalment Plan may result in cancellation of enrolment as outlined in Section 4.4 Penalties for Non Payment.

Penalties for Non Payment

        14. Where a student has an overdue debt to UOW, the University may, at its discretion, apply a range of penalties, including;

        a. As outlined in Sections 5.33 to 5.37 (Domestic) and Section 7.12 to 7.16 (International), cancellation of enrolment

        i. The loss of insurance cover under UOW’s liability insurance for attending classes and/or examinations.

        ii. Prevents enrolment in the current or any subsequent sessions

        iii. Withdrawing access to UOW services and facilities (email, library, etc).

        b. Restrict release of official credentials and/or documentation.

        c. Restrict release of examination results.

        d. Exclusion from degree conferral/graduation.

        e. Application of late fees.

        f. Employment of a debt collection agency to recover outstanding debt.

        15. The reinstatement fee is not refundable as per Section 5.37.

      5 Domestic Students

        1. Tuition fees for Domestic Students are governed by the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003.

Tuition Fees for Commonwealth Supported Students

        2. Students who are admitted to a program of study leading to an award of the University may be admitted to a Commonwealth Supported Place. This means that the student is required to make a contribution to the cost of their education in the form of a Student Contribution.

        3. Eligibility for Commonwealth Support is determined by the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003, and the availability of Commonwealth Supported Places in a course of study with UOW.

        4. Students approved for a Commonwealth Supported Place must complete a Request for Commonwealth Assistance Form through SOLS.

        5. Under the Higher Education Support Act, domestic students are not eligible for Commonwealth support or assistance for subjects enrolled after the census date if the reason for late enrolment is student error. In these cases Commonwealth supported students will only be able to enrol in subjects on a full fee paying basis. For courses where there are no full fee paying places offered (e.g. Undergraduate courses), students will be required to enrol on a non-award basis and pay the non-award fees upfront. Non-Commonwealth supported (full fee paying) students will be required to pay the relevant tuition fees upfront.

        6. UOW sets tuition fees for Commonwealth Supported students in accordance with published Student Contribution Bands which outlines the maximum amounts chargeable for units of study within specific disciplines.

        7. Student Contributions Bands are reviewed annually by the Australian Government and subject to change.

        8. The amount which a Commonwealth Supported student is required to pay as their Student Contribution for each study period is determined by the student’s subject enrolment at the census date.

        9. Students who transfer from one course to another, including change in mode of delivery and campus/study location, may lose their Commonwealth Supported Place.

Tuition Fees for Full Fee Paying Students

        10. Students who are admitted to a program of study leading to an award of the University may be admitted on a domestic full fee paying basis under the following conditions;

        a. They can demonstrate their citizenship status and;

        b. They satisfy eligibility requirements as outlined in the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003 and;

        c. Are studying in a course with UOW which is not being offered as Commonwealth Supported or;

        d. Are studying in a course with UOW for which all Commonwealth Supported places have been filled or;

        e. Have not applied for or been granted a Commonwealth Supported Place.

        11. The tuition fees are charged per credit point according to the approved tuition fees for the student’s program of study, and the student’s enrolment in the study period at the census date.

        12. Tuition fees are subject to annual review, and a commencing student’s first study period tuition fee rate will be dependent on the approved tuition fees at the time their offer was issued.

        13. Changes to tuition fees may occur through:

        a. Deferments of offers or;

        b. Transfer from one course to another, including change in mode of delivery and campus/study location.

        c. Changes to tuition fee rates for the student’s course of study

        14. A late payment fee may be charged if tuition fees are not paid in full by the census date refer to Section 4.14 Penalties for Non Payment.

Tuition Fees for Domestic Higher Degree Research Students

        15. All higher degree research students who are Australian Citizens, Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders, New Zealand Citizens or Permanent Residents are allocated a place under the Australian Government Research Training Scheme and are exempt from paying tuition fees for the duration of their degree.

        16. Students who exceed their course time limits will be liable to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are applicable to doctoral students with EFTSL greater than 4.5 years and Masters by Research students with an EFTSL greater than 2.5 years.

        17. All research students are reminded each session to check their enrolment status with regard to their time limits. If students have exceeded their time limits they may apply for a Domestic Postgraduate Tuition Award (DPTA) if they believe they meet the ‘special circumstances’ criteria as per Section 11 Point C

        18. For the DPTA to be approved students must meet the criteria for extenuating circumstances and those circumstances must have occurred during the session prior to the request for a DPTA. Applications for a DPTA must be endorsed by the Faculty and approved by the Dean of Research or by the delegated authority.

        19. In the event that tuition fees are applied, students may be eligible for the Australian Government FEE-HELP Loan Scheme to assist with paying their tuition fees. Students approved for the FEE-HELP Loan Scheme must complete a Request for Commonwealth Assistance form online via SOLS by the census date. Details on eligibility can be found at: http://www.uow.edu.au/student/finances/UOW119211.html

        20. Students not eligible for the FEE-HELP Loan must pay their tuition fees in full by the census date except where a student has been approved for a Tuition Fee Instalment Plan as per Sections 4.10 to 4.13.

        21. A late payment fee may be charged if tuition fees are not paid by the census date, refer to Section 4.14 – Penalties for Non Payment.

Tuition Fees for Non-Award Subjects

        22. A domestic student may be admitted to study subjects on a non-award basis in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003.

        23. Rates for non-award tuition fees are published on the Student Contributions Amounts and Tuition Fees for Enabling, Non-Award and Cross-Institutional Courses for Domestic Students page on the University website.

        24. Tuition fees for non-award enrolments are charged on a per credit point basis, according to the student’s enrolment in the study period at the census date, and are due by the census date.

        25. A late payment fee may be charged if tuition fees are not paid in full by the census date.

Payment Options

        26. Payment arrangements must be finalised by each study period census date.

        27. In accordance with the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003, Eligible Domestic Students may be eligible to apply for a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP Loan to defer all or part of their tuition fees. Payment options must be finalised by the study period Census Date.

        28. Tuition fees not being deferred to a HELP Loan must be paid to UOW by the census date, except where a student has been approved for a Tuition Fee Instalment Plan as per clauses 4.10 to 4.13.

        29. Approved payment options for upfront payments to UOW including Tuition Fee Instalment Plans are available at the Student Payment Options page on the University website.

Commonwealth Assistance Notice

        30. UOW will make available a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) to Commonwealth Assisted students for each study period.

        31. A student’s CAN is available via SOLS no later than 28 calendar days after the relevant study period census date.

        32. Students have 14 calendar days from the date of issue of the CAN to advise the University if they believe that there is an error in the CAN. UOW will amend the CAN if investigations confirm that it is inaccurate.

Cancellation of Enrolment

        33. A Domestic Student may have their enrolment cancelled if;

        a. They are a Commonwealth Supported student and fail to complete a Request for Commonwealth Assistance Form by the census date or;

        b. They have selected to defer fees to a HELP Loan and fail to provide their valid Tax File Number or Certificate of Application for a Tax File Number by the census date or;

        c. They fail to make the required tuition fee payment by the census date.

        34. Students who are cancelled are removed from all currently enrolled subjects in all active sessions.

        35. A student whose enrolment has been cancelled may be reinstated if, within 10 working days, they have met the requirements as outlined in clause 5.33, and pay any associated late and reinstatement charges.

        36. Students who fail to be reinstated within the timeframe specified in clause 5.35 will not be permitted to reinstate into the course of study from which they were cancelled.

        37. Reinstatement charges can only be refunded if it is determined there was an administrative error.

      6 Refunds and Remission of HELP Debt for Domestic Students

        1. Where a student withdraws from an enrolled subject prior to the census date, they will not incur a charge or HELP Debt for the subject. Subject withdrawal must be officially recorded with UOW. Students are eligible for a refund of any unallocated credit in this instance.

        2. Students are entitled to a refund of any credit remaining in their account which has not been allocated to subjects or charges which have passed census or due date.

        3. Where a student has unallocated credit in their account for which they are eligible for a refund, UOW will attempt to refund the amount to the student. Where UOW is not able to refund the credit to the student, and no contact is made by the student, the credit may be forfeited after a limited period of time as per section 13.

        4. Students are not entitled to apply for a refund of tuition fees if they have successfully completed their subject(s). A fail grade is considered not to have successfully completed the requirements of the subject(s), However, students with a fail grade will only be eligible to receive a refund if they meet the Special Circumstances criteria set out in Section 11.

        5. Where a student remains enrolled in subject(s) after the census date, and does not successfully complete the subject(s),UOW may refund any upfront tuition fees paid to the University or remove any HECS-Help or FEE-Help debt if;

        a. UOW is satisfied that the student has demonstrated, with independent supporting documentation (as defined in section 12), that special circumstances (as defined in section 11), apply to the student and;

        b. The student made an official refund application to UOW and;

        c. The application is received within 12 months of the date the subject(s) were officially withdrawn, or if the subject is not withdrawn within 12 months of the end of the study period for that subject(s);

        d. UOW waives the requirement that the application be made before the end of the period defined in clause 5.c, on the grounds that the student is able to demonstrate, with independent supporting documentation (as defined in section 12), that they were incapable of making their application before the end of that period.

        6. Applications will be assessed by the relevant delegated authority as per the UOW Delegations Policy, upon receiving the written application. Students will be advised of the outcome by the Student Services Division in writing within 28 calendar days from when the completed application has been received.

        a. A completed application includes; The submission of an application form

        b. The student did not successfully complete the subject/s.

        c. Supporting documentation as defined in Section 12

        7. An approved refund will result in;

        a. A refund of any upfront payments made towards the relevant subject(s)

        b. A remission of any HELP Loan debt incurred for the relevant subject(s)

        8. If the student is not satisfied with the decision, they may apply for a review of that decision within 28 calendar days from the date of the notice of the decision. Appeals will be considered by the relevant authority as per the UOW Delegations Policy.

        9. For an appeal to be considered, a student must demonstrate, with independent supporting documentation (as defined in section 12); new information relevant to their case which might change the outcome of the original decision together with a letter stating the reasons why they are applying for reconsideration. This must be provided in writing to Student Central. Students will be advised of the outcome of an appeal by the Student Services Division in writing within 28 calendar days from the date the complete application has been received. Students have the right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of the appeal decision that has been confirmed or varied. Information about a review of appeal is provided within the decision advice sent to the student.

      7 Fees for International Students

        1. Tuition fees for international students are governed by the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 under the Education Services to Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000.

        2. Tuition fees are charged per credit point according to the approved tuition fees for the program of study and the student’s enrolment in the study period as at census date.

        3. A commencing student’s first study period tuition fee rate will be dependent on the approved tuition fees at the time their offer was issued.

        4. Changes to tuition fees will occur through:

        a. Changes to tuition fee rates are updated each calendar year.

        b. Deferments of offers or;

        c. Transfer from one course to another, including change in mode of delivery and campus/study location.

        d. Changes to residency or citizenship status.

        5. International students commencing a new course of study must pay a portion of their tuition fees in advance before they are permitted to enrol in a new course. This amount is the tuition fee deposit outlined in the student’s offer letter.

Tuition Fees for Non-Award Subjects

        6. An international student may be admitted to study subjects on a non-award basis in accordance with the conditions of their visa.

        7. Rates for international non-award tuition fees are published on the International Tuition Fees page on the University website.

        8. Tuition fees for non-award enrolments are charged on a per credit point basis, according to the student’s enrolment in the study period at the census date, and are due by the census date.

        9. A late payment fee may be charged if tuition fees are not paid in full by the census date, refer to Section 4.14 – Penalties for Non Payment.

Payment Options

        10. Tuition fees must be paid in full to UOW by the census date except where a student has been approved for a Tuition Fee Instalment Plan as per clauses 4.10 to 4.13.

        11. Approved payment options are available at the Student Payment Options page on the University website.

Cancellation of Enrolment

        12. An International Student may have their enrolment cancelled if they fail to make the required tuition fee payment by the census date.

        13. International students who have had their enrolment cancelled due to non-payment of tuition fees will not be entitled to a refund of any portion of tuition fees paid – unless other special circumstances exist with regard to any paid tuition fees.

        14. Students who are cancelled are removed from all currently enrolled subjects in all active sessions.

        15. A student whose enrolment has been cancelled will be reinstated if, within 20 working days, they pay all outstanding tuition fees as well as any associated late and reinstatement charges.

        16. Students who fail to reinstate within the timeframe specified in clause 7.15 will not be permitted to reinstate into the course of study from which they were cancelled. These students will have the change in their enrolment status reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

      8 Refunds for International Students

        1. Refund applications will be assessed by the relevant delegated authority as per the UOW Delegations Policy, upon receiving the written application. Students will be advised of the outcome by the Student Services Division in writing within 28 calendar days from the date the application has been received.

        2. If the student is not satisfied with the decision, they may apply for a review of that decision within 28 calendar days from the day the student first received notice of the decision. Appeals will be considered by the relevant authority as per the UOW Delegations Policy.

        3. For an appeal to be considered, a student must demonstrate in writing, with independent supporting documentation (as defined in section 12); new information relevant to their case which might change the outcome of the original decision together with a letter stating the reasons why they are applying for reconsideration. This must be provided to Student Central.

        4. Students will be advised of the outcome of an appeal by the Student Services Division in writing within 28 calendar days from the date the application has been received.

        5. Students have the right to apply to the NSW Ombudsman for a review of the reviewable decision that has been confirmed or varied. Information about a review of appeal is provided within the decision advice sent to the student.

        6. Approved refunds will only be paid to the applicant or official sponsor, as defined in section 9, and may be made in the student's country by Australian dollar draft or electronic funds transfer in Australian dollar currency.

        7. Refunds of U.S. student loan payment funds will be processed in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education program regulations, as agreed to by the student and UOW. These regulations are detailed in Appendix 1 of this Policy.

        8. Where a student has unallocated credit in their account for which they are eligible for a refund, UOW will attempt to refund the amount to the student. Where UOW is not able to refund the credit to the student, and no contact is made by the student, the credit may be forfeited after a limited period of time as per section 13.

Refunds of Tuition Fee Deposit Payment

        9. Where a student has deferred an offer of study after its commencement date, UOW reserves the right to assess any refund applications in line with the commencement and census dates of the student’s original offer.

        10. Students will receive a full refund of their tuition fee deposit where they notify UOW in writing before they enrol in a course of study for the first time, and are able to demonstrate (with independent supporting documentation as outlined in section 12), at least one of the following;

        a. The student has made a formal application, but is subsequently refused a student visa from an Australian Diplomatic Post and this refusal is not due to the student’s action or inaction. Where a student is refused a student visa due to their own action or inaction, an administration fee of $1000 will be retained by UOW.

        b. UOW withdraws the offer of a place or is unable to provide the program for which a student has applied (as per relevant UOW Offer Letter), unless the place is withdrawn due to incorrect or incomplete information supplied by the student. Where an offer is withdrawn due to incorrect or incomplete information supplied by the student, an administration fee of $1000 will be retained by UOW.

        c. A student makes a reasonable attempt, but is unable to satisfy all the conditions specified in their relevant offer letter. Where a student is not able to demonstrate that they have made a reasonable attempt to meet the conditions of their offer, an administration fee of $1000 will be retained by UOW.

        11. Where a student makes a refund application before the commencement date of their first study period, as per their valid offer letter, they will be entitled to a refund of their tuition fee deposit, less $1000 administration fee. This includes students who fail to enrol in any subjects.

        12. Where a student is accepted at UOW and wishes to leave UOW before the completion of six (6) months study, the student must apply for a Letter of Release by completing the Application for Letter of Release Form from the University website. If the application for a Letter of Release is declined as per the International Student Release Policy, any subsequent refund application submitted by the student will be assessed in accordance with the UOW Fees Policy (refer Sections 8.1 to 8.16).

        13. Where a student makes a refund application after the commencement date, but before the census date of their first tuition fee deposit, as per their valid offer letter, they will receive a refund of their tuition fee deposit less $5000 administration fee. This also includes students who fail to enrol in any subjects.

        14. Students who withdraw and/or make a refund application after the census date of their first study period, as per their valid offer letter, are not entitled to a refund of any part of their tuition fee deposit. In these cases, the full amount of tuition fee deposit will be either allocated to enrolled subjects, held as credit in a student’s account for a limited period of time for future study only in line with section 13.

        15. UOW may remove a student’s financial liability for relevant subject/s if;

        a. The student applies in writing to UOW for a refund of fees;

        b. UOW is satisfied that the student has demonstrated, with independent supporting documentation (as defined in section 12), that special circumstances (as defined in section 11), apply to the student.

        c. The application is received within 12 months of the date the subject/s were officially withdrawn, or, if the person has not withdrawn, within 12 months of the end of the study period in which the subject was enrolled;

        d. UOW waives the requirement that the application be made before the end of the period defined in clause 8.15.c, on the grounds that the student is able to demonstrate, with independent supporting documentation (as defined in section 12), that they were incapable of making their application before the end of that period.

        16. For students who are approved a removal of financial liability under clause 8.15, any credit which is part of their original tuition fee deposit is not refundable, and will be held in the student’s account for use towards future tuition only, for a limited period of time as per section 13.

Other International Refunds

        17. For tuition fee payments made in addition to the tuition fee deposit amount, students are entitled to a refund of any credit which has not been allocated to subjects which have passed census date.

        18. For students enrolled in non-award subjects, a full refund of any credit not allocated to subjects which have passed census date will be granted (excludes student enrolled in the Study Abroad Program).

        19. Where a student remains enrolled in subject/s after the census date, and/or does not successfully complete subject/s, UOW will remove a student’s financial liability and refund the subsequent credit if;

        a. UOW is satisfied that the student has demonstrated, with independent supporting documentation (as defined in section 12), that special circumstances (as defined in section 11), apply to the student;

        b. The credit is not part of the student’s study deposit;

        c. The student has made an official application for a refund of fees;

        • a. The application is received within 12 months of the date the subject or subjects were officially withdrawn, or, if the person has not withdrawn, within 12 months of the end of the period of study in which the unit was, or was to be, undertaken;
        • b. UOW waives the requirement that the application be made before the end of the period defined in clause 8.15(d), on the grounds that the student is able to demonstrate, with independent supporting documentation (as defined in section 12), that they were incapable of making their application before the end of that period.

      9 Sponsored Students

        1. UOW defines a sponsored student as one of the following;

        a. A student whose fees are paid directly to UOW by a third party who has a formal sponsorship agreement with the University. These students must be supported by a financial guarantee which is issued by their sponsor, which states the period of cover of the sponsorship for the individual student as well as the fees and charges that the sponsor will take responsibility for.

        b. A student who has been approved for a UOW Tuition Award. UOW is the sponsor for these students for the period covered by the Award.

        c. A student with an approved Australia Awards scholarship.

        2. It is the responsibility of sponsored students to ensure their financial guarantee or UOW Award is current by the relevant study period census date. Students who fail to do so are not considered a Sponsored Student for that study period and are personally liable for their fees.

        3. It is the responsibility of the sponsored student to seek approval from their sponsor, with the exception of those students in receipt of an Australia Award, prior to changes to their pattern of study or degree program. Where necessary a new financial guarantee will be sought from the sponsor by the UOW. Students in receipt of an Australia Award are required to contact UOW’s Australia Awards Student Contact Officer with any changes to pattern of study or changes to degree program in the first instance. The Student Contact Officer will seek approval and adjust fees accordingly. Tuition fees are charged in accordance with the relevant tuition fee schedules for Domestic and International students.

        4. UOW will invoice sponsors directly for student fees and charges which must be paid by the agreed due dates as per formal sponsorship agreements.

        5. Unpaid tuition fees may result in student results and official documents being withheld, late fees being applied and/or cancellation of enrolment as per clause 4.14.

        6. Refund eligibility for sponsored students is the same as for non-sponsored students, and is outlined in section 6 (domestic) and section 8 (international).

        7. Where a sponsored student is determined to be eligible for a refund, any payments made by the sponsor towards the subject will be held in credit in the student’s account for future study, or refunded directly to the sponsor at their request.

      10 Fees for Exchange and Study Abroad Students

        1. Inbound Study Abroad Program students are charged as per the rates published on the Office of Student Mobility Costs website.

        2. Tuition amounts, study deposit and due dates are outlined on the student’s offer letter.

        3. Refund eligibility for study abroad students is the same as for other international students as outlined in section 8.

        4. Where a student has withdrawn, and is liable for fees and charges in line with section 8, UOW reserves the right to invoice agents and study abroad partners for the relevant liability amounts.

        5. Inbound Student Exchange students do not pay tuition fees, however may be liable for other fees including the Student Services and Amenities Fees and Overseas Students Health Cover: these will be indicated on the student’s offer letter.

Outbound Exchange/Study Abroad Students

        6. Domestic students approved to undertake a semester exchange program with an International Exchange Partner will be charged 24 credit points per session worth of tuition fees for their enrolled course of study at UOW. These tuition fees will be charged and payable to UOW in line with their normal conditions outlined in section 5.

        7. Students participating in other non-exchange programs through the Office of Global Student Mobility will be liable for any tuition fees to the overseas program as outlined by their overseas host university or the relevant UOW subject fees should they be directly enrolled in a UOW subject for the purpose of overseas study.

        8. Students studying at an overseas institution are bound by its policies, rules and regulations and are liable for any additional costs incurred during their stay. UOW reserves the right to apply penalties as outlined in clause 4.14, where a student has an outstanding debt with an International Exchange Partner of UOW.

        9. Students participating on an approved outbound International Exchange program are not liable for the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SAF) during the semester that they are overseas and enrolled at UOW for the International Exchange program.

Visiting Research Program Students

        10. Approved visiting research students are charged as per the schedule published on the Costs and Financial Aid page of the Office of Global Student Mobility (OGSM) website unless the supervising faculty has approved an International Postgraduate Tuition Award (IPTA).

        11. The dates of a student’s program are outlined in their application and offer letter and cannot be reduced once the program has commenced.

        12. Students who withdraw from their program after four calendar weeks of commencement are not entitles to a refund of any fees paid, unless they are able to demonstrate with independent supporting documentation (as outlined in section 12), that special circumstances (as outlined in section11) have occurred.

      11 Special Circumstances

        1. Special Circumstances apply to the student if UOW is satisfied that the circumstances;

        2. Were beyond the student’s control, which a reasonable person would consider is not due to the student’s action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which the student is not responsible and;

        a. Were unusual, uncommon or abnormal for the student and;

        b. Made it impractical for the student to complete the requirements of the subject/s.

        c. Did not occur until on or after the census date (or commencement date for new international students) for the subject/s or;

        d. Where the circumstances occurred or existed before the census date (or commencement date for new international students), worsened, changed or their full effect or magnitude did not become apparent to the student until after that date.

        3. Special circumstances which make it impractical for a student to complete the requirements of subject/s may include (but are not limited to);

            a. Medical circumstances. For example, where a person’s medical condition has changed to such an extent that he or she is unable to continue studying.

        b. Family/personal circumstances. For example, death or severe medical problems within a family, unforeseen financial difficulties, significant disruption to domestic arrangements so that it is unreasonable to expect a person to continue studies.

        c. Employment related circumstances. For example, where a person’s employment status or arrangements have changed so that the person is unable to continue his or her studies and this change is beyond the person’s control. Employment related circumstances do not apply to students studying on a student visa.

        d. Course related circumstances. For example, where the provider has changed the unit it had offered and the person is disadvantaged by either not being able to complete the unit, or not being given credit towards other units or courses.

        e. Extenuating circumstances of reasonable significance that interfere with the student’s ability to meet a subject’s requirements. For example, carer’s responsibilities, legal commitments, military service, accidents or natural disasters.

        4. Special circumstances do not include;

            a. Lack of knowledge or understanding of this policy or government legislation, or;

        b. A failure to follow correct University procedures, or;

        c. A person’s incapacity to repay a HELP debt.

      12 Supporting Documentation

        1. For supporting documentation to be considered valid, it must be;

        a. In English, or accompanied by a certified and signed translation from an official translation authority.

        b. An original document or, a copy certified by a Justice of the Peace (or equivalent international authority).

        c. Be from an independent authority (not the student or friends or family of the student).

        d. Specify exact dates surrounding the special circumstances which apply to the student.

        e. Specify the date the document was written or created.

        f. Address all criteria of Special Circumstances as outlined in section 11.1.

        g. Personal statements alone, including statutory declarations from the student and/or family and friends of the student, are not sufficient to establish refund eligibility.

        2. Personal statements alone, including statutory declarations from the student and/or family and friends of the student, are not sufficient to establish refund eligibility.

        3. The submission of fraudulent documentation will be regarded as serious misconduct and will be managed in accordance with the Student Conduct Rules and associated procedures. The matter may also be referred to the State or Federal Police, ICAC and/or the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

      13 Forfeiting

        1. Students shall have any unallocated credit held in their account for 12 months from the course commencement date as stated on their valid offer letter, or from when they were last enrolled.

        2. The University will contact the student regarding any unallocated credit held in the student’s account and the student will be required to either consent to the credit being allocated to future liabilities or have the credit refunded back to the student.

        3. Any unallocated credit remaining in a student’s account after the period specified in clause 13.1 will be forfeited, and no longer available for use by the student.

      14 Disclaimers

        1. This policy and the availability of complaints and appeals processes, does not remove the right of the student to take action under Australia’s consumer protection laws (including ESOS Act 2000).

      15 Privacy and Confidentiality

        1. All staff designated to access information contained in fees related applications are obliged to preserve confidentiality in accordance with the University’s Privacy Policy, the University Code of Conduct - Staff and other relevant privacy legislation.

        2. Records relating to fees applications will be retained and disposed of in accordance with the State Records Act 1998, General Retention and Disposal Authority GDA23, and the Records Management Policy

      16 Roles & Responsibilities

        1. It is the responsibility of the Student Services Division to administer student fees, including ensuring that remissions/refunds are assessed according to this Policy.

        2. It is the responsibility of the student to:

        a. Ensure they adhere to obligations outlined in this policy with regards to their student type and;

        b. Where relevant, provide appropriate documentation to enable a reasonable and fair assessment of the special circumstances as per claims made in the remission/refund/appeal submission.

      17 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By

Amendment

1

23 November 2007

University Council

First Version – replaces Tuition Fees Policy

2

6 May 2009

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Migrated to UOW Policy Template as per Policy Refresh.

3

15 February 2011

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Minor amendment to Clause 3.2 to exclude Offshore programs with UOW partner institutions.

4

22 June 2011

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Updated to reflect change of name from Wollongong College Australia to UOW College.

5

Spring Session 2012

University Council

Major Revisions – replaces version 4 of Fees Policy

6

7 August 2014

Vice-Chancellor

Minor update – inclusion of appendix 1 relating to arrangements for US Financial Aid scholarship students.

7

3 March 2015

Finance and Resources Committee

Revised to reflect recent policy and administrative changes and to better communicate current fee arrangements, including;

Clause 5. 15-19 Tuition fees charges for Domestic Overtime Higher Degree Research (HDR) students.

Clarification of eligibility for refunds for domestic students and the circumstances in which they can apply for a refund of upfront fees or remission of HELP Debt making reference to Special Circumstances under Section 11 of the Policy.

Inclusion of information for Sponsored Students.

Further information at Appendix A regarding Return of Title IV Funds for Students receiving US Financial Aid which was approved by the Vice-Chancellor in August 2014.

    Appendix 1 – Return of Title IV Funds for Students Receiving US Financial Aid

Purpose

        1. This sets out the University’s process for the Return of Title IV Funds when a US Financial Aid student withdraws from the University.

Definition of Withdrawal

        2. For the purpose of Return of Title IV Funds for student receiving US Financial Aid, a student will be considered to be withdrawn from a course where the student:

        2.1. Withdraws from the program; or

        2.2. Is discontinued by the University; or

        2.3. Transfers or is transferred to an ineligible course; or

        2.4. Undertakes a leave of absence, whether approved or unapproved; or

        2.5. Becomes ineligible for Direct Loans in any way within the first 60% of an award payment period.

Repayment and CalculationsS

        3. If a student withdraws from their program, both the student and the University will be required to repay a portion of the US Financial Aid.

        4. The amount to be repaid is calculated pro rata based on the date the student notified the University of their withdrawal, was withdrawn from study, or otherwise became ineligible for US Financial Aid.

        5. The University will calculate the amount to be returned to the United States Government using the Return to Title IV worksheet developed by the United States Department of Education.

        6. The liability for tuition fees and refunds is determined by the University’s Fees Policy, and independent of the regulations covering the Return of Title IV funds.

        7. If the University is required to repay money on behalf of a student, the student will be required to repay this money to the University.

        8. The direct loan funds will be returned in the following order:

        8.1. Unsubsidised loan;

        8.2. Subsidised loan;

        8.3. PLUS loans.

        9. For the purposes of the Return to Title IV funds calculations, a leave of absence from a program will be treated as a withdrawal although the student’s official UOW enrolment status will remain as a leave of absence.

Determining the Date of Withdrawal

        10. Where a student requests a leave of absence (as per section 2.7 above), the date of withdrawal will be the date on which the student’s application for leave is approved and recorded on their enrolment record

        11. If a student fails to enrol by the Monday of Week 3 of autumn and spring sessions, the withdrawal date will be the Monday of Week 3 of the session.

        12. If a student is undertaking study in trimesters or non-standard sessions throughout the year, the Return of Title IV funds will be assessed on a case by case basis. Withdrawal dates and liability to repay funds will be determined by the student’s enrolment and/or potential return to study dates. The University will calculate this date using the Return of Title IV form.

Official Notification Provided

        13. Students intending to withdraw from their degree must discuss their decision with the University’s Financial Aid Administrator (FAA) to understand the University’s obligations in regards to their loan funds, UOW’s Fees Policy and the implications for their student visa.

        14. If a student proceeds with their withdrawal, the date the student formally amends their enrolment, will be the withdrawal date for the purpose of calculating the return of loans funds to the United States Government.

Official Notification not Provided

        15. Where a student does not notify the University of their withdrawal, the University will determine the withdrawal date to calculate the return of loan funds.

        16. The University will make this decision no later than 30 days after the end of the payment period in which the student withdrew, or the date the University became aware that the student has ceased attending the University, whichever is earlier.

        17. If notice is not provided because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, the withdrawal date will be the date on which that circumstance occurred. The student will be required to provide documentation supporting the existence of circumstances beyond their control.

        18. In circumstances where a reason for and date of withdrawal cannot be determined, the withdrawal date will be the midpoint of the payment period.

Timeframe for Returning Title IV Funds

        19. The University is required to return the amount of Title IV funds which it is responsible for as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the University has determined that a student has withdrawn.

        20. Any unearned Title IV funds that the student is required to return must be returned or repaid in accordance with the terms of the loan.

Here to Help

Need a hand? Contact the Governance Unit for advice and assistance on policy issues.