Guidelines for application of Refund / Withdrawal Under Special Circumstances (WUSC)
Application for Refund / Withdrawal Under Special Circumstances
The Professional Statement can be used by a relevant professional to support your Application for Withdrawal Under Special Circumstances.
- Who is eligible
- Withdrawal Under Special Circumstances (WUSC)
- Professional Statement
- Supporting Documentation
- Examples of 'Special Circumstances'
- Refund of up-front fees
- Application process and deadlines
- Other types of refunds
- Australian Consumer Protection Law
These guidelines have been written in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act (2003).
Students can only submit a Withdrawal Under Special Circumstances (WUSC) application if:
- they have not completed the requirements of the unit (e.g. Fail)
- the census date of the unit(s) has passed
- the application is submitted within 12 months of the study period (see WUSC section for further details)
- they are studying at an Australian campus (including refunds)
For all other students enrolled at other Curtin or Curtin affiliated campuses, please contact your relevant administrative office.
All correspondence regarding your Application for Refund / WUSC will be sent via:
- letter and/or
- the email address provided on your application form and/or
- the Official Communication Channel in your OASIS account
Curtin University acknowledges that an approved WUSC application includes the removal of both academic and financial penalty. The following will apply (if applicable):
- Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) re-credited
- HECS-HELP remitted with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
- FEE-HELP remitted with the ATO
- Up-front student contributions either credited to your account or refunded
- Tuition fees credited to your account or refunded
- Units withdrawn and recorded as 'WD' on your academic record
An application for WUSC must be made, in writing, within 12 months of the withdrawal date, or, if the person has not withdrawn, within 12 months of the end of the period of study in which the unit was, or was to be, undertaken.
If you have been affected by Special Circumstances of an unexpected nature and wish to apply for a WUSC, you must demonstrate that your circumstances satisfy all the below requirements in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act (2003):
- Were beyond your control;* and
- Did not make their full impact until on or after the census date; and
- Affected you to the extent that you were not able to complete the requirements of the unit(s) in the period during which you undertook, or was to undertake the unit(s).
*If your circumstances were beyond your control, you must demonstrate that these were unusual, uncommon or abnormal.
Circumstances that make it impracticable for the person to complete the requirements for their unit may include:
For example, where a person's medical condition has changed to such an extent that he or she is unable to continue studying;
For example, death or severe medical problems within a family, or unforeseen family financial difficulties, so that it is unreasonable to expect a person to continue studies;
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.
All applications and support documentation submitted to the Fees Centre must be in English.
Supporting documentation must be provided as either originals or as certified original copies and where appropriate, on official letterhead. Support documentation must include the appropriate dates of all relevant events or illnesses.
Note: The Fees Centre has no obligation to seek additional support documentation in relation to a submitted application.
Student Services and Amenities Fee
Students who are approved a WUSC will remain liable for the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).
- A student who has paid the SSAF upfront to the University will not receive a refund of the SSAF
- A student who has used a SA-HELP loan will remain liable for the SSAF debt
Remission of Debt
If your WUSC application is successful and your HELP debt has been reported to the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE), the ATO will be advised to reduce your HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP debt and to re-credit your Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) if necessary.
The Professional Statement is to be completed only by a relevant professional - not the student submitting the application.
Examples of a 'professional' include a Medical Practitioner, Counsellor or Employer.
This statement can be used in support of a student's Application for Refund / WUSC on the basis of a medical, personal or change of employment conditions.
Applications are assessed based on the independent supporting documentation provided to demonstrate your special circumstances. The documentation should be provided either as originals or as certified original copies and, where appropriate, on official letterhead.
The documentation must include the appropriate dates of all relevant events or illnesses.
- If your reason is medical, you are required to supply any relevant medical certificates issued by your Medical Practitioner.
- If you reason is employment related, you are required to supply a statement from your employer on company letterhead. A transfer of employment within the metropolitan area is not considered a valid reason. Self-employed workers must sign a statutory declaration and be able to demonstrate that the circumstances were not foreseeable prior to census date or to the last date to withdraw.
- You can also use a Professional Statement to assist you in obtaining the relevant information relating to documentation required as part of your application.
Note: The Fees Centre perform regular audit checks on the supporting documentation to verify the legitimacy of the documentation. An applicant who is found to have provided false or misleading information in relation to their Application for Refund / WUSC will have their application declined and disciplinary action may be taken.
Credit Card Refunds
Note: Please include a copy of your credit card statement as evidence of card holder's name and address, card details and payment details. Refunds must be credited back to the same credit card account. For any other payment method, please supply your bank account details; this includes all payments made through BPAY or Australia Post.
Special Circumstances that make it impracticable for the person to complete the requirements for their unit may include:
Where a student's medical condition has changed to such an extent that they are unable to continue studying.
Example 1: the student has a medical condition that has only become known/diagnosed after the census date and it was to the extent that the student was unable to continue with their studies.
Example 2: the student's medical condition existed prior to the census date however it deteriorated to the extent that the student was unable to continue with their studies post census date.
Where a death or severe medical problem occurs within a family, or unforeseen family financial difficulties, so that it is unreasonable to expect a person to continue studies.
Example: A member of the student's family suffers from a severe medical condition and, after the census date the student is required to provide full time care. As a result the student is unable to continue with their studies during the relevant study period.
Where a student'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.
Example: A student, who after the census date is unexpectedly required to be transferred to another location as part of their employment conditions (i.e. Interstate). As a result they are unable to continue with their studies.
Under certain circumstances, Curtin University may offer a refund of tuition fees that was previously paid up-front to the University. In order to be considered for a refund, students must complete an Application for Refund / WUSC and lodge it with the Fees Centre.
To apply for a refund, you must have credit in your student account.
International Students must refer to the International Student Refund Agreement [.pdf] before completing the refund application form as penalties may apply.
Domestic and International Extension study students must refer to the 'refunds' section of the Extension Study (Non Award) Enrolment Form.
All payments to overseas bank accounts will be in local currency (the currency of the country's bank). The conversion rate will be calculated based on the day of processing by Financial Services.
Should you use your student account to be refunded amounts that exceed your tuition fees which include living or personal expenses, a $550 administration fee may be imposed.
Student Services and Amenities Fee
Students who withdraw from all units prior to the census date will not be liable for the SSAF
- A student who has paid the SSAF upfront and has withdrawn from all units prior to census date may apply for a full refund of the SSAF
- A student who has not paid the SSAF upfront and has withdrawn from all units prior to census date will not be liable for the SSAF
- A student who makes amendments to their enrolment prior to census date will be liable for either all or part of the original SSAF in accordance with the SSAF schedule.
Further information regarding the SSAF can be found on the amenities website.
Processing time for Applications
According to university standards and practice, your refund application will normally be processed within 4 weeks from the receipt of a complete application by the Fees Centre.
If a favourable decision is delivered, please allow additional time of up to a maximum of 10 working days* from the date of decision for the financial transaction to be completed and for the funds to be received.
*Telegraphic Transfers to an overseas bank account can take up to 3 weeks for the funds to be received.
Where to lodge your application
Students can lodge applications either by mail or in person at the Fees Centre.
Fees Centre, Student Central
GPO Box U1987
Perth WA 6845
Fees Centre, Student Central Building 101
Bentley Western Australia
Timeline/Flow chart of application process
The Fees Centre only process application for refunds in relation to tuition fee payments that are receipted against a student's account
Open University Australia Students
Only Commonwealth supported Open University Australia students can lodge an Application for Refund/WUSC directly to the Curtin University Fees Centre (refer to the Application process and deadlines).
For students in non-Commonwealth supported places, please contact Open Universities Australia (OUA) directly.
Enquires relating to other types of payments and refund policies should be directed to the relevant area.
Other areas of Curtin can be reached by contacting the Curtin University switchboard on +61 (08) 9266 9266.
Application for Refund / Withdrawal Under Special Circumstances
The above refund arrangements do not remove the right of the student to take further action under Australia's consumer protection laws.
- Fees Centre
- Disability and Counselling Services
- Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) (Appeals for Commonwealth supported and Domestic students)
- Ombudsman of Western Australia (Appeals for International Students)
- Higher Education Support Act (2003)
- Future Students FAQ
- Study Assist
- Curtin University Student Charter