You may only apply for re-credit of a FEE-HELP debt if you withdraw from your unit of study after the census date or you have not completed the unit of study requirements. You cannot apply for a re-credit for a unit of study that you have successfully completed. Applications must be submitted within 12 months after the day you advised Melbourne Polytechnic of your intention to withdraw.
Under the Higher Education Support Act (2003) (HESA) an application for re-credit of a FEE-HELP is considered on the basis of special circumstances that:
- Were beyond your control; and
- Did not make their full impact until on, or after, the census date; and
- Made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements for the subject
To apply for Special Circumstances you must provide:
- a) Completed Application for Re-Credit of FEE HELP – Special Circumstances form with the following attachments;
- b) A personal statement which specifies how special circumstances were beyond your control and how it changed after the census date and prevented you from continuing with your studies.
- c) Supporting documentation from an independent source or authority, dated and signed, that supports your personal statement. The supporting documentation should include dates and the duration you were affected and describe the level of impact on special circumstances and how this impacted on your capacity to study or continue your studies.
What are special circumstances?
Circumstances could be considered beyond your control if a situation occurs that a reasonable person would consider is not due to your action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which you are not responsible.
Circumstances that make it impracticable to complete the requirements for a unit of study or course may include:
- 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;
- family/personal circumstances, 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;
- employment related circumstances, for example where a person’s employment status or arrangements have changed so the person is unable to continue their studies, and this change is beyond the person’s control; or
- • course related circumstances, for example, where unit of study offered has been changed and you are disadvantaged by either not being able to complete the of study, or not being given credit towards other units of study or courses.
NOTES: Special Circumstances do not include:
- lack of knowledge or understanding of requirements of the FEE-HELPs; or
- an applicant’s incapacity to repay a HELP debt, as repayments are income contingent and the applicant can apply for a deferral of a compulsory repayment in certain circumstances.
Where the application is submitted for some but not all subjects for the applicable time period covered in your application, your personal statement and supporting documentation must clearly state why you were unable to study the subjects covered by this application but you are able to study the subjects not covered by this application.
Special circumstances that do not make full impact until on or after the census date
Circumstances could be considered not to make their full impact until on or after the census date for a Unit of study if the circumstances occurred:
- Before the census date, but worsen after that day;
- Before the census date, but the full effect or magnitude did not become apparent until after census; or
- On or after the census date
What is acceptable supporting documentation?
The documentation you provide in support of proving that special circumstances affected your study must come from at least one independent source or authority, dated and signed, that clearly:
- identifies the type(s) of special circumstances you experienced; and
- specifies the dates of the occurrence of the special circumstances; and
- specifies the duration of the special circumstances; and
- describes the level of impact of the special circumstances on your ability to study or to continue your studies.
For example, supporting documentation may include:
- A medical statement completed by a medical professional that describes at a minimum:
- a) The date of the consultation with the medical professional,
- b) An indication of whether a diagnosis is based on an examination by the practitioner or a self-report by you, the student (patient),
- c) The severity of the impact of the condition upon the student’s ability to complete the subject or withdraw by the census date
- d) The dates/duration of the impact (NOT a simple medical certificate)
- A detailed statement from a minister of religion OR
- A detailed statement from a counsellor OR
- A detailed statement from a police officer OR
- A detailed statement from an employer regarding significant changes in employment circumstances OR
- Copy of a death certificate or death notice of a close family member and proof of relationship to the deceased OR
- A detailed letter from a lecturer, head of school or relevant Melbourne Polytechnic staff familiar with your special circumstances.
What is the timeframe for an application?
An application for a remission or a re-credit must be made, in writing:
- within 12 months of the withdrawal date; or
- if you did not withdraw, within 12 months of the end of the period of study in which the subject was, or was to be, undertaken; or
- if you deferred, the 12 month period applies from the end of the period of deferment.
NOTE: A lack of knowledge or understanding of requirements for applying for a re-credit of debt is not a valid reason for applying outside of these timeframes. These dates are prescribed by Government guidelines and applications outside these dates may not be considered.
Who to contact for help?
You may wish to approach Student Services on your campus for advice and help to prepare your application or request for review. This service is free and confidential.
What happens after an application has been lodged with Melbourne Polytechnic?
Melbourne Polytechnic considers an application within 15 working days of receipt. Melbourne Polytechnic will notify you of its decision and the reasons for making the decision within 28 days of receipt.
Melbourne Polytechnic will also advise you of your right for a review of the decision if you are dissatisfied with the outcome. The time limit for applying for a review of a decision is 28 days from the day you first received notice of the decision. You are taken to have received notice of the decision one day after the date on the notice of decision and the 28 days timeframe begins on this day.
Review of a decision by Melbourne Polytechnic
The time limit for applying for a reconsideration of a decision is 28 days from the day the applicant first received notice of the decision from Melbourne Polytechnic. You must state the reasons why you are applying for a reconsideration of a decision.
You will receive acknowledgement of the request for a reconsideration and Melbourne Polytechnic will write to you within 28 days of receiving your request to reconsider your application advising of the outcome.
Review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
In the event you are dissatisfied with the review outcome from Melbourne Polytechnic you may lodge an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a reconsideration of Melbourne Polytechnic’s decision.
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Last Modified: 25th February 2019