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Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.
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International student means; you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.

Applying for Special Circumstances Refunds (Certificate I-IV)

This is for Certificate I, Certificate II, Certificate III and Certificate IV students.

For Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Bachelor, Associate Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master qualifications, see Application for Re-Credit of FEE HELP under Special Circumstances.

You may only apply for a Special Circumstances Refund if you withdraw from your unit of study after 28 days of the confirmed course commencement. You cannot apply for a refund for a unit of study that you have completed.

An application for refund is considered on the basis of special circumstances that:

  • Were beyond your control; and
  • Did not make their full impact until on, or after, 28 days of the confirmed course commencement; and
  • Made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements for the subject; and
  • The submission of the application is received within the required timeframe.

To apply for Special Circumstances you must provide a completed Special Circumstances for Refunds (Certificate I-IV) Application Form with the following attachments:

  1. A personal statement which specifies how special circumstances were beyond your control and how it changed after 28 days of the confirmed course commencement, and prevented you from continuing with your studies. If this statement cannot be further supported by other supporting documentation the personal statement is required to be in the form of a statutory declaration.
  2. 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.
  3. Completed Refund of Fees Application form

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 study, or not being given credit towards other units of study or courses.

Special Circumstances do not include:

  • lack of knowledge or understanding of requirements of a Debit Success Tuition Payment Plan for students who have entered into a contract with Debit Success; or
  • an applicant’s incapacity to repay a Debit Success debt, as repayments are an agreed amount signed for, and confirmed upon enrolment; or
  • lack of knowledge or understanding of requirements for applying for a refund

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.

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 28 days of the confirmed course commencement
    • d) The dates/duration of the impact (NOT a simple medical certificate)
  • A statutory declaration by an appropriate authority
  • A detailed statement from an employer regarding significant changes in employment circumstances
  • Copy of a death certificate or death notice of a close family member and proof of relationship to the deceased

What is the timeframe for an application?

An application for refund 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 refund is not a valid reason for applying outside of these timeframes, and applications outside these dates may not be considered.

Who to contact for help?

You may wish to approach the Student Hub for advice and help to prepare your application or request for review.

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.