Fee refunds

If you decide you don’t want to complete a unit of study or course, you may be entitled to a fee refund. How much you get back depends on whether you are a domestic or international student, and when you apply for the refund. All students should take note of the census dates for maximum refunds.

Census dates 

Coursework students: the census dates in each semester are always 31 March and 31 August

Research students: the census dates for each of the research periods are 31 January, 31 March, 31 August and 31 October.

Withdrawing by the census date

Domestic student refunds

If you are a domestic Commonwealth-supported student, a domestic full fee-paying student, or a domestic FEE-HELP paying student, the census date is the last date for you to withdraw from a unit, suspend your studies, discontinue a unit, or finalise your residency status. If you withdraw from a unit before the census date, but have already paid your fees, you will be eligible to apply for a fee refund. You can do this via Sydney Student. You may also be eligible to apply for a full or partial refund of your SSAF.

International student refunds

If you have accepted an offer of admission but decide that you are unable or don’t want to do the course, you can request a refund. In Sydney Student go to ‘My finance’ > ‘Your finances’ > ‘Continue’ > ‘Request refund’.  

  • If you apply for the refund before the commencement of the teaching or research period, you are entitled to a refund of fees, minus a 10% administration charge.
  • If you apply for a refund after the start of the semester or research period, but before the census date, you are entitled to a refund of 50% of your fees paid, or a 100% credit towards your next fee instalment.
  • If you have accepted an offer of admission and decide to defer your studies until the next semester or research period, 100% of fees paid may be transferred to the next semester or research period (if you give notice before the relevant census date).
  • If you withdraw from an individual unit of study but continue enrolment in other units, you are entitled to 100% refund of the relevant unit of study fees, so long as you withdraw before the census date.
  • If you are a research (HDR) student and submit your thesis before the census date, you can apply to get 100% of your tuition refunded.

Withdrawing after the census date

If the census date has passed and you have been impacted by special circumstances you can apply for late discontinuation under special cirumstances. If your application is approved, you will automatically be given a fee refund. This applies to both domestic and interntional students.

Find out more about discontinuing a unit of study.

New permanent residents

If you are an international student who paid fees and then obtained Australian permanent residency, you can get a 100% refund of the semester fee paid, minus any agents’ fees incurred by the University. You will then pay any tuition fees that apply to domestic students. You need to advise the University through Sydney Student before the census date for the change to take effect in that semester.

Summer and winter school

Summer and winter intensives have census dates for each unit of study. You are eligible for a full refund if you withdraw on or before the census date.

If you have paid your tuition fee and withdraw prior to the relevant census date your Sydney Student account will be in credit, meaning the fee will automatically be applied to your next fee instalment. You may also request a refund via Sydney Student.

Students who have paid via FEE-HELP and withdraw prior to the relevant census date will have the debt automatically cancelled.

If your application for a fee refund is rejected

Domestic coursework students are entitled to request a review. This should be sent in writing to the HECS and Domestic Fees Office within 28 days of receiving the original decision and should include your reasons. Email: hecs.office@sydney.edu.au

International students may apply for a review by email to: international.fees@sydney.edu.au

Your application for review must be sent within 28 days of receiving the original decision. You must state your reasons for requesting the review.

If you require assistance with your review, contact us for help.

Check your enrolment

Every time you receive a notice from the University, check that all the information, including your current personal email or postal address, is accurate. This will help you avoid a situation where you could be required to pay extra because you forgot to officially withdraw, or you did not notice an administrative error. It is your responsibility to check these notices and inform the University of anything that needs to be changed.

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Written by SUPRA Postgraduate Advocacy Service June 2023.

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