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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; 31 October.

Domestic student refunds

If you are paying full fees upfront you are entitled to a full refund of those fees if you withdraw from a unit of study by the relevant census date. After the census date, you can apply to the Student Centre for a fee refund or remission of HELP debt (whichever is relevant) if you have special circumstances.

International student refunds

If you have accepted and 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’, then ‘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 who submits your thesis before the census date, you can apply to get 100% of your tuitions refunded.

After the census date

Both domestic and international students who apply for a refund after the census date may only be entitled to a refund if you can prove that there were ‘special circumstances’. You need to apply to the International Fees team and attach evidence with your application. Contact us for assistance.

Examples of special circumstances

‘Special circumstances’ refer to an event or series of events that impacted your ability to complete the requirements of the course. These events need to have been beyond your control and their full impact on your studies not felt until after the census date. Examples include:

  • medical issues
  • family or personal issues
  • employment-related reasons
  • course-related issues

If you require assistance in explaining your special circumstances and collecting support documentation please contact us for assistance.

The University’s International Student Fee Refund Policy has more information.

New permanent residents

If you are an international student who paid international student 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 before the relevant census date for the change to take effect in that semester.

Check your enrolment

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

Summer and winter school

The 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 relevant 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 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 advice and should include your reasons. Email:

International students may apply for a review by email to:
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 assistance.

The SUPRA office is closed – but you can still get help!

To help protect the health of our community during COVID-19 our Postgraduate Advocacy Service, Legal Service and council are working from home. We are working to full capacity and are providing timely and accurate information, advice and support.