Refunds and remission of debt

Withdrawal before Census date

If you withdraw from a course before the relevant Census date, you will not incur tuition fees or student contribution charges for the course.

  • Commonwealth supported students - you will receive an automatic refund of student contributions you have paid upfront.
  • Domestic full fee paying students - payments you have made will be applied to any outstanding debt on your account. Email our Treasury office to apply for a refund of the balance.

Email our Treasury office from your student mail account for more information about refunds for courses you have withdrawn from before the Census date.

Withdrawal after Census date

If you withdraw from your studies after the Census date due to special circumstances, you can apply to have your:

  • HECS-HELP debt remitted
  • FEE-HELP balance re-credited
  • full fee tuition costs refunded (for full fee paying and non award students)
  • up-front payment of a student contribution refunded.

Please note: This does not include the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)

Special circumstances

You need to demonstrate that the circumstances:

  • were beyond your control
  • did not make their full impact on you until on or after the Census date, and
  • made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements for the unit(s) in the period during which you undertook, or were to undertake, the unit.

You can't apply for a refund or to have your debt remitted if you have successfully completed the unit. A fail grade means you have not successfully completed the unit.

Special Circumstances do not include circumstances that were due to a :

  • lack of knowledge of the enrolment system of the University
  • lack of knowledge or understanding of requirements of the HELP loan scheme, or
  • your incapacity to repay a HELP debt (you can apply to the Australian Tax Office for a deferral of a compulsory repayment).

How to apply

Complete an Application for remission of debt in special circumstances (PDF, 389KB), attach documents to support your claim, and email your application to

You need to apply within 12 months of the date you withdrew, or if you have not withdrawn, within 12 months of the end of the period of study in which the course was taken.

The University of Newcastle will assess your application in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and associated guidelines. Your application will be considered on its merits. Your supporting documentation should provide enough detail for the Student Processes staff to make an informed decision regarding your case for remission.

We will formally advise you of the outcome of your application. If your application is declined, you have a right to appeal the decision.


Appeals need to be lodged within 28 days from when you receive notice of the decision not to re-credit or remit.

To appeal, you need to send a written statement outlining the reasons for your appeal to:

Academic Registrar
c/- Student Processes
HG10 - Hunter Building
The University of Newcastle
Callaghan NSW 2308

We will email you to acknowledge that we have received your appeal. We will provide written advice of the outcome of your appeal and options available to you.

Commonwealth supported and FEE-HELP students can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of the University's decision to refuse to re-credit or remit.

Refunds for International students

Find out about our procedure on refunds of fees for international students.

Apply for a refund: