Materials fees

Materials fees (also known as Optional or Incidental fees) are fees and charges for goods and services associated with programs and courses such as field trips or items that become the property of the student such as lab coats, fabrics or workshop equipment. These fees are not compulsory and students may opt to purchase these items independently.

Annual materials fee setting

Materials fees are reviewed in August/September of each year. Academic and service areas with existing materials fees are required to review the prior years’ fees and advise of any changes for the following year.

Proposals for new fees must be submitted on a materials or excursion fee application form. Financial Services will consider all new fee requests and assess whether they comply with RMIT policy and current Victorian and Australian Government requirements.

Materials and excursion fee guidelines


RMIT may charge materials fees to students ONLY if the charge falls under one of the following categories:

  1. The fee is a charge for a good or service that is not essential to the program/course of study.
  2. The fee is a charge for a good or service that is essential for the completion of the program/course but a no cost alternative is made readily available (e.g. copy of lecture notes made available on web or RMIT Library).
  3. The fee is a charge for an essential good or service that the student has the choice of acquiring from an alternative supplier other than RMIT and is for:
    • goods to be retained by the student as their personal property, provided the student is permitted to use equivalent goods or materials obtained from sources external to RMIT; or
    • food, transport and accommodation costs associated with the provision of field trips or excursions.

Materials and excursion fee application forms

These forms cover both higher education and vocational materials fee applications

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Administering materials fees

It is important that all areas follow the below process when administering materials fees for students. Under no circumstances should materials fees be charged to students directly through SAP. The below process ensures that all materials fees charged to students are authorised and compliant with appropriate legislation and that GST is correctly charged. This process also ensures that fees are only posted against a student's account with the signed consent of the student.

  1. Following the annual fee setting and approval process, a full list of approved materials fees corresponding to the following calendar year is advertised on the web by the end of October and configured in SAMS in time for the commencement of enrolments.
  2. Schools are required to update their enrolment publications, program guides, etc. to include the approved materials fees and charges so that students are aware of additional costs to their subject choices at the time of enrolment.
  3. Students who choose to use the materials or service complete a Voluntary material and other fees (PDF 44.47kb 1p) form to consent to the charge(s).
  4. All completed Voluntary material and other fees forms must be collected by the School, batched and forwarded to RMIT Connect (formerly the Hub) or Enrolments and Student Records (ESR) for processing. When submitting to ESR, forms can be scanned and emailed to (HE program materials fees) or (VE program materials fees).
  5. Students are invoiced for these fees in the next invoice run.

What if my area misses the deadline for setting up a new materials fee or if an ad hoc charge arises?

It is far preferable to submit an ad hoc materials fee application than to try to invoice students outside of SAMS. Please submit a materials fee application form and Financial Services will assess your application and have a new materials fee established in SAMS. (Then please follow steps 2-5 above as per usual).

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Removal of materials fees

Situations may arise where a materials fee that has been applied to a student’s SAMS record needs to be removed. Such situations include cancellation from a program, leave of absence, dropping courses via enrolment variation forms or Enrolment Online or where fees have been applied incorrectly.

  1. As schools are responsible for materials fees, student requests for their removal must be directed to the School for authorisation. To request the removal of materials fees for a student, schools must complete a Removal of optional fees form. Please contact Enrolment and Student Records for further information and a copy of the form at (HE program materials fees) or (VE program materials fees).

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