Procedure for Re-Crediting a FEE-HELP Balance – VET FEE HELP enabled programs

Intent

To outline the procedure for the re-crediting of FEE-HELP balances for all potential and currently enrolled domestic students who are or would be entitled to VET FEE-HELP assistance.

Principles

  1. 1. Students enrolled in a VET FEE HELP enabled program who lodge a withdrawal form on or before the census date for a unit of study will not incur a FEE-HELP debt for the unit; all VET tuition fees paid for the unit will be refunded (refer to the Enrolment processes: refund of fees (PDF 582kb 16p))
  1. 2. Students enrolled in a VET FEE HELP enabled program who lodge a withdrawal form after the census date for a unit of study will incur a FEE-HELP debt for the unit, however:
  1. 3. Where a student has been prevented from completing or withdrawing from a VET unit/s of study in a VET FEE HELP enabled program due to special circumstances which do not make their full impact until on or after the Census Date, he/she can apply to have his/her FEE-HELP balance re-credited and for the refund of all upfront VET tuition fees.

The relevant procedural steps and actions are outlined below.

Scope

This procedure applies to all potential and currently enrolled domestic students who are or would be entitled to VET FEE-HELP assistance and who may wish to seek a re-credit of their FEE-HELP balance.

Exclusions

All Higher Education students* and International Students (both onshore and offshore) as well as students studying through RMIT English Worldwide, Foundation Studies and RMIT Training are excluded from this procedure.

* Higher Education students should refer to the relevant higher education procedure (refer to the University’s procedure on Remission removal of debt in special circumstances)

Procedure steps and actions:

Procedure

Responsibility

Timeline

Who can apply

Students who withdraw from a VET unit of study after the Census date can apply to have their:

FEE-HELP balance re-credited

Up-front VET tuition fee payments refunded in full

where the student has been prevented from completing the VET unit of study due to special circumstances (see ‘Making a Decision’ below for a definition and interpretation of Special Circumstances).

A student cannot apply for a re-credit or a remission for a VET unit of study if they successfully complete that unit. A student who receives a fail grade is not considered to have successfully completed the VET unit of study and may apply for a re-credit or remission providing the fail is attributable to special circumstances.

Being unable to meet the academic requirements of a VET unit of study does not of itself make a student eligible for re-credit or remission.

Student/applicant

Applications must be submitted on or before the application deadline (see below)

Application deadline

An application for a re-credit or a remission must be made, in writing, within 12 months of the withdrawal date, or if the student has not withdrawn, within 12 months of the end of the period of study in which the VET unit of study was, or was to be, undertaken.

Student/applicant

12 months from withdrawal (or 12 months from the end of the semester in which the VET unit of study was, or was to be, undertaken)

Waiver of application deadline

A student may apply to have this deadline waived on the ground that it would not be, or was not, possible for the application to be submitted before the deadline.

An application for such a waiver must be in writing and include a description of the circumstances that prevented timely submission together with any independent supporting documentation. If this documentation is the same as that being used in support of the application itself, only one copy need be provided but the documentation must accompany the waiver application and the waiver application must be submitted first or concurrently with the application itself.

Student/applicant

As soon as possible after the conditions preventing application are removed or sufficiently reduced to permit completion and submission of the application

Application process

Applications must be in writing on the relevant RMIT Remission/Re-credit application form and include independent supporting documentation, for example Medical Certificates or letter/s from a doctor or counsellor indicating dates of incapacity (e.g. dates of stay in hospital, dates of counselling services), to support the person’s claims.

Applications must be submitted prior to the application deadline or be accompanied by an application for waiver of the application deadline (see above).

Student/applicant

Refer to application deadlines and waiver of application deadlines

Preliminary checks and record keeping

When an application has been received the following checks are undertaken:

  • Date stamp the application with received date
  • Check that the application has been signed
  • Check application for supporting documentation and ensure that application is complete
  • Check that the student has not previously applied to RMIT for remission/re-credit for the same study
  • Check that the application is within the timeframe or is accompanied by an Application for Waiver of the Application Deadline. Applications not within the deadline are to be rejected unless the student has included an application to waive the deadline or a waiver of the deadline has been previously granted
  • Register the application and allocate a case reference number

HESA Coordinator

On receipt of application (or as soon as practicable)

Notifying student of receipt of application

Once an application has been received and the preliminary checks and registration undertaken, the student is to be notified in writing of the receipt of the application stating:

  • The maximum timeframe for consideration of the application (60 days)
  • Any reference or file number used to track the application

or

  • That the application cannot be considered due to lateness or because it duplicates a previous or current application
  • Reference number of current application and any reference or file numbers of previous applications together with the status of those applications

HESA Coordinator

Within 3 days

Assessing an application deadline waiver

Prior to assessing an application to remit or re-credit, review any application for deadline waiver. (If the application to remit or re-credit is within the application deadline then this step is not necessary).

  1. Determine if the circumstances described and the supporting documentation supplied, verify that it was not possible for the application to have been submitted prior to the application deadline
  2. To assist with this determination, the following considerations may be used to guide the decision:
  • that the circumstances were beyond the person’s control
  • that they exist or have existed for a significant part of the application period especially the latter part approaching the deadline, and
  • that the circumstances made it impractical for the person to meet the application deadline

HESA Coordinator

Within 5 days of receipt of the application.

Making the decision

If the application to remit or re-credit has been accepted as within the application deadline or the application deadline has been waived, determine whether to remit or re-credit if special circumstances apply which:

  • are beyond the person’s control
  • did not make their full impact until on, or after the census date, and
  • make it impracticable for the person to complete the requirements for the Vet unit of study in the period during which the person undertook, or was to undertake, the Vet unit of study

HESA Coordinator

As soon as practicable but within 28 days

Notification to DEEWR of the decision and re-credit of FEE-HELP balance

Where the decision results in the re-crediting of the student’s FEE-HELP Balance*, the remission of a person’s VET FEE-HELP debt, and/or the refund of the student’s up-front VET tuition fee payments, notify DEEWR through the Revisions File.

*A person’s VET FEE-HELP debt in relation to a VET unit of study is taken to be remitted if the person’s FEE-HELP balance is re-credited.

HESA Coordinator

Within 3 working days

Arranging refund tuition fees

Where the decision involves the refunding of upfront payments for VET unit/s of study tuition fees the appropriate operational unit is notified to request that the student’s account be re-credited for refund.

HESA Coordinator

Within 3 working days

Student’s fees are re-credited to the student’s account.

Manager, Student Financials

Within 5 working days.

Amending the student’s academic record

Where a decision is made to re-credit, remit or refund cost and entitlements associated with a VET unit/s of study the student is entitled to have their academic record amended

Initiate the amendment of the student’s academic record so that the VET unit/s of study remain on the student’s record with the grade of Withdrawn (WDR) resulting in no academic penalty being recorded.

HESA Coordinator

Within 5 Working Days

Notifying applicant of the Decision

Once any required amendments to the student’s academic and financial records have been completed the student is advised of the decision in writing. The communication must state:

  • Whether the application has been approved or denied
  • The reasons for the decision
  • Where the decision is to refund tuition fees or upfront payments, that the fees have been re-credited to the students account and RMIT’s refund policy and application process for accessing that money
  • Where the decision is to re-credit or remit FEE- HELP Balance etc, state the date that DEEWR was notified and a summary of what it was advised (including what this means – VET FEE-HELP loan will be re-credited etc)
  • The review process (how to request a review of the decision if unsatisfied with the outcome)
  • The student must be advised that the time limit for applying for a review of the decision is 28 days from the day they first received notice of the decision
  • The name and contact number of a staff member who can answer questions and clarify matters if the student is unclear about the decision

HESA Coordinator

As soon as practicable after decision is made and all amendments have been made to the students record but must occur within 60 days of receipt of the original application

Requesting a Review of the Decision

The student has 28 days from the receipt of the decision to request a review of the decision.

The student’s application should be in writing and must state the reasons for requesting a review of the decision. The application may include additional documents or evidence that was not provided in the original application.

Student/ applicant

Within 28 days of receipt of decision

The Academic Registrar may permit applications for review of a decision to be submitted after 28 days where the student can demonstrate that it would not be, or was not, possible for the application to be submitted before the deadline.

Academic Registrar

Within 3 working days of request

Notification of receipt of request for review

Write to the student advising them of receipt of the request for review and advise the student that if they do not receive written notification of the outcome of the review within 45 days then the original decision is confirmed.

Review Officer or delegate

Within 3 days of receipt of application

Review of a decision

  • The Review Officer will be a senior member of the Academic Registrar’s Office who is not the same officer who made the original decision and who occupies a position that is senior to that occupied by the original decision maker
  • The Review Officer will review any new or additional evidence provided by the student and re-examine the original decision in line with the requirements and guidelines under which that decision was made
  • The Review Officer can decide to:
    • Confirm the original decision
    • Vary the original decision
    • Set aside the original decision and substitute a new decision

Review Officer

Within 28 days of receipt of the application

Notification of the decision

Notify the student of the outcome of the review in writing including:

  • The reasons for the decision
  • The student’s right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) if they are unsatisfied with the outcome of their appeal
  • The contact details and address of the nearest AAT together with the approximate cost of an appeal
  • Contact details of a person who can answer questions in relation to the outcome of the review
  • procedure

Review Officer or Delegate

As soon as practicable after the decision has been made but within 3 days

Reconsideration by the AAT

If the student lodges an application for reconsideration to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) the Secretary of DEEWR (or delegate) will be the respondent. Once DEEWR has received notification from the AAT that a person has applied for reconsideration the Secretary must lodge certain documents with the AAT within 28 days.

DEEWR will notify RMIT in writing that an appeal has been lodged with the AAT. Upon receipt of that notification RMIT must supply DEEWR with the originals of all documents held that are relevant to the appeal within 5 working days.

Copies of all documents are to be retained.

All documents are to be sent to DEEWR via Courier or Express Post.

Review Officer or Delegate

Business Systems and Compliance

5 Working Days

Maintenance of files

All original documentation will be returned to the University once a decision has been made by the ATT and should be returned to the file.

Immediately following decision

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