You may be eligible for a post-census refund due to special circumstances. A post-census refund may be granted where it can be established that:

  • the circumstances are unexpectedly beyond your control and did not allow you to withdraw from your unit(s) by the relevant census date
  • the full impact of these circumstances was not felt by you until or after the census date
  • the circumstances put you at an extreme disadvantage due to being liable for applicable fees
  • you can provide independent supporting documentation
  • the circumstances have resulted in you being granted an approved underload or a leave of absence.

The circumstances must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal. For example, a lack of knowledge or understanding of your student requirements is not considered to be beyond your control.

The following are not considered special circumstances:

  • failing to read documentation provided by Swinburne University about your course
  • not realising you were enrolled in the unit
  • financial pressures or difficulty
  • employment-related reasons

You can only apply for a refund if special circumstances prevented you from completing the unit(s). If you have sat the exam(s) or have been granted special exam(s), you are not eligible to submit an application. Note: You cannot apply for a post-census refund if you have successfully completed or are currently enrolled in the unit of study.

If you believe you have special circumstances, we recommend you meet with an International Student Adviser (ISA) who will advise you and provide the necessary assistance where required.

International students on a student visa

If you are an international student on a student visa, you must maintain full-time enrolment in your course of study as per your visa conditions, unless you have been given approval to underload or go on a leave of absence. Note that even if approved, you are liable for fees for applications submitted post-census.

Are you under 18?

You may be eligible for a refund of fees under certain circumstances, if you withdraw by the relevant census date and meet the criteria and can provide documents to support your claim. For further details, kindly refer to the Refunds for International Students page.

Supporting documentation for refund requests

You must provide independent supporting documentation to support your application. It is not sufficient to provide only a personal statement outlining your circumstances.

Note: All documents must be originals or certified copies. Where document scans or images are supplied (for submitting online) originals may later need to be seen.

You have a medical condition that only became known after the census date and it was such that you were unable to continue to study, or worsened to such an extent that you were unable to continue your studies.

Please provide medical certificates/documentation including:

  • your name
  • the name, address and Medicare Provider number of the doctor/healthcare provider
  • the date the examination(s) took place and date the medical certificate was issued
  • the date(s) during which you were affected and how your condition affected your ability to study
  • the duration of the illness
  • a signature.


Unforeseen family/personal reasons that have occurred or worsened after the census date and are beyond your control and mean you are unable to continue to study. For example, death or severe medical problems within your family.

Please provide a statement on letterhead from a doctor or counsellor, stating:

  • The name, address and Medicare Provider number of the doctor/counsellor
  • The date your personal circumstances began or changed
  • How your circumstances affected your ability to study
  • When it became apparent you could not continue your studies.

A death certificate is required for the death of a parent, grandparent, sibling, child or spouse as well as proof of your relationship to the deceased (e.g. birth or marriage certificate).

Any applications that contain statements or supporting evidence that cannot have their authenticity verified and/or are deemed suspicious, may be referred to the Department of Education and Training for further investigation.