Post Census Remission of Debt (PCRD)

PCRD applications are considered in accordance with special circumstances as defined by the Australian Government’s Higher Education Support Act (2003) and assessed via an independent process undertaken by Swinburne University of Technology. For more information visit the Australian Government website.

Special Circumstances

Local students who are unable to complete a unit(s) within the teaching period due to special circumstances may be eligible for a Post Census Remission of Debt (PCRD) to remit the financial and academic penalties for the applicable unit(s).

If you are an International student, please visit the Post Census Application in Special Circumstances webpage for eligibility criteria and the application process.

Eligible special circumstances can include

  • Medical reasons
  • Family/personal reasons
  • Employment-related reasons

Special circumstances do not include

  • Not knowing unit/course/census date requirements or your responsibilities as a student
  • Inability to repay a HECS-HELP, VET Student Loan or FEE-HELP loan
  • Incorrect enrolment
  • Delays with the processing of a submitted enrolment change
  • Experiencing symptoms of a long standing or pre-existing medical condition (except in cases where you can show your condition has unexpectedly worsened post census).


  1. Special circumstances exist
  2. You failed the unit, or withdrew from the unit after the census date
  3. The unit forms part of your course of study
  4. You are not currently enrolled in the unit.
    • If you are still enrolled, you should consider applying for Special Consideration before applying
    • If you intend to apply you must withdraw from the unit before submitting your application
  5. Your application is submitted within 12 months of:
    • your withdrawal date from the unit(s) OR
    • if you failed the unit, within 12 months of the last day of the teaching period.

Special circumstances defined

The University will remit a debt if you can clearly demonstrate that the special circumstances:

  • Were beyond your control, and
  • Made their impact on or after the census date for the unit(s)
  • Made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements for the unit(s) in the study period
  • Had a significant impact on your ability to successfully complete the unit(s) and occurred or worsened on or after the census date.

Circumstances that made it impossible for you to complete the requirements of the unit may include:

  • Medical circumstances. For example, your medical condition only became known or significantly worsened after the census date and prevented you from continuing to study.
  • Family/personal circumstances. For example, a significant death or severe medical issue within your family requiring carer responsibilities occurred or escalated after census date, making it unreasonable for you to continue your studies.
  • Employment-related circumstances. For example, your employment status or arrangements changed after census date so you were unable to continue your studies, and this change was  beyond your control.

Application process

You can apply for a PCRD if you are:

  • a local Swinburne University of Technology or Swinburne Online student  
  • a local Open Universities Australia (OUA) student admitted into a Swinburne degree under a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) (Full-fee-paying OUA students must apply directly through OUA)

Supporting documents

You must provide independent supporting documentation (original or certified copy) to support your application. This can be from a health practitioner, counsellor or employer.

Supporting documents should include:

  • Your name
  • The date(s) during which your circumstances affected your ability to study
  • How your circumstances affected your ability to study
  • The duration of the circumstances
  • The date the document was issued.

If applying on medical grounds, the following must also be included:

  • The dates the medical examinations took place
  • Health practitioner’s provider number and signature.
Registered practitioner statements are not accepted

We do not accept Registered Practitioner Medical Impact Statements, Accessibility Registration Forms or Hospital discharge summaries.

VET Student Loans – applications to the government

You may apply to the Secretary for your HELP balance to be re-credited under section 71 of the VET Student Loans Act because:

  • Swinburne, or a person acting on the provider’s behalf, engaged in unacceptable conduct in relation to your application for the VET student loan; or
  • Swinburne has failed to comply with the Act or an instrument under the Act and the failure has adversely affected you.

Applications for re-crediting under section 71 of the Act must be made within five years after the census day for the course, or the part of the course, concerned, or within that period as extended by the Secretary.

The Secretary may re-credit a student’s HELP balance in relation to special circumstances if Swinburne is unable to act or is being wound up or has been dissolved; or has failed to act and the Secretary is satisfied that the failure is unreasonable.

For more information, visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment's debt complaints page.

How to apply for PCRD

Understanding our definitions of special circumstances and the conditions for applying for a PCRD form part of the application requirements.

By clicking on the below link, you confirm you have read and understood the conditions of the application.

Confirm and continue