In certain 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).

Swinburne understands that circumstances can change and impact your ability to study. You will not be discriminated against or victimised by applying for a remission of debt. 

Eligible special circumstances are detailed on this page and can include:

  • medical reasons
  • family reasons
  • employment-related reasons.
     

Specials circumstances do not include: 

  • not knowing unit/course requirements or your responsibilities as a student 
  • inability to repay a HECS-HELP, VET Student Loan or FEE-HELP loan 
  • delays with the processing of a submitted enrolment change 
  • incorrect enrolment 
  • 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).
     

Learn more about census dates.

Note: You cannot apply for a PCRD if you have successfully completed or are currently enrolled in the unit of study. If you are still enrolled in a unit you should consider applying for Special Consideration before applying for a PCRD, but if you intend to apply for a remission you must withdraw from the unit before submitting your application.

Important PCRD information

Applying for a PCRD for all the units you are enrolled into for a study period amounts to taking a break from your study. Before applying for a PCRD, you must first apply for an authorised leave of absence or, if appropriate, withdraw from your course.

Who can apply?

You can apply for a PCRD after the census date if you are:

  • a local student wishing to apply for a remission of debt due to special circumstances beyond your control
  • a local Open Universities Australia (OUA) student admitted into a Swinburne degree under a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) wishing to apply for a remission of debt due to special circumstances beyond your control.
     

Note: Full-fee-paying OUA students who are seeking special circumstances for a full-fee-paying unit must apply directly through OUA.

What special circumstances apply?

The university will remit a debt if you can clearly demonstrate that the circumstances you have encountered are unforeseeable and:

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

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.

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.

Special circumstances can include:

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.

Documents you need to provide

A medical certificate on letterhead/documentation including: 

  • your name 
  • the name and address of the doctor/healthcare provider and their Medicare Provider number 
  • 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 
  • 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, a significant death or you have been directly impacted by a close family member's health.

Documents you need to provide

A medical certificate on letterhead/documentation including: 

  • your name 
  • the name and address of the doctor/healthcare provider and their Medicare Provider number 
  • 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 
  • signature.

After the census date your employment status or arrangements changed unexpectedly due to circumstances beyond your control, and as a result prevented you from completing your unit(s). For example, you were made to take a sudden transfer in location or significant change in hours outside of your control.

Documents you need to provide

A letter from your employer detailing the changes to your employment, including when you were notified of the changes. Letters must be on company letterhead and detail the commencement date and duration of the changes and must be signed by the appropriate HR representative or personal manager.

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.

Registered practitioner statements are not accepted

We do not accept registered practitioner statements or the OUA Special Circumstances professional authority form.

You must apply:

  • within 12 months of your withdrawal date from the unit(s). Swinburne may extend the deadline if the circumstances prevented you from applying for the remission of debt within that timeframe.
  • if you failed but did not formally withdraw, you must apply within 12 months of the last teaching day of the unit(s)

It can take 21 working days for the university to assess a PCRD. There may be delays during peak times of the academic year. Incomplete applications will not be assessed and can delay the outcome to your application.

You will have a further 21 days to request a review of the decision.

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