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Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) La Trobe University will charge students a Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) determined annually by the University within the limits set by the Commonwealth Government. The fee will be used to fund student representation, facilities, amenities and services of a non-academic nature as permitted by the legislation and in compliance with University Council policy.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) Applies to domestic students only, and on all campuses except students enrolled in any course involving a third party provider eg. La Trobe Sydney, La Trobe Melbourne and TAFEs.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) The University determine specific SSAF for full-time and part-time students within limits prescribed by the Commonwealth government.

(4) The University may exempt particular courses from the fee.

(5) The fee rates will be the same at all locations at which they are charged and will be determined on an annual basis as approved by University Council.

(6) An unpaid overdue SSAF is a debt to the University until paid, and will result in the withholding of services and privileges specified in the Fees Statute 2009 .

(7) The University will publish information about the SSAF for prospective and enrolled students in the preceding year in line with the requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003, including information about the fee rates, payment options, exemptions, and what the fee is used for. In addition to publishing this information in the Students section of the University website, it will be made available in formats accessible to all students with disabilities.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Determining and Advising Students of the Fee

(8) The SSAF will be charged in two half-year instalments: Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) Period One (1 January to 30 June) and Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) Period Two (1 July to 31 December).

(9) The University will provide timely advice to each student of the SSAF that has been calculated for their enrolment on the Statement of Account issued to each student after their enrolment.

(10) The maximum SSAF charged by the University will be the maximum prescribed in the Higher Education Support Act 2003. It will be detailed on the Student Services and Amenities Fee Webpage and updated every year.

(11) Where a student has an eligible enrolment greater than or equal to 0.375 EFTSL at the census date in any single SSAF Fee Period the student will be charged the full-time rate for that SSAF Fee Period.

(12) Where a student has an eligible enrolment load less than 0.375 EFTSL but more than 0.000 EFTSL at the census date in any single Student Services and Amenities Fee Period, the student will be charged the part-time rate for that SSAF Fee Period.

(13) Where a student has an eligible enrolment load of 0.000 EFTSL at the census date in any single SSAF Period, the student will be charged no fee for that period.

Exemptions from the Fee

(14) All enrolment load will be used in the calculation of SSAF with the exception of:

  1. Students undertaking outbound exchange studies (for the period of overseas study only)
  2. Students undertaking cross-institutional studies where La Trobe University is not the home institution
  3. Students undertaking pure distance education or on-line subjects (i.e. no on-campus teaching)
  4. Students undertaking enabling or bridging courses.

Paying the Fee

(15) Students are able to pay the fee in full to the University or, if eligible, defer payment using the SA-HELP scheme, similar to HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP. Only Australian citizens, holders of permanent humanitarian visas and New Zealand citizens with a Special Conditions Visa are eligible to apply for SA-HELP.

(16) Students paying the fee to the University are required to pay or defer the SSAF in full by the payment due date on their Statement of Account.

(17) Students who are utilising SA-HELP must take the appropriate steps to defer payment of the SSAF through the Government SA-HELP assistance by 30 June for SSAF Period One and by 31 December for SSAF Period Two  (see clause 8 above for dates of SSAF periods). Details may be found in the SA-HELP information booklet available from La Trobe’s Student Financial Services or from the Commonwealth Government’s StudyAssist website.

(18) A Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) will be issued by student email within 28 days of the above dates. Students will be required to review the CAN and report any errors by the process described in the SA-HELP information book.

(19) A student will be in breach of the University Fees Statute 2009 and appropriate sanctions will apply if, by the dates outlined above, they have not:

  1. undertaken the appropriate steps, in accordance  with the Higher Education Support Act 2003, to defer payment of the SSAF through the SA-HELP assistance scheme, or
  2. paid the SSAF period in full.

(20) If a student withdraws from a subject after the relevant census dates for the subject, the student will remain liable for the SSAF.

Refunds of SSAF and Remitting SA-HELP

(21) A refund of a SSAF that was made directly to the University will be paid only when the eligible enrolment load equals 0.000 EFTSL in any single SSAF period and after the dates outlined in clause 18.

(22) The SA-HELP assistance loan cannot be remitted under any circumstances.

Review of SSAF Charge

(23) A student may request a review by the Executive Director, Student Services and Administration or nominee against the SSAF charged by the University where the student can demonstrate that:

  1. the student was charged the full-time SSAF but actually had a part-time enrolment (i.e. an enrolment of less than 0.375 EFTSL) for the relevant SSAF Fee Period; or
  2. the student was charged the part-time SSAF but actually had an enrolment of 0.000 EFTSL for the relevant SSAF Fee Period; or
  3. the student should have been exempt from the SSAF (i.e. the student should have been recognised as a member of one of the exemption categories listed above).

(24) Appeals must be in writing, must be supported by evidence, and must be addressed to:

SSAF Appeals Officer
c/- Executive Director, Student Services and Administration
Student Services and Administration
La Trobe University, Victoria, 3086
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Section 5 - Definitions

(25) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. CAN: Commonwealth Assistance Notice. A document sent to each student after Census Date containing details of their enrolment, any HELP debt or loan fee they have incurred or student contribution amounts paid.
  2. EFTSL: Equivalent Full-Time Student Load. It is a measure of the study load, for a year, of a student undertaking a course of study on a full-time basis.
  3. FEE-HELP: the Commonwealth government scheme that provides eligible fee paying students with a loan to pay their student fees.
  4. HECS-HELP: the Commonwealth government scheme that provides students who have a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) with a loan to pay the “student contribution”  for their tuition costs. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or text books.
  5. SA-HELP: the Commonwealth government scheme that provides eligible students with a loan to cover the student services and amenities fee imposed on them by their higher education providers.
  6. Statement of Account: an invoice sent by the University to students advising them of the amount they owe to the University and details of how and when to pay it.
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Section 6 - Stakeholders

Responsibility for implementation – Deputy Director, Student Services.
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Executive Director, Student Services and Administration.