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VET Fees, Charges, Tuition Assurance and Refunds Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Policy informs current and future Vocational Education and Training (VET) students who accept a fee paying place with the University. The policy relates to the setting and revision of fees and charges and refund policies.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Policy applies to:

  1. current and future fee paying VET students and their sponsors where appropriate
  2. La Trobe University staff
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) The Registered Training Organisation (RTO) agreement establishes:

  1. the method of advice of fees payable
  2. the date for payment of fees
  3. the circumstances in which a fee may be waived, deferred or refunded
  4. administrative and miscellaneous fines and charges
  5. circumstances under which fees may be paid under a payment plan.

(4) The University may offer eligible students the option to pay their fees via a payment plan.

(5) The University may cancel the enrolment of a student who has not complied with their obligations to pay any or all outstanding fees owing by the relevant payment plan due dates as outlined in the procedure.

(6) The University may refund or waive relevant fees to a student in accordance with this procedure.

(7) The processing of refunds is conditional on the following:

  1. the funds for the refund must be available (e.g. electronic transfers must have been received)
  2. any debts to the University must be paid in full or the outstanding amounts will be deducted from the refund and
  3. The course or subject cancellation, or withdrawal of enrolment, or leave of absence, on which the refund claim is based must have been processed.

(8) This Policy, and the availability of complaints and appeals processes, does not remove the right of a student to take action under Australia’s consumer protection laws.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(9) Fees for VET courses offered by the University will be set in accordance with the Fees Statute 2009 and published with course information material. Fee information is available in the Information for Applicants on the Certificate IV in Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management handbook page.

(10) Students will be issued with a Statement of Account via hard copy and email detailing the upfront and deferred fees payable for their course, and their due dates.

Outstanding Fees and Disputes

(11) An outstanding fee occurs when a student fails to pay their fees to the University by the published due date.

(12) Unless fees have been paid in full by the date specified, the student cannot participate in training.

(13) A person who wishes to dispute whether an amount is payable, must raise their complaint in accordance with the complaints procedure outlined in the relevant course information handbook.

Financial Hardship

(14) Financial hardship can be defined as extreme difficulty in meeting financial commitments due to exceptional circumstances, including and not limited to:

  1. a victim of natural disaster
  2. domestic violence
  3. crime
  4. family breakdown

(15) Fee paying students experiencing financial hardship may apply for variation of payment or a payment plan prior to the payment’s due date.

(16) In completing the Payment Variation form the student must provide evidence to prove they have the financial viability to meet the payment requirement proposed.

(17) Where a student defaults by two (2) consecutive payments on agreed instalments their enrolment will be cancelled and a Statement of Attainment will be issued for all completed subjects.

(18) The University may consider a concession on tuition fees only if it considers that collection in full would impose extreme hardship. This may include a concession on, or exemption from, the minimum fee.

(19) Students whose enrolment has been cancelled due to non-payment of fees may apply to be re-enrolled into their course following payment of all outstanding debts to the University.

Tuition Assurance/Fee Protection, Refunds and Withdrawals

(20) In the event the University ceases to provide a VET course of study in which a student is enrolled, the student is entitled to a choice of:

  1. an offer of a place in a similar VET course of study with a second provider without any requirement to pay the second provider any tuition fee for any replacement VET subject
  2. a refund of the student’s up-front VET tuition fee payments for any VET subject in which the student is enrolled or commences but does not complete because the University ceases to provide the VET course of study where that subject is offered.

(21) If the University ceases to provide a VET course of study, the Subject Coordinator or nominee will transition students to a new provider. Students will be notified in writing of this transition within twenty business days.

(22) Rules for refunds are outlined in the Refund of Tuition Fees (Domestic Students) Procedure.

(23) The University reserves the right to credit any overpayment in fees against current and future liabilities owed except where the student specifically requests a refund of the overpayment.

(24) If an application for a refund is received from a continuing student and is approved, then a credit for the overpaid amount normally will be applied to the next payment due.

(25) All applications are assessed on a case by case basis.

Reviews

(26) Students who have any concerns about the application of these procedures should refer to the Student Complaints Management Policy.
 

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Section 5 - Definitions

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

  1. VET Tuition Assurance: Protects students in the event a course provided by an approved provider ceases to be offered after it starts but before it is complete.