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Student Fee Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Policy and associated Procedures outline the arrangements for the setting, review, payment and refund of fees and charges levied on students for their enrolment in courses and subjects at La Trobe University.

(2) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the terms of any scholarship awarded to a student.

(3) This Policy complies with the Higher Education Support Act 2003, the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and the Fees Statute 2009.

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This Policy and associated Procedures apply to:

  1. all course and subject fees that may be imposed on any student enrolled at La Trobe University
  2. all University courses and subjects including non-award courses
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) The University may impose fees and charges for admission, enrolment, tuition, examination, use of University facilities and other goods and services provided in conjunction with a subject or course.

(6) Fees imposed may include penalties.

(7) Fees may vary for different categories of students and different arrangements for payment may apply.

(8) In accordance with Government and University legislation, the University will levy fees and charges and review the amounts annually.

(9) The University will:

  1. Provide comprehensive and accessible information on all fees and charges for students and prospective students and on the potential for changes in charges during their studies;
  2. Give reasonable notice of any increases in fees and associated costs; and
  3. Ensure the administration of these is consistent with published information and in accordance with relevant legislation and University policies and procedures.

(10) To ensure student fees are set and administered in accordance with legislative obligations, the University will:

  1. When determining the indexation of fees, consider the impact of any increase on continuing students;
  2. Set the amount of a fee in relation to the delivery of services with consideration to the cost of delivery, with the exception of fees charged as a fine or penalty;
  3. Set fees in time:
    1. to meet internal and external publication requirements, including legislative requirements;
    2. to allow for fees information to be promulgated to current and prospective students in a timely way; and
    3. to inform the University’s budget planning processes.
  4. Administer fees in accordance with HESA, ESOS and related instruments.
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Section 4 - Procedures

(11) The following procedures form part of this Policy suite:

  1. Student Fee Procedure - International Students Refund
  2. Student Fee Procedure - Remission of Debt

(12) Fees are incurred by coursework students on the census date for each subject and study period in which the student is enrolled.

(13) A student incurs fee liability for all subjects or courses in which they are enrolled as at midnight on the census date. For Higher Degree by Research students, fees are accrued daily.

(14) Information on fees and charges are outlined on the relevant course pages of the University website.

Part A - Setting of Fees and Charges

Tuition fees

(15) The University may set tuition fees at different rates for different cohorts of students (e.g. based on year of admission, course, subject etc).

(16) The tuition fee for any course must not be less than the maximum Student Contribution Amount (SCA) payable for that course by Commonwealth Supported students.

(17) Tuition fees must not include fees for facilities, goods or services of a non-academic nature.

(18) The Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) is responsible for ensuring course and subject related incidental fees meet legislative requirements and for annual review of these fees.

Fees for students in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

(19) The University will use the maximum Student Contribution Band Amounts determined by the Australian government for a calendar year, to set relevant University Student Contribution Band Amounts.

(20) The University may treat a person as a Commonwealth supported student for a particular course only if the person has completed a request for Commonwealth assistance and paid the Student Contribution Amount (SCA) for that course by the census date.

(21) A student who provides a valid Tax File Number (TFN) and defers payment of the SCA under HECS-HELP by the census date is taken to have paid the SCA.

(22) A student who has not paid the SCA for a course by census date may continue as a student for that course only if the student pays the domestic student tuition fees set for that course for the year.

Tuition fees for international students

(23) The tuition fee for any course for an international student must not be less than the ‘minimum indicative fees for overseas students’ set by the Australian government. Commencing international student fees are outlined on the University website

Additional course costs

(24) The additional costs associated with courses, including but not limited to uniforms, equipment, costs of work-based learning activities, such as Police and Working with Children Checks, will be submitted with new and revised course proposals, included in published course information and reviewed annually.

Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF)

(25) The University will set student services and amenities fees (SSAF) for the provision of amenities, facilities and support services of a non-academic and non-political nature, please refer to the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) Policy.

Administrative charges

(26) The University will set administrative charges such as fees for transcripts, testamurs and letters and review on an annual basis.

Part B - Varying Fees and Charges

(27) The University cannot waive tuition fees and student contribution amounts or remove liability for HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP, unless the provisions in the Student Fee Procedure - Remission of Debt apply.

(28) The Director, Student Administration may vary the fees for a student in exceptional circumstances, including:

  1. a variation in the amount of a fee payable on administrative grounds (for example, enrolment matters); and
  2. a variation in the time to pay a fee.

(29) The University may vary tuition fees for specific cohorts of students covered by agreements with third party teaching providers.The University may offer fee reduction scholarships which cover a student’s liability for part or all of a fee.

Part C - Payment of Fees

(30) Students will receive a Statement of Account via their student email and Student Online for each teaching period in which they are enrolled. All student fees are required to be paid by the Census Date for the relevant teaching period.

(31) A student must contact and inform the University promptly if their capacity to pay their fees changes.

(32) Students remain responsible for their fees in cases where the University enters into an arrangement with a third party for payment of the student’s fees. If the third party does not make full payment, the student assumes responsibility for payment of any outstanding fees.

(33) The University may require a commencing international student to pay a deposit in order to confirm their offer of a place.

Consequences of non-payment

(34) An unpaid overdue fee or charge is a debt to the University until paid, and will result in the withholding of services and privileges specified in the Fees Statute 2009. The University may apply one or more of the following sanctions:

  1. cancel or restrict access to University resources, facilities and services
  2. cancel a student’s enrolment
  3. charge a revival of enrolment fee
  4. restrict re-enrolment
  5. refuse to graduate the student

(35) International students who discontinue or withdraw from their studies with a debt owing to the University will be reported to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) for non-payment of fees.

Part D - Refunds and Uncollected Funds

(36) The University will publish dates on the website each year detailing the academic and financial penalties associated with subject or course withdrawals.

(37) A domestic student may withdraw from any course or subject at their discretion. However, students must consider the possible consequences of a withdrawal on future course progress, availability of subjects, fees, status as a student, and scholarships and the consequences of non-payment of any fees as detailed elsewhere in this Policy.

(38) A continuing student or domestic commencing student who withdraws by the census date will be entitled to a full refund, after application of any relevant administrative charges for student default and subject to the provisions of any third-party sponsorship or loan arrangements.

(39) Students seeking a refund must apply on the prescribed University application form with supporting documentation.

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

(41) Where an amount has been in credit in a student’s account that has been inactive for more than 18 months, the University will attempt to contact the student to refund the money to the student a minimum of three times. After this time unclaimed revenue funds are transferred to the State Revenue office.

(42) A student who is excluded or suspended under a University rule, policy or procedure after the census date for a study period is not entitled to a refund of fees and charges for that period.

(43) Provisions for refund of fees for international students are outlined in the Student Fee Procedure - International Students Refund.

Part E - Monitoring, Review and Approval

(44) The Course Portfolio and Scholarships Committee is responsible for providing recommendations on the annual course fees for domestic and international students to the Senior Executive Group for their endorsement. The endorsed fees will then be presented to University Council on an annual basis for approval via the Finance and Resources Committee.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(45) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Census Date: in degree courses, the date at which the University must advise the government of the final enrolment figures in a subject. A list of Census Dates for the current year are available on the website.
  2. course: a course of study leading to the award of a degree, diploma, or other award.
  3. enrolment: the process of completing all required procedures including the payment of all prescribed fees and charges for the course and/or units to be undertaken by the student and/or the status which results from the completion of the process.
  4. fee: any fee or charge payable under these rules, including the student contribution amount and tuition fee.
  5. incidental fee: a fee of a kind that is incidental to studies that may be undertaken with a higher education provider.
  6. subject: a unit of study involving students in a series of learning activities, the outcomes of which are assessed.