student handbook


FINANCIAL HARDSHIP

FINANCIAL HARDSHIP

Sometimes, life with throw us a curveball, and it may become difficult for you to pay your course fees following the normal schedule.  If you are experiencing financial hardship it is very important you don’t ignore your situation.

Financial hardship is defined as a major change to personal circumstances which affects your, or your households, ability in any way to earn enough income to cover essential living expenses and debts, or a contributing stressor which impacts a your, or your households, ability to make financial payments

Sometimes you may require flexibility and temporary assistance, such as an extension of time to pay or flexible payment arrangements. In rare circumstances, you may not expect your situation to improve in the foreseeable future and will instead require ongoing support over a longer period, or a waiver of future fees.

Situations that may arise that could contribute to financial hardship include:

  • Death of a major household income contributor
  • Long term inability to work to earn sufficient income
  • Household income reduced due to someone losing employment and unlikely to gain new employment in the immediate future (eg 3 months).
  • Sudden drop in expected income, eg your hours of employment have been reduced unexpectedly and not expected to return to normal in the short term
  • An increase in carer responsibilities for a dependent long term (eg over 6 months)
  • Family breakdown or family violence
  • Unexpected major natural disaster

Financial hardship is not:

  • Short term illness or injury temporarily preventing you from working
  • Changing your mind about the course or career path
  • Mental health illness unless it prevents you from earning an income
  • Losing your job if you have the ability to gain a new one in the near future (eg 3 months).

CHANGE A PAYMENT SCHEDULE

Any time you are aware that you are unable to pay an instalment, you must contact us before your next instalment is due or as soon as you are aware that an instalment has failed.

We may be able to edit or reschedule one or more payments if you give us as much notice as possible. We need at least 3 business days notice to edit a direct debit scheduled payment.

If you need a temporary or permanent change to your payment schedule, please contact us to see what can be accommodated. This can include changing the frequency or amount of your payments, or skip one and move it to the end of your payment schedule to help you manage any short term financial difficulties.

It is important to note, that if your payment schedule changes and your course fees are not fully paid at the time you complete your studies, no statement of attainment, qualification or certificate will be issued until your fees are paid in full.

Even with a changed payment schedule, you are still governed by the payment plan terms & conditions you signed at enrolment.

To change a payment schedule, we ask that you please call us to discuss your situation and obtain advice on what options are available. Further information may then be sent in via email to confirm your request in writing and for us to supply you with any new direct debit forms.

When requesting a change of payment schedule or amounts, you’ll need to provide information such as:-

  • Change of payment date. When will you be able to make payment?
  • Change the instalment amount. What can you afford and when?
  • Postponing one or more instalments. When will you be able to recommence payments?

WAIVER OF FEES

In some rare circumstances, we may allow a waiver of fees where paying your course fee instalments will cause further financial stress.

If your remaining course fees are waived, you will need to be withdrawn from the course. We may be able to issue you a statement of attainment for units you have completed as long as your fees paid to date cover any administration fees, resources and the unit costs.

Even if we approve a waiver of fees, there will be a minimum amount payable to cover the non-refundable components of the course, including administration and resource fees.

If you are yet to commence your intake, this is $495.00. If you have commenced your intake and have online access granted but have not commenced more than one unit, this will be $1,325.00. If you have commenced training in multiple units (2 or more), those units will still need to paid for, before we can grant a waiver of your remaining fees. Depending on the course you have enrolled in, the units range from $200-450 each.

Where you have paid more than the minimum fees payable based on your progress in the course, only future payments are waived and all fees paid to date are not refundable.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A WAIVER OF FEES OR REFUND

If you are unable to continue paying for your course, or wish to request a partial refund, you will need to follow the following process to apply for a waiver of fees. 

  1. Contact us to discuss your situation via phone first. We may be able to offer several suggestions to help manage your situation short term so you can continue studying.
  2. Supply a withdraw form to us along with a letter detailing your situation and requesting we review your course fee instalments or request a partial refund. 
  3. Attach supportive documentation for your claims. See above for examples. Without supportive evidence for your claim for hardship, we will be unable to process your request.

Please allow 21 days for us to review your case and supply you with a decision and details on the next steps.

We may ask for further information to substantiate your application and associated claims and this must be provided for us to be able to fairly assess your request for a waiver of fees or partial refund.

PRIVACY

All your submitted documentation will be held in the strictest confidence however you must be aware that if you are enrolled in an nationally accredited program, we may need to share the documentation with the RTO you are registered with for a decision to be made about your application.

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Documentary evidence to support your situation will depend on your individual circumstances. Often you’ll need to provide multiple pieces of documentation to fully support your claims. This evidence may include (but not limited to):

  • Death certificates
  • Mortgage statement or default notices
  • Bank account statements
  • Redundancy or employment termination notices
  • Letter from doctor confirming inability to earn income due to disability, injury, illness or caring for sick family member
  • Centrelink statements
  • ATO Notice of Financial assessment for last financial year and copies of two latest payslips
  • Eviction notice
  • Overdue medical bills/medical expenses
  • Pending disconnection of essential services (eg electricity)
  • Letter from former employer confirming loss of employment
  • Statement of your circumstances on a Statutory Declaration where external evidence is hard to supply (eg carer responsibilities and the impact on your studies).

If you’re living with your parent/s (or with a partner) and you’re being financially supported by them, you may be asked also provide evidence of your parent/s or partner’s income to support your claim of financial hardship.