Policy Academic Governance Administration of Commonwealth Scholarships Policy

Administration of Commonwealth Scholarships Policy

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This policy determines the administration by James Cook University of Commonwealth Scholarships and is to be read in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Australia Higher Education Support Act 2003, [hereafter, the Act], and the current Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Education) [hereafter, the Guidelines].


This policy applies to all students who meet the eligibility criteria outlined within the Guidelines and to all scholarship recipients.


Definitions are as per the current Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Education).

Policy and Procedures

The Commonwealth Scholarships will be administered in accordance with the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Education), established under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and updated each year.

Number of Scholarships

James Cook University shall offer at least the number of scholarships it is allocated for a year in that year. The University may offer additional scholarships where such offers can be supported through its Commonwealth Scholarship grant funds, taking into account its liabilities arising from additional scholarship offers and the suspension of scholarships by its students.

Selection Process - Indigenous Scholarships

Eligibility will be determined in accordance with the specific requirements of the Guidelines.

In addition, to be eligible for a Commonwealth Scholarship at James Cook University, continuing JCU students must, in their previous year of enrolment at JCU, have achieved a Grade Point average of at least 2.75.

A student will not be selected for a Commonwealth Scholarship unless the University is satisfied that the student meets or, by the first census date (or course start date for indigenous enabling students) of the scholarship period and before any Commonwealth Scholarship payment is made, will meet the eligibility criteria as set out in the Guidelines.

Where the number of eligible applications exceeds the scholarships available, applications will be ranked on the basis of personal and financial circumstances, using the methodology determined by the Selection Committee, and will be allocated in order of rank. Where applications are ranked equally on the basis of personal and financial circumstances, academic merit will be used as the final determinant.

A Selection Committee will be convened by the Director, Student Services or nominee to determine which applicants shall receive a Commonwealth Scholarship.

The Committee will comprise the following members:

  • Director, Student Services or nominee (Chair);

  • Director, Equity and Student Engagement or nominee;

  • Manager, Student Support & Development or nominee;

  • Head, School of Indigenous Australian Studies or nominee;

  • A staff member of the JCU Student Association student support services, nominated by the General Manager of the JCU Student Association.

with another staff member nominated by the Director, Student Services when necessary to ensure gender representation.

The Manager, Enrolments and Fees or nominee shall be the Secretary to the Committee.

At any meeting of the Committee three members shall form a quorum.

The Committee shall determine the methodology for ranking applications. The Committee shall nominate a suitably qualified person as Commonwealth Scholarship Evaluation Officer to undertake the ranking of applications in accordance with the agreed methodology. As a quality assurance measure, a person who has not been appointed as Commonwealth Scholarship Evaluation Officer, shall be nominated as Commonwealth Scholarship Quality Assurance Officer by the Director, Student Services to rank 10% of the applications in accordance with the agreed methodology. Any significant discrepancies between the rankings of the Commonwealth Scholarship Evaluation Officer and the Commonwealth Scholarship Quality Assurance Officer shall be reported to the Director, Student Services and appropriate action taken.

In determining allocation of Indigenous Access Scholarships, priority will be given to applicants who satisfy the Indigenous-CAS eligibility requirements, followed by applicants who do not meet the Indigenous-CAS eligibility requirements but who had to relocate to study.

A student may not concurrently hold an Indigenous-CECS or Indigenous Enabling-CECS and a Student Start-up Scholarship.

A student may not concurrently hold an Indigenous-CAS or Indigenous Enabling-CAS and a Relocation Scholarship.

When assessing exceptional circumstances relating to part-time study, the decision that an applicant cannot study full-time due to exceptional circumstances will be made by the Commonwealth Scholarship Evaluation Officer; and for the purposes of ongoing eligibility by the Manager, Enrolments and Fees. Factors such as disability, significant carer responsibilities, the unique circumstances of Indigenous students and course constraints outside a student’s control will be taken into account in determining ability to study full-time.

Both successful and non-successful applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application. If the application has been successful the letter will be a formal offer of the scholarship, the assistance to which they are entitled, and the relevant conditions of the scholarship. Successful applicants must respond in writing stating clearly their acceptance of the conditions which apply to the scholarship and, before the scholarship is officially awarded

Ongoing eligibility

Scholarship recipients must continue to meet the eligibility criteria for a scholarship as set out in the Guidelines.  JCU will confirm a student’s continuing eligibility for a scholarship prior to making a scholarship payment.


Successful applicants and scholarship recipients may apply to suspend their scholarship for a maximum of one year. After that time the scholarship will lapse and the student is required to reapply.


Students with an Indigenous Commonwealth Scholarship wishing to transfer to JCU from another institution must re-apply for an Indigenous Commonwealth Scholarship at JCU and will be considered along with all other applicants as outlined above.

Students with a non Indigenous Commonwealth Scholarship awarded prior to 1 January 2010 wishing to transfer to JCU from another institution must notify Centrelink of the change.


For the purpose of termination of a Commonwealth Scholarship, JCU will determine:

  • if a student ceases to meet the eligibility criteria specified in the Guidelines, other than during a period of approved suspension; or

  • once the maximum scholarship entitlement period has been reached; or

  • that a student will have failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress if they are suspended or excluded from their course of study in which they received a scholarship under the provisions of the Academic Progression Policy; or

  • that a student has committed serious misconduct if:

- the student has been subject to more than one penalty for academic misconduct under the University’s Student Academic Misconduct Procedures; and/or

- if a student has been found guilty of inappropriate conduct under the Student Code of Conduct and this inappropriate conduct is deemed serious by the Student Discipline Committee; and

- the student provided false or misleading information in relation to the Commonwealth Scholarship.

Appeal Process

The decision of the Selection Committee can only be appealed on procedural grounds. Applicants appealing the decision of the Selection Committee on procedural grounds shall do so to an Appeal Panel comprising:

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students) (Chair) or nominee;

  • Chair of Academic Board or nominee;

  • A staff member nominated by the Provost;

with another staff member nominated by the Chair when necessary to ensure gender representation. No member of the Appeal Panel will have been a member of the Selection Committee or participated in the ranking process.

Such an appeal may only be made on one or more of the following grounds:

  • the appropriate policy was not adhered to or correct procedures were not followed in considering the matter;

  • the decision was made without due regard to facts, evidence or circumstances.

Such an appeal must be lodged with the Manager, Enrolments and Fees within 14 days of the date of the notification from the Selection Committee. The appeal must:

  • be accompanied by a copy of the letter the student has received from the Selection Committee;

  • include details of the complaint and details of the action which the student has taken thus far and the grounds for the appeal, including the evidence in support of the student’s case, together with supporting documentation.

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

Commonwealth Scholarships

Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines


Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance
Policy Sub-domainStudent Experience

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Revision date

Description of changes



Changes made to reflect headline restructure 30/04/2018.

Quality, Standards and Policy



Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect policy framework.




Roles amended to reflect organisation re-structure

Policy Officer

Version no:

Approval date:





Minor amendments - amended Office or Unit name for Selection Committee members to reflect current titles; implementation: 23/10/2012




Implementation: 19/02/2010




Implementation: 13/01/2008




Implementation: 30/01/2007




Implementation: 01/01/2006




Implementation: 22/02/2005



cs scholarships; Commonwealth Scholarships, Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarships, CECS, Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarships, CAS