Policy Academic Governance Incidental Fee Payments and Refunds Procedure

Incidental Fee Payments and Refunds Procedure

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The purpose of this procedure is to support the Student Fees and Payments Policy by detailing the arrangements relating to the charging and refunding of Incidental Fees.


This procedure applies to fees incidental to study delivered at the James Cook University (the University) Australian campuses including JCU Brisbane.

This procedure does not apply to incidental fees related to study delivered at the University’s Singapore campus.


Except where otherwise indicated in this procedure, the definitions used in this procedure are found in the Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy or the Policy Glossary.

Incidental Fees – are fees that are incidental to studies and falls into any one or more of the following categories:

  • It is a charge for a good or service that is not essential to the course of study e.g., printing.
  • It is a charge for an alternative form, or alternative forms, of access to a good or service that is an essential component of the course of study but is otherwise made readily available at no additional fee by the University.
  • It is a charge for an essential good or service that the student has the choice of acquiring from a supplier other than the University and is for equipment or items which become the physical property of the student and are not consumed during study.
  • Food, transport and accommodation costs associated with the provision of field trips that form part of the course of study.
  • It is a fine or a penalty, provided it is imposed by the University principally as a disincentive and not in order to raise revenue or cover administrative costs.


1. Setting Incidental Fees and Annual Review

1.1 The Manager, Student Finance and Scholarships, is responsible at the commencement of  October each year to forward the list of current approved Incidental Fees to each College Dean for review for the following year.

1.2 The College Deans must, for their College:

1.2.1 Update, remove or add Incidental Fees to the list provided by the Manager, Student Finance and Scholarships.

1.2.2 ensure that the Incidental Fees for their College meet the requirements of HESA and associated guidelines and;

1.2.3 return the Incidental Fee list with endorsement to the Manager, Student Finance and Scholarships no later than six weeks after receipt.

1.3 The Manager, Student Finance and Scholarships must collate all college information and submit the updated Incidental Fees list to the Vice Chancellor Academic Group or consideration and recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

2. Communication of Incidental Fees to Students

2.1 The Manager, Student Finance and Scholarships must publish the Incidental Fees by the date specified in the Student Fee and Refund Policy.

2.2 With regard to subjects, College Deans must ensure the following is adhered to:

2.2.1 Inclusion of an estimate of charges relating to field trips and essential subject costs in a subject outline; and

2.2.2 notifications to students of the maximum cost for field trips by the census date for the relevant subject.

2.3 With regard to courses, the Course Coordinators must ensure students are notified of any essential costs associated with their course.

3. Payment

3.1 Method of payment of Incidental Fees is:

3.1.1 payment in person; or

3.1.2 online payment.

3.2 Where payment is not made by the due date, penalties will be applied in accordance with the FMPM 270-2 Accounts Receivable - Student Debtors - Penalties Policy.

4. Refunds

4.1 For refunds related to course of study Incidental Fees, these may subject to Clause 4.2 occur under the following circumstances;

4.1.1 the University is unable to provide a subject or individual field trip;

4.1.2 the student withdraws from a subject prior to census date;

4.1.3 the student withdraws from a field trip at least 3 University working days prior to the commencement of the trip; or

4.1.4 there is special circumstances that prevented the student from participating in the activity for which the incidental fee was applicable.

4.2 Any refund may be at the discretion of the College and will be less any portion of the incidental fees that relate to goods or services that have been consumed or for which the University has incurred a cost.

4.3 For refunds related to non-course Incidental Fees (e.g. academic record refund) these may occur under the following circumstances:

4.3.1 the University is unable to provide the service; or

4.3.2 the student rescinds their request before the service has been provided.

4.4 A student must apply for any refund by submitting the Application for Refund form.

4.5 The Student Finance and Scholarships Team will assess applications and notify the student via their JCU email account of the determination within 30 University working days of receipt of a complete application.

4.6 Refunds will be paid in Australian Dollars unless the nominated bank account will not accept Australian Dollars. In such circumstances Convera will convert the AUD entered by JCU to the currency accepted by the beneficiary’s bank at the conversion rate on the day payment is made.

4.7 The University is not liable for bank charges or exchange rate differences incurred when undertaking foreign currency exchange.

Related policy instruments

Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy

Higher Education Support Act 2003

Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012

FMPM 270-2 Accounts Receivable - Student Debtors - Penalties Policy

Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006

Incidental Fees information


Schedule A: Student Payment and Fee Reversal Allocation


NOTE:  Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance

Policy Sub-domain

Student Experience

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Amendment to timeframe of when fees are approved by colleges.

Movement of some definitions/clauses regarding business rules to Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy.

Added clause 4.3 around refund process for non-course costs.

Removal of referencing to Review and Appeals as covered under policy.

Update to style, format and language for consistency across the Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy suite.

Manager, Student Finance and Scholarships




Procedure established in conjunction with establishment of the Student Fee Payments and Refunds Policy and disestablishment of the Incidental Fees Policy.

Manager Student Finance and Examinations


incidental, refund, fees, field trip

Contact person

Manager, Student Finance and Scholarships