Policy Incidental Fee Payments and Refunds Procedure

Incidental Fee Payments and Refunds Procedure


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Intent

This procedure articulates the processes related to payment and refunds of fees and charges payable by students for goods and services supplementary to studies.

Scope

This procedure applies to all fees and charges levied on students for goods and services incidental to the provision of a course or subject delivered by JCU Australia.

This procedure does not apply to fees and charges related to a course or subject delivered by JCU Singapore.

Definitions

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.

HESA - Higher Education Support Act 2003

Incidental Fees – Fees or charges associated with a course of study, these may include compulsory course and subject costs (over and above Tuition Fees or Student Contributions), administrative charges and penalties.

  • In relation to Course Costs - A charge for a good or service that is either not essential to the course of study or is an essential component of the course but is readily available at no additional fee by the University.
  • In relation to Subject Costs – Costs associated with Field Trips that form part of the course of study such as equipment or items which become the physical property of the student and are not consumed during the course of study or the cost of food, transport and accommodation provided by the University for the field trip.
  • Other charges and penalties – Costs imposed principally as a disincentive and which do not cover administrative costs.

Introduction

Any fees and charges levied by JCU must comply with the Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003 and Chapter 7 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012.

Students generally must be able to complete the requirements of their course of study without the imposition of fees that are additional to student contribution amounts or tuition fees.

Procedure

1.   Setting Incidental Fees and Annual Review

1.1   The Manager, Student Finance and Examinations, is responsible in September each year to forward the list of approved Incidental Fees to the Colleges to update any new or existing fee amounts for the following year.

1.2   The College Deans will be responsible to ensure that the Incidental Fees for each College meet the requirements of HESA and the Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012and to endorse the listed fees for their College.

1.3   The Manager, Student Finance and Examinations will collate this information and submit the updated Incidental Fees listing to the Vice Chancellor Advisory Committee for consideration and recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

2.   Publication of Incidental Fees

Incidental Fees must be published in a timely manner and be accessible by both prospective and current students.

2.1   The Manager, Student Finance and Examinations should ensure that the Incidental Fees, approved by the Vice Chancellor, are published on the JCU website before the first enrolment date of the relevant year.

2.2   College Deans must ensure the following information is published:

  • an estimate of charges relating to field trips and essential subject costs is included in the subject outline; and
  • the maximum cost for each of food, transport and accommodation for field trips is notified to students by the census date for the subject.

2.3   Course Coordinators must ensure students are notified of any essential costs associated with their course, rather than individual subjects.

3.   Payment of Incidental Fees and charges may be made by way of:

3.1   Payment in person; or

3.2   Online payment.

4.   Consequences of non-payment

4.1   In accordance with the Accounts Receivable - Student Debtors - Penalties Policy the University may impose any or all of the following penalties until the outstanding fee is fully paid:

4.1.1.additional fees or administrative charges;

4.1.2.apply sanctions restricting student access to services and/or academic results; or

4.1.3.refuse to graduate the student.

4.2   These penalties may be applied immediately or applied in a staged manner, in accordance with the Accounts Receivable - Student Debtors - Penalties Policy.

5.   Refunds

5.1   A full refund of the incidental fee may be payable in the following circumstances;

5.1.1.the University is unable to provide the subject;

5.1.2.the University is unable to provide the Field Trip;

5.1.3.the student withdraws from the subject;

5.1.4.the student withdraws from the field trip; or

5.1.5.there are exceptional circumstances that prevented the student from participating in the activity for which the incidental fee was applicable.

5.2   Any payment 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.

5.3   A student may apply for a refund of their payment by submitting an electronic form or online Application for Refund form.

5.4   Applications shall be considered by the Student Finance Team with notification of the decision and the right to request a review of the decision (refer clause 6) sent to the student within 30 University working days of receipt of the application and full supporting documentation.

5.5   Refunds will be paid in Australian Dollars, unless the nominated bank account will not accept Australian Dollars. In such circumstances Western Union 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.

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

6.   Review of Refund Decision

6.1   Where a student is not satisfied with a decision made under this Procedure they have the right to request a review.

6.2   Review of refund decisions will be undertaken in accordance with the relevant legislation, HESA and ESOS.

6.3   Requests for review must be submitted in writing to the Director, Student Services by emailing studentfinance@jcu.edu.au and provide supporting documentation, written in English.

6.4   The University will commence the review within 10 working days of it being made and will notify the student of the outcome of the review within 20 University working days of receiving the request.

6.5   If an international student is not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review process, they can access an external complaints body, the Queensland Ombudsman.

7.   Right to review the charging of an Incidental Fee

7.1   In accordance with the Student Complaint Management Policy and Procedures, students who consider that they have been charged an Incidental Fee pursuant to this Procedure that is contrary to University policy or the Higher Education Support Act 2003 should, in the first instance, endeavour to resolve the matter informally through discussion with a relevant staff member or through the Manager, Student Finance and Examinations.  If the matter cannot be resolved informally, a student may make a formal complaint under the Student Complaint Management Policy and Procedures, for which the Responsible Officer will be the Director, Student Services.

Related policy instruments and resources

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

Schedules/Appendices

Schedule A: Student Payment and Fee Reversal Allocation

Administration

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

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students

Version no

19-1

Date for next Major Review

05/08/2022

Revision History

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

19-1

05/08/2019

06/08/2019

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

Keywords

incidental, refund, fees, field trip