Tuition Fee Policy for International Students

Policy Student Services Tuition Fee Policy for International Students

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Intent

This policy details the due dates for payment of tuition fees by international students, and the circumstances under which refunds are made and financial penalties incurred.

This policy meets the legislative and administrative requirements of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 (Commonwealth), and the relevant state government legislation. In particular the legislation states that the University must not only protect the financial interests of both intending and admitted overseas students, but also provide access to this policy prior to entering into a contract.

Scope

This policy applies to all JCU international students in Australia, and international students studying courses by distance delivery mode other than international students on a formal exchange program in Australia.

Definitions

Census Date - the date on which a student’s enrolment in a subject is taken to be finalised.

Commencing Student - for the purpose of this policy, a Commencing Student shall be a student admitted for the first time in a particular course and who was not enrolled in another course at JCU in the previous teaching period/trimester.

Commencement Deposit - for students studying through campuses operating on a Semester-based calendar, the Commencement Deposit is payment equivalent to one-half of the annual tuition fee and the applicable Student Services and Amenities Fee and is specified in their Student Contract.

For students studying through campuses operating on a Trimester-based calendar, the Commencement Deposit is payment equivalent to 9 credit points of study towards their course, other than for students studying for a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Qualifying Program, where the Commencement Deposit is payment equivalent to one-half of the annual tuition fee, and the applicable Student Services and Amenities Fee and is specified in their Student Contract.

The Commencement Deposit must be paid at the time of accepting a Student Contract.

Continuing Student - for the purpose of this policy, a Continuing Student shall be a student who is continuing their course enrolment (including enrolling in an Honours year), from a previous Teaching Period/Trimester or a student who was enrolled in another course at JCU in the previous teaching period/trimester.

Course - a combination of subjects the successful completion of which, in accordance with the relevant requirements, will fulfil the prescribed requirements for a particular award or approved Study Abroad program.

Cooling Off Period - a period of time within 10 working days of the date the student signed the acceptance and payment agreement, in which the student can withdraw their acceptance. Written notification of the change of mind must be received by the University within this 10 working day period.

Domestic Student - a student or applicant who is an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or an Australian permanent visa holder.

Exceptional Circumstances - means circumstances that:

  1. were beyond the student’s control;

  2. did not make their full impact on the student until on, or after the census date; and

  3. made it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements for the subject in the period during which the student undertook or was to undertake the subject.

International Student - a student or applicant who is not a Domestic Student.  

Package of Offers - a Package of Offers in a sequence of multiple courses, either at JCU or with one of JCU’s nominated educational business partners as notified to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and listed at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2012L01295. Courses are packaged where one is a prerequisite to another, or where one of the courses may only be taken upon successful completion of another of the courses.

Payment Due Date - the Payment Due Date for a subject is the date on which continuing students must make payment of tuition fees in full. The Payment Due date for each subject within a study period is listed on the Fee Statement/Tax Invoice and in the Course and Subject Handbook.

Sponsor - in certain circumstances, students may be sponsored by organisations and have their tuition fees paid by these entities. Application for sponsoring arrangements will require the approval of the Director, Future Students, prior to admission.

Student Contract - the written agreement which is made between the University and the student upon the student accepting an offer of enrolment and paying the Commencement Deposit.

Study Period - each subject is allocated to a Study Period with a designated start and end date, Payment Due Date, Census Date, date for withdrawal without academic penalty, and date for release of subject results as publicised in the Course and Subject Handbook.

Subject - a discrete portion of a course identified by a code, title and credit point value.

Teaching Period - one half of an academic year. Teaching Period 1 is the first six months of the year and Teaching Period 2 is the second six months of the year. Subjects with a Census Date prior to 1 July fall within Teaching Period 1 and subjects with a Census Date on or after 1 July fall within Teaching Period 2.

Transfer - a transfer occurs when a student moves permanently to a different campus or course, and does not intend to return to their original campus or course.

Trimester - a study period of the academic year, generally consisting of 12 - 15 weeks of teaching, followed by a two week period, by the end of which final assessment is due. There are three trimesters in an academic year.

Policy

The University charges tuition fees to international students admitted into its academic courses and programs. Tuition fees are reviewed annually, approved by the Vice-Chancellor and registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).  Fees and charges other than tuition fees, such as the Student Services and Amenities Fee, and mandatory Overseas Health Cover are administered outside of this policy.

1. Tuition Fees and Commencement Deposits

1.1 Tuition Fee Liability

1.1.1    International tuition fees are set for each calendar year and are quoted either for a single Study Period/Trimester or at an annual rate. The tuition fee liability is calculated in proportion with the credit point enrolment for coursework and time-based study for research students.

For coursework students, tuition fees are charged pro-rata of the annual course fee based on 24 credit points. Exceptions to the pro-rata calculation of tuition fees are listed in APPENDIX I.

Research students are charged an annual fee based on full-time, full-year, enrolment. Where a research student’s enrolment dates vary from full-time full-year, a pro-rata calculation based on the period of enrolment will be charged. Students who fast-track a research degree may be liable for the total fee for the course as quoted on their Student Contract.

1.1.2 International Tuition fees are subject to annual increases as approved by the Vice Chancellor.

1.1.3 The tuition fee liability incurred by students who commence their course from 1 January 2017 will be the approved course fee for each year in which the student is enrolled.  

The tuition fee liability incurred by Continuing Students who commenced their course prior to 1 January 2017 is subject to increase at a rate indexed annually based on the course fee for the year in which the student commenced studying.

1.1.4    A tuition fee liability will be incurred for all subjects in which a student is enrolled in at Census Date.  Withdrawal from any subject(s) or course after the Census Date does not reduce the fee liability due unless exceptional circumstances apply as per Clause 3.3.

1.1.5    For Continuing Students, tuition fees must be paid in full by the applicable Payment Due Dates.

1.1.6    Where bank fees are deducted from any amount paid, the student must pay the bank fees so that the University receives the full tuition fee amount.

1.2 Commencement Deposits

1.2.1    Commencing Students with direct entry into a degree program must pay the required deposit at the time of the acceptance of the offer. The applicant will not be admitted to the course until the required deposit has been received. Except where stated to the contrary in this Policy, the required deposit will be the Commencement Deposit.

1.2.2    Exceptions to the requirement for full up-front payment of the Commencement Deposit are listed in APPENDIX II. In these instances, the balance of the Commencement Deposit remains payable and the student will remain liable for the balance of the Commencement Deposit in the calculation of outstanding liability, penalties and refunds. The balance of the Commencement Deposit must be paid by the Payment Due Date of the main study period of the first Teaching Period/Trimester in which the student is enrolled.

1.2.3 Under the ESOS Act providers must not require a student to pay more than 50% of the total tuition fees for the course before the student commences the course (or 100% for short courses that fall within one study period of 24 weeks teaching or less). The University will accept more than 50% of the total tuition fees prior to commencement of a course if the student or student’s sponsor chooses to pay more. 

2. Transfers and Deferments

2.1 A student who transfers from one of the University’s courses to another will be required to accept an offer for the proposed course, and will be liable to pay the prescribed fees of the new course by the Payment Due Date.

2.2 A student who is permitted under the University’s Admissions Policy to defer the commencement of their course will be required to accept an offer for the proposed course with the tuition fee liability updated to reflect the new commencement information.

A student must provide written notice of their intention to defer no later than 14 days from the course commencement date stated on the offer.

Students who do not commence, or provide notice of their intention to defer, within 14 days of the Course Commencement Date will have their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) cancelled and will be required to submit a new application.

In the event the student does not commence study in the deferred course, any refund entitlement will be calculated in accordance with clause 3.2.

Where a student defers the commencement of a course, the University will retain the full Commencement Deposit, until the student commences study.

2.3 An international student studying at an overseas JCU campus or study centre who transfers to JCU Townsville or Cairns campuses must accept an offer for the continuation of the course as an onshore international student, complying with all relevant legislative requirements (including student visa conditions and the ESOS Act) and will be considered as a Continuing Student for the purpose of assessing deposits and refunds.  The tuition fees will be charged at the approved rate for the year the campus transfer takes place.

2.4 An international student studying at an overseas JCU campus or study centre who transfers to JCU Brisbane campus must accept an offer as an onshore international student for the proposed course from JCU Brisbane, comply with all relevant legislative requirements (including student visa conditions and the ESOS Act) and will be considered as a Continuing Student for the purpose of assessing deposits and refunds. The tuition fees will be charged at the approved rate for the year the campus transfer takes place.

2.5 An international student who transfers between JCU Brisbane and JCU Townsville or Cairns campuses must accept an offer for the proposed course from the campus to which they are transferring and will be considered as a Continuing Student.

3. Fee Refunds and Penalties

3.1 A full refund of fees will be payable and no penalty charged when:

3.1.1    A student notifies the University of their intention to withdraw their acceptance within 10 days of the date of signing their Student Contract. This is referred to as the ‘cooling off’ period.

3.1.2    An offer of enrolment is withdrawn (except in circumstances where clause 3.4.4 applies) or the University is unable to provide the course.

3.1.3    A student who fails to meet course progression rules and is thus not permitted to re-enrol will be eligible for a refund of fees for the relevant Study Period if paid in advance of notification of exclusion or suspension.

3.1.4    A student genuinely and diligently attempts but fails to meet any one of the enrolment conditions stated in their Student Contract  requirements or where the student fails to meet English language requirements, they must provide appropriate documentary evidence from the English language provider to the satisfaction of the University.

3.1.5    A student is unable to obtain a student visa and provides appropriate documentary evidence from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

3.1.6    A student has not received the outcome of their student visa application in time to commence either their original or first deferred commencement date, withdraws their application for a student visa and provides appropriate documentary evidence from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

3.1.7    A Commencing Student with a registered sponsor withdraws in writing before the Course Commencement Date for the first Study Period in which they were to enrol.

3.1.8    A Continuing Student withdraws in writing before the Census Dates for the subjects in which the student is enrolled.

3.1.9    A student is granted permanent resident status in Australia by the relevant Census Date (excluding students admitted in the Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Veterinary Science or Bachelor of Dental Surgery program – see Clause 3.5) and:

- submits a written request for change of status with certified evidence of residency to the Director, Student Services by that date, and

- makes arrangements with the University to pay tuition fees or student contribution  amounts as a domestic student in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003, the University’s Domestic Tuition Fee Policy and Commonwealth Assisted Students – Policy for that study period.

3.1.10    Where bank fees have been deducted from a payment, the refund will be the net amount remaining in the student’s account.

3.1.11    Notwithstanding any other paragraph of this Policy, if the University does not commence a program on the agreed start date, or is unable to deliver a program to a student in a location, in accordance with the ESOS Act the University must within 14 days:

  1. pay a refund to the student of any unspent pre-paid tuition fees calculated in accordance with the formula set out in the ESOS Act; or

  2. arrange for the student to be offered a place in an alternative course.  The student is not obliged to accept any offer of an alternative course and may instead choose to receive a refund.

3.2 A financial penalty will apply in the following circumstances:

3.2.1    Where, after accepting their offer, a Commencing Student is unable to undertake their intended course, and gives a minimum of four weeks written notice before the Course Commencement Date, the University  will  retain an administration fee of $1000 and will refund any remaining credit balance.

3.2.2    Where, after accepting their offer, a Commencing Student gives written notice of withdrawal prior to the Census Date of the first Study Period in which they were enrolled or were to enrol, the University will charge 50 per cent of the published tuition fee for their course for the relevant year for 12 credit points if semester-based  or 9 credit points if  trimester based, and will refund any remaining credit balance.  For students studying part time and not studying on a student visa or studying offshore by distance, the financial penalty calculated in accordance with this clause will be pro-rata based on study load.

3.2.3    Where the penalty is greater than the deposit paid, a university debt will be levied and remain payable.

3.3 Grounds for refunds under “Exceptional Circumstances”.

A full or partial refund of a student’s tuition fee or Commencement Deposit may be granted if Exceptional Circumstances apply to the student.

Applications for refunds on the basis of Exceptional Circumstances must be received within twelve months of the end date of the study period of the specified subject and shall be considered by the Manager, Student Finance and Examinations.  Documentary evidence of the Exceptional Circumstance must be provided with the application.

3.4 No refunds will be made under the following circumstances:

3.4.1    Withdrawal from subjects for whatever reason after the specified subject’s Census Date, unless Exceptional Circumstances apply as outlined in Clause 3.3.

3.4.2    Where written notification of withdrawal is received after the Census Date of the first Study Period in which a Commencing Student enrols or was to be enrolled.

3.4.3    Cancellation of a student’s visa, unless Exceptional Circumstances apply as outlined in Clause 3.3.

3.4.4    In cases where an offer was made on the basis of fraudulent documents. In such cases, the University reserves the right to retain 50 per cent of the published tuition fee for the student’s course for the relevant year for 12 credit points if semester-based or 9 credit points if trimester based.

3.4.5    When a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Bachelor of Dental Surgery student’s residency status changes while studying this program, the student will be required to pay a domestic tuition fee that is equivalent to an International tuition fee for a further study load of 48 credit points, after which the student may apply for a Commonwealth supported place. Any refund will not be processed until completion of the first Teaching Period.

3.4.6     Where a Commencing Student withdraws prior to Census Date from one or more subjects in their first teaching period.  Any credit balance arising due to the student’s withdrawal from the subject/s will be allocated to the fee associated with the student’s following teaching period.

3.5    Where a Commencing Student withdraws from a course before paying the required tuition fee for the Teaching Period, their liability will be reduced in accordance with policy outlined in sections 3.2 and 3.3. The balance of the tuition fee will remain payable.

Note: The University is obliged to advise the Department of Immigration and border Protection (DIBP) when an international student studying under a student visa withdraws from a course.

3.6 Payment of Refunds

3.6.1    All applications for a refund of fees must be submitted on the Application for Refund, Early Withdrawal without Financial Penalty for International Students form to the Manager, Enrolments and Fees, in accordance with the instructions on the form. All applications must be accompanied by supporting documentary evidence.

3.6.2    The Manager, Enrolments and Fees shall consider and make determinations on refund applications.

3.6.3    Refunds will be issued to the student, unless a student gives a written direction to the Manager, Student Finance and Examinations to pay the refund to another person or organisation or a student is registered with an approved sponsor which has paid the tuition fees on behalf of the student

3.6.4    Refunds of U.S. Federal Aid funds will be determined by the University’s Financial Aid Administrator and returned in accordance with U.S. Department of Education Regulations as detailed in the University’s U.S. Federal Aid Loans – Return to Title IV Policy.

3.6.5    The refund amount is calculated after all outstanding debt to the University and its associated entities have been paid.

3.6.6    Refunds will be paid in Australian Dollars, unless the nominated bank account will not accept Australian Dollars. The University is not liable for bank charges or exchange rate differences occurred when undertaking foreign currency exchange.

3.6.7    Except where a student is seeking a refund due to their application for a student visa being refused, refunds approved in accordance with this policy will be processed within four weeks of the Manager, Student Finance and Examinations, receiving a written application from the student in the form approved by the University. A student must complete all sections of the refund application, in legible handwriting or printing, before submitting the application. Incomplete or illegible applications will not be processed. Where the student’s visa application has been refused, a refund will be processed within four weeks of:

  1. the date on which the student is withdrawn from the University; or

  2. the agreed start date for the course in which the student is enrolled, whichever is the earlier.

The refund will be paid to the bank account nominated by the student at the time of accepting their offer.

3.6.8    This Policy does not remove the right of a student to take further action under Australia’s Consumer Protection Laws.

4. Penalties for Non-Payment of Tuition Fees

4.1 Any student with an outstanding tuition fee liability will be flagged as a debtor in the University’s student system until that fee is paid in full.

4.2 When fees are not paid in full by the Payment Due Date the student’s enrolment may be cancelled and DIBP notified. A student who has been cancelled for non-payment of tuition fees will be required to submit a new application to the University if they wish to resume their course.

4.3 A student who has not paid in full by Payment Due Date may be referred to the University's debt collectors for action.   The student will be charged a debt collection fee by the University at the amount listed in Schedule 1.

4.4 Rules pertaining to University Debtors as detailed in the Student Debtors – Penalties Policy also apply.

5. Appeals

Where a student is not satisfied with a decision made in relation to the policy, they have the right to lodge an appeal.

Appeals must be made within 20 business days of receiving notification of the decision, and must be made in writing to the Director, Student Services. The University will normally notify the student of the outcome of an Appeal within 20 business days of receiving the request. Where the Director, Student Services has participated in the decision against which the student is appealing, the appeal will be considered, and a determination made, by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic).

Schedules

Schedule 1

Policy Reference

Description

Amount

Clause 4.3

Debt collection fee

10% of the total outstanding debt

Appendices

APPENDIX I: Exceptions to pro-rata calculation of tuition fees

The following programs have pre-set fees as detailed in the Student Contract:

- Study Abroad program

- Internship programs

APPENDIX II: Exceptions to the requirement for full up-front payment of Commencement Deposit prior to being admitted to the course.

  1. Commencing Students with sponsorship from an approved organisation.

  2. Commencing Students eligible for funding under the US Federal Family Education Loan program who are enrolling into an eligible postgraduate course are required to pay a reduced commencement deposit of AUD 1,000, as well as Overseas Health Cover and Student Services and Amenities Fees.

  3. Commencing Students under a Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, or Dutch government loan scheme are permitted to pay a reduced Commencement Deposit of AUD 1,000, as well as Overseas Health Cover and Student Services and Amenities Fees, as required.

  4. Commencing Students under a current agreement between the University and a partner institution which includes reduced Commencement Deposit terms. The reduced Commencement Deposit amount payable is as specified in the agreement.

  5. Where the Manager, Student Finance and Examinations so determines for strategically significant reasons, in their discretion, a Commencing Student may be granted a reduced Commencement Deposit to a minimum of AUD 1000.

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Act 2000

National Code 2007

Student Services and Amenities Fee Policy

Student Debtors – Penalties Policy

Application for Refund, Early Withdrawal without Financial Penalty for International Students

Administration

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

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor - Academic

Approval Authority:

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review (in accordance with the Policy Handbook)

21/07/2017

Modification History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

16-223/08/201624/08/2016Minor amendments to align with Council approved Academic and Student Delegations RegisterAssociate Director, Enrolment and Client Services
16-112/02/201616/02/2016

The amendments to this policy, which have also been approved by the Vice Chancellor, were:

- Removal of indexation of fees for continuing students;

- to accommodate amendment to ESOS Act which no longerrequires universities to refund commencement deposits over 50% of total coursecost.

Manager, Enrolments and Fees

15-1

18/06/2015

18/06/2015

Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

QSP

14-3

6/11/2014

6/11/2014

Minor amendment - Director, Student Recruitment amended to read: Director Future Students

 

14-2

21/07/2014

29/07/2014

Amendments discussed at 14-2 meeting of Student Fees and Charges Advisory Committee 26/06/2014 and approved by the Vice Chancellor 21/07/2014.

 

14-1

 

15/05/2014

Roles amended to reflect new organisation structure

 

12-1

06/12/2012

02/01/2013

The amendments to this policy, which have been approved by Vice-Chancellor, were required to accommodate:

  1. The amendment of the ESOS Act in July 2012 to include a Tuition Fee Protection Service (TPS) which requires new reporting and payment obligations for providers; and

  2. the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee) which will be charged to International students for the first time in 2013.

 

11-3

19/09/2011

20/09/2011

  

11-2

13/07/2011

14/07/2011

  

11-1

14/04/2011

15/04/2011

Approved by Vice-Chancellor

 

09-2

09/10/2009

10/10/2009

Approved by Vice-Chancellor

 

09-1

06/08/2009

07/08/2009

Prior executive approval by VC ratified by Finance Committee.

Approval authority changed to Vice-Chancellor

 

09-1

26/06/2009

27/06/2009

Approved executively by the Vice-Chancellor

 

07-1

19/07/2007

20/07/2007

  

06-1

14/09/2006

15/09/2006

  

05-1

31/10/2005

  

There are no related procedures.

There are no other related documents.