Special circumstances: Remission of debt or fee credit

If you failed a unit, or withdrew from a unit after the census date because of special circumstances, you can apply to have:

  • your HELP-loan debt for the unit removed, or
  • the fees you paid up front credited to the next teaching period, or
  • the fees refunded.

You can only apply if you meet all four conditions:

  1. special circumstances (defined below) exist
  2. you didn’t complete the requirements to pass the unit
  3. the unit forms part of your course of study
  4. your application is made within the deadlines.

Special circumstances

To be eligible, you’ll need to show that your circumstances:

  • were beyond your control, and
  • did not make their full impact on you until the census date or after, and
  • made it impracticable for you to complete the unit requirements of the unit during the teaching period.

Beyond your control

Circumstances are beyond your control if a situation occurs, which:

  • is not due to your action or inaction (either direct or indirect), and
  • you were not responsible for, and
  • is unusual, uncommon or abnormal.

Did not make their full impact until on or after the census date

Circumstances did not make their full impact until on or after the census date if the circumstances occur:

  • before the census date, but worsen after that day
  • before the census date, but the full effect or magnitude is not apparent until on or after that day, or
  • on or after the census date.

Made it impracticable for you to complete the unit requirements

Circumstances that make it impossible for you to complete the requirements of the unit may include:

  • medical circumstances. For example, your medical condition has changed to such an extent that you’re unable to continue studying
  • family/personal circumstances. For example, death or severe medical problems within your family or unforeseen family financial difficulties, that make it unreasonable to expect you to continue your studies
  • employment-related circumstances. For example, your employment status or arrangements have changed so you’re unable to continue your studies, and this change is beyond your control
  • course-related circumstances. For example, Monash has changed the unit offered and you’re disadvantaged by either not being able to complete the unit, or not given credit towards other units or your course.

You’ll also satisfy this requirement if you’re unable to:

  • complete the necessary private study required, attend sufficient lectures or tutorials, or meet other compulsory attendance requirements to meet your course requirements
  • complete the required assessable work
  • sit the required exams, or
  • complete any other course requirements because of your inability to meet the three requirements above.

We may refuse your application if it was already not practicable for you to meet the requirements of the unit when your special circumstances emerged. For example, you may have already failed to meet a unit requirement, which would cause you to fail the unit despite not meeting a unit requirement after the special circumstances occurred.


You need to submit your application within 12 months of withdrawing from the unit.

If you failed the unit, you’ll need to lodge your application within 12 months of the last day of the unit's teaching period.

We may accept a late application if we’re satisfied that it was not possible for you to submit it by deadline (you’ll need to provide evidence to support this).

How to apply

Apply for special circumstances

Supporting documents

You need to attach documents (original or certified copy) to support your application. This can be from a doctor, counsellor, employer, etc., but not from your family or friends. Privacy laws prevent us from getting this information for you.

Supporting documents should clearly explain:

  • the circumstances
  • how they were beyond your control
  • when they occurred
  • why you were prevented from completing unit requirements.

Notification of outcome

We'll email you with the outcome within 20 working days of receiving your application. If you're no longer a current student, reply to the email with your postal address.

If your application for a refund in special circumstances is approved, we'll advise you how to submit a refund request.

Academic grades

Applying for remission of debt or fee credit won’t change your grade for that unit. If you’ve received a fail grade of N, NH or WN, you can use the same form to apply for a Withdrawn Incomplete (WI) grade that won’t count towards your GPA or WAM.


If we don't approve your application, you can request a review. See complaints and review procedures.

Got a question? Monash Connect can help