The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines on the re-credit of FEE HELP balances for all potential and currently enrolled domestic students in a FEE-HELP enabled course. In this procedure review means the ‘formal consideration of a decision’
The Act refers to the Higher Education Support Act 2003 or the VET Student Loans Act 2016
Student: Refers to students, who are Australian citizens or permanent humanitarian visa holders who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their VET Units of study, and who access FEE-HELP for payment of their tuition fees in respect of the VET unit of study in which they are enrolled.
Census Date: A published date, set by the provider, no earlier than 20% of the way through a VET Unit of Study.
Tuition Fees: Fees paid for a VET Unit of Study that is approved for FEE-HELP and applies to students who are, or would be entitled to FEE-HELP assistance under clause 43 of Schedule 1A of the Act.
Unit or VET Unit of Study: A VET unit of study approved for FEE-HELP that a student may undertake at Australian College of Aviation, for which the student may access FEE-HELP assistance to pay for all or part of their tuition fees.
Australian College of Aviation has put in place the following procedure for reviewing decisions related to the re-crediting of a FEE HELP balance for students who have withdrawn after the census date or have failed to complete a unit of study because of special circumstances. These procedures ensure that Australian College of Aviation Pty Ltd complies with the fairness requirements in relation to review procedures for FEE HELP.
Incurring a FEE HELP debt
Students who are, or would be, eligible for FEE HELP assistance and have requested FEE HELP who withdraw from a unit on or before the census date will not incur a FEE HELP debt for the tuition fees for that unit. Students who have requested FEE-HELP assistance who remain enrolled after the published census date will incur a FEE-HELP debt. A Student who withdraws from a Unit after the published census date for that Unit will incur a FEE-HELP debt for that Unit.
Re-crediting a FEE HELP balance
Students who withdraw from a Unit after the published census date, or fail to complete a Unit, may apply to have their FEE-HELP balance re-credited with respect to the Unit if they believe special circumstances apply in accordance with the following procedures.
If a Student withdraws from a Unit after the published census date for that Unit, or has been unable to successfully complete a Unit and believes this was due to special circumstances, the student may apply to have their FEE-HELP balance re-credited for the affected unit/s.
Australian College of Aviation will re-credit the Student’s FEE-HELP balance if it is satisfied that special circumstances apply.
Special Circumstances apply where:
For circumstances to be beyond a Student’s control, the situation should be that which a reasonable person would consider is not due to the Student’s action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which the Student is not responsible. The situation must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal to be considered special circumstances.
Special circumstances do not include:
Each application for re-credit of a student’s FEE-HELP balance will be considered on its merits together with all supporting documentation substantiating the special circumstances claim.
Review of Decision
Where Australian College of Aviation makes a decision NOT to re-credit a student’s FEE-HELP balance, that decision may be subject to review.
If a Student is not satisfied with the decision made by Australian College of Aviation the Student may apply, within 28 days of the receipt of the original decision, for a review of the decision. The application for review must:
Applications should be made in writing to the General Manager as the designated Review Officer of any decisions relating to a request for re-crediting of a FEE-HELP balance. Note: The Review Officer is senior to the designated FEE-HELP officer responsible for the original decision and was not involved in making the original decision to be reviewed.
The Review Officer will:
The Review Officer will then:
Reconsideration by the Administration Appeals Tribunal
At the time of the original decision, and at the time of the subsequent Review Decision, the Student will be notified of their review rights and responsibilities. The relevant officer will inform a Student in writing of their right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) if they are not satisfied with the outcome and the contact details of the closest AAT office and the approximate costs of lodging an appeal. The Application must be lodged at the AAT within 28 days of receiving written notice of the Review Decision. This time limitation can be extended in limited circumstances by order of the AAT.
AAT Details and Approximate Costs Your nearest AAT office is in Brisbane.
Contact number: (07) 3361 3000
Note: Full details of the application process and fees payable are available on the AAT Registry’s website: www.aat.gov.au. An application fee may have to be paid, and is subject to change. Applications cannot proceed until the fee has been paid or waived.
Applications for fee waiver must be made to the AAT. Refer to the AAT website for more details.
The Department of Education and Training will be the respondent for cases that are brought before the AAT. Upon Department of Education and Training’s receipt of a notification from the AAT, Department of Education and Training will advise Australian College of Aviation that an appeal has been lodged. Upon receipt of this notification Department of Education and Training, the Review Officer will provide Department of Education and Training with copies of all the documents that are relevant to the appeal within ten (10) business days.