If it is the beginning of the semester, it is natural to feel optimistic about the study load we can take on. Sometimes, life brings unexpected circumstances that completely impact our studies or ability to attend to tasks at Uni later on in the year.

If you had a serious illness or misadventure that was out of your control, became worse after week 7 of the semester (i.e. 20th September in Semester 2, 2019) and severely impacted your ability to study, you can write to your faculty to request that they change the relevant fails or absent fails to DC (Discontinue not to count as fail) grades. You will need to be able to explain how your illness or misadventure impacted on your study – for example, did it stop you from attending classes, or make it difficult to concentrate, or make it impossible for you to write an assessment? You will need to have documentation to show that you really did have these problems. You will also need to demonstrate you were impacted for more than 20 working days, otherwise special consideration would be more appropriate to apply for. This can be shown with a letter or Professional Practitioner’s Certificate from a doctor or counsellor, a community leader or someone else who knows about the issues your family have been dealing with. Reducing your study load may also have consequences for international students or students on Centrelink payments, so check with the SRC caseworkers first. Becoming a part-time student will also mean you cannot use a concession Opal card.

Be aware even if your request for a DC is approved, while you will have no academic penalty you will still be liable for fees. However, if you can show that you reasonably believed that you could complete the subject at the beginning of the semester, and later you experienced an illness or misadventure that was not predictable and beyond your control, you may be able to apply for a refund or re-crediting of your fees/HECS. The deadline for applying for a fee refund for local students is 12 months. Fee refunds for international students are not as straightforward as they are for local students. Ask an SRC caseworker for details based on your personal circumstances.