WITHDRAWING & DISCONTINUING
Results On Your Academic Record
You can add or change a unit within the first two weeks of semester. You can drop a unit of study during semester, depending on when you withdraw you will be given one of the grades below. If you are thinking about this you may want to discuss it with your course advisor or SRC Caseworker. Changes to your enrolment can be made through the Sydney Student System. You should check all deadlines on the uni’s ‘Study Date’ webpage.
This is as if you had not enrolled in the Unit and is therefore not counted as a fail. It does not appear on your external academic transcript and therefore no HECS is charged. You may avoid ‘satisfactory progress’ problems, depending on the Faculty’s rules. The deadline for withdrawing is normally 31 March in semester 1, and 31 August in semester 2.
‘Discontinued – Not to count as Fail’ (DC)
This does not count as an attempt at the Unit, but does appear on your academic transcript and HECS and fees are charged. You may avoid ‘satisfactory progress’ problems. The deadline is normally the end of week 7 of each semester, but in the last 2 years was actually on the Friday of week 8. You may apply to the Faculty for a DC after these dates in cases of illness or misadventure and they will make a judgement based on their policy.
A DC grade does not count towards your WAM (Weighted Average Mark) and is not considered ‘unsatisfactory progress’ by the University.
For more info, please refer to our Discontinue Not Fail brochure.
‘Discontinued – Fail’ (DF)
This counts as a fail and appears on your academic record. The deadline is normally the end of the last week of classes (ie the Friday before Stuvac). In special circumstances of illness and misadventure you may be able to apply instead for a DC.
A DF is not usually counted towards your WAM, but is often counted towards a faculty specific WAM, e.g., Science or Engineering; or when considering eligibility for honours. A DF grade is considered ‘unsatisfactory progress.
‘Absent Fail’ (AF)
If you miss the other deadlines and do not sit the final exam or complete other compulsory work the result is an Absent Fail. In special circumstances of illness and misadventure you may be able to apply for a DC.
An AF grade is counted towards your WAM, and is considered ‘unsatisfacory progress’.
A fail result will also have a numerical mark next to it. In special circumstances of illness and misadventure you may be able to apply for a DC. A FA grade is counted towards your WAM, and is considered ‘unsatisfacory progress’.
Fees: Not Paying For Units That You Drop
The ‘HECS Census Dates’ are 31 March for Semester 1 Units and 31 August for Semester 2 Units and apply to all local students. Students who withdraw before these dates will have either no deferred debts or will get a refund for upfront HECS.
If you drop all your Units, it is important that you seek a ‘leave of absence’ or a ‘suspension of candidature’. This will allow you to re-enrol in the future.
If you discontinue (or in other ways ‘have not completed the requirements for the course’) after the HECS Census Dates because of special circumstances you can apply to the University to wipe your HELP debt or get a refund for upfront HECS/fees.
To apply for a refund or remission of HECS/fees payments or debt you must fill out the Domestic Student Fee Refund or FEE HELP Debt Remission in Special Circumstances form and submit this to the HECS and Fees Office within 12 months of the date you formally discontinued. Independent supporting documentation is also require
Different financial penalties and deadlines apply to international students.
If you want to defer your studies to the next available teaching period and you give notice before the current teaching period starts, all fees may be transferred to the next semester.
If you give notice before the teaching period starts that you don’t want to return to study you get back your fees minus a 10% administrative fee.
If you give notice after the teaching period starts, but before the census date (31 March for Semester 1, and 31 August for Semester 2), you get back 50%, or more of your fees depending on the faculty.
If you withdraw from a course after the census date you are normally ineligible for a refund. However if you could not get a valid visa or your visa was cancelled you may get back 100%. Also if ‘Special circumstances’ affected your ability to study, you can apply to the Uni for a refund or re-crediting of your fees. You must fill out the International Student Refund in Special Circumstances form and submit this to the International Fees Team. Independent supporting documentation is also required.
Note: Note International students normally need to have a full study load (i.e., 24 credit points), however there may be some circumstances where you will be able to reduce to 12 or 18 credit points.
You can appeal against decisions about fees. SRC caseworkers can help you.
CENTRELINK: Youth Allowance, Austudy & Abstudy
Full time or part time
You must be full-time (18+ credit points or 0.375+ HECS per semester) to qualify for Youth Allowance/Austudy. In some special cases you may still be eligible with less. If you stop being full time tell Centrelink immediately. Delays could lead to overpayments and other penalties. If you are part-time and looking for full time work you may qualify for Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance as a ‘job seeker’. See SRC caseworkers for advice.
Youth Allowance and Austudy are normally only payable for the minimum time it should take you to complete your degree plus one semester. Part-time study is counted on a pro-rata basis. Different rules apply to each payment so check with SRC caseworkers. ‘Withdrawn’ results are not counted by Centrelink and if ‘special circumstances’ exist you can apply to have periods disregarded. Similar rules apply to Abstudy. Seek specialised advice.
Student Start Up Loan
If you have received a Student Start Up Loan from Centrelink and go part time or withdraw from all units in that semester, you may have an ‘overpayment’. If you have an overpayment issue, seek advice from a Caseworker.
Student Travel Concession
If you reduce your study load to part time, you will no longer be entitled to a student travel concession. Opal and the Uni regularly update their electronic records. Beware that your Opal concession card will stop working shortly after you change your enrolment to part time. You can transfer your unused credit onto an adult Opal Card online.
Other Academic Issues
University rules on Satisfactory Progress and Exclusion
If you do not make ‘satisfactory progress’ because you have not passed enough subjects you will be placed on stage 1, 2 or 3 of academic progression. At stage 3 you will be asked to ‘Show Good Cause’ why you should be allowed to re-enrol. Check ‘satisfactory progress’ rules with your Faculty or Handbook. Speak to course advisers about problems early so you can take action to avoid being excluded. Check out the Show Good Cause leaflet.
Getting into Honours or Postgraduate study
A fail result will affect your grade averages (Weighted Average Mark etc) and may affect entry into honours or post-graduate study. Check the rules with your Faculty or in the Faculty Handbook.
‘Special Circumstances’ (illness or misadventure)
Showing that special circumstances such as illness or misadventure affected your study can be important. You need to show that the circumstances were ‘beyond your control’ and significant enough to have affected your study, and that the problem arose or was exacerbated after the Census Date.
Information updated on 24 Apr, 2020. (WIT)