Tuition Refund Requests

Covid 19 Update:

Appeals based on financial need alone will not be considered by the EAC, including financial need associated with COVID-19. 

As was communicated by the university when the WD deadline was extended, no additional refunds will be granted for withdrawals during the extended withdrawal period if you elected to withdraw instead of transitioning to online coursework. If you withdrew for other eligible reasons and wish to appeal for a tuition refund, please apply using the web form at the bottom of this page.

If you are a student and are facing financial difficulty, please reach out to Financial Aid and Awards for advising about supports available to you: https://www.sfu.ca/students/financialaid.html.

Please note Health and Counselling Services continues to offer support services: https://www.sfu.ca/students/health/support/.

More information about the University’s response to COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.sfu.ca/students/support.html.

When students enroll in courses, they enter into an agreement with the University as outlined in the Student Declaration and Responsibility. Students are responsible for all tuition and fees for courses they are enrolled in. 

Space in SFU courses is limited and the tuition refund schedule is designed to discourage a student from holding space in course(s) that they eventually do not use. After the start of classes, courses that are dropped may be subject to a fee penalty dependent on the date of the drop. There are deadlines for a 100%, 75%, and 50% refund before the deadline after which no refund is provided. Students are considered responsible for knowing and adhering to all deadlines. These deadlines are posted in the Academic Calendar for each semester in advance under the Fees: payment and refund/penalties section of the Student Deadlines website.

Before You Apply

Before you apply, please review the following:

Criteria and Time Limit for Tuition Refund Requests

In order to be eligible for a tuition refund request, the following must apply:

  • the student must apply within one calendar year of the date the course(s) were dropped*
  • The course(s) in question must be either dropped, withdrawn (WD on transcript), or withdrawn under extenuating circumstances (WE on transcript)
  • the student's request is based on an eligible reason per the criteria below

Withdrawals Under Extenuating Circumstances (WE)

A decision regarding a WE request must be reached before a student can apply for a tuition refund. For more information, please consult the WE website

Retroactive WEs and Tuition Refund Requests

If a student receives a retroactive WE for courses taken in the previous calendar year and wishes to request a refund through our office, please submit a tuition appeal.

Please note:

  1. Be sure to include all supporting documentation such as medical notes, death certificates, etc. Applications without supporting documents may result in a processing delay.
  2. When you describe the extenuating circumstances that you feel entitle you to a refund of fees, be sure to include details, such as a brief description of the nature of the circumstances and how they affected your decision to withdraw from the course(s), and the dates when relevant events occurred. 
  3. Be sure to include supporting documentation such as medical notes, death certificates, etc.
  4. If you are submitting a tuition refund appeal application following a WE application, you may submit the same Healthcare Provider Statement included with your WE application.
  5. Only students with current SFU computing IDs will be able to open the appropriate Tuition Appeal Application.
  6. To avoid incurring the late fee payment penalties, students are advised to pay their tuition and other fees by the stated tuition deadline date. See Undergraduate/Graduate Tuition Fees.
  7.  If you have concerns about interest charges, please contact Student Financials directly. 

Eligible Reasons for a Tuition Refund Request

Medical

Medical requests must be accompanied by the Health Care Provider form. Please note, we do not require detailed medical records or the disclosure of a diagnosis, rather the University requires that the form confirm the specific dates on which the student visited the health professional and should include details on the following:

  • the degree to which the health issue (or treatment, in the case of medication, for example) is likely to have affected the student's ability to study, attend classes, or sit examinations;
  • the length of time over which the student's abilities were likely hampered by the condition;
  • the fitness of the student to resume studies.

If the condition began prior to the semester of the tuition refund request, documentation should include an explanation of how the condition has worsened or changed in an unforeseeable way.

Students with pre-existing conditions are expected to work with the resources and supports available to them to develop an academic plan to accomodate their condition and needs.  This includes:  Health and Counselling and the Centre for Accessible Learning for support services.

Compassionate

  • Death of a loved one, including immediate or extended family member, or close friend. A death certificate or obituary in English is required as documentation. If these documents cannot be obtained, please contact our office at irreac@sfu.ca.
  • A sudden change in personal or familial responsibilities, such as taking care of a sick loved one or taking over childcare responsibilities for a sick loved one. 
  • Other unanticipated events not mentioned above will be considered, provided there is clear supporting documentation.

Other extraordinary circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • Unanticipated transfers or deployments for military and first responder personnel
  • Administrative errors

Ineligible Reasons for a Tuition Refund Request

Financial reasons

Financial concerns alone are not considered an eligible reason for a refund request. For students facing financial hardship, we encourage connecting with Financial Aid & Awards for advising and support.

Being unaware of tuition refund dates and deadlines

In order to enrol in courses, students must agree to the Student Declaration and Responsibility to complete enrollment actions. The Student Declaration and Responsibility states that students are responsible for knowing and adhering to all deadlines and policies in reference to enrollment and fees. 

Nonpayment or Nonattendance

Failure to pay tuition by the tuition payment deadline will not result in an automatic course drop, and failure to pay tuition is not a valid reason for a refund. Students are responsible for all fees incurred by their enrollment actions. Similarly, failure to attend classes in which a student is enrolled is not a valid reason for a refund request.

Issues pertaining to course content or instructor performance

Please refer concerns and feedback to the relevant department.

Workload, difficulty, or scheduling issues

It is the student's responsibility to manage their workload, difficulty level, and scheduling needs, and as such these are not considered eligible reasons for a refund request.

Courses not fitting academic program or graduation plan

It is the student's responsibility to understand requirements and work with advisors if necessary to ensure enrollment decisions are suited to their academic plan.

Overenrolling to attend classes before dropping in order to save seats in preferred classes

Students should only enrol in courses they intend to take. Please note that students are responsible for tuition and fees for courses that they were enrolled in from the waitlist. For this reason, it is advised that students drop themselves from any waitlist for courses they no longer intend to take. Overenrollment to secure preferred enrollment opportunities is not a valid reason for a refund request.

Tuition Refund Request 

Timeline

Students who feel they are eligible for a tuition refund as per the above criteria may request one using the applicable webform linked below. 

Requests will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, based on the application deadlines indicated below. Decisions on appeals submitted before a document deadline are typically available within 4 weeks of the document deadline. However, factors in individual cases may delay a decision. Please ensure that all documentation is submitted at the time of the request application.  

Please note: Due to a high demand in requests, the timeline to process a tuition refund request is 4 - 6 weeks.

Student Declaration and Responsibility:
Upon enrolling in classes, a student has initiated a contract with the University and is bound by the following declaration:

I hereby accept and submit myself to the policies, rules and regulations of Simon Fraser University and any amendments thereto, which may be made while I am a student of the University, and solely to the laws of the Province of British Columbia and the federal laws of Canada, as applicable, and I promise to observe and be bound by the same and, in any litigation, to attorn to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of the Province of British Columbia or Canada, as applicable.”
(www.sfu.ca/students/calendar/fees-and-regulations/student-contract/student-declaration.html)

Tuition Refund Request 

Appeals

Students have up to one month following the receipt of the result of their Tuition Refund Request to submit an appeal of the decision. Students who wish to appeal the decision of their tuition refund request can do so by filling out the appeal form. [Undergraduate form | Graduate form]

Appeals must be accompanied with a detailed statement as to why their appeal should be considered and should include any additional supporting documentation. The appeal will then be reviewed by the Enrollment Appeals Committee. Depending on the complexity of the appeal and the number of appeals to be reviewed, the Committee will make every effort to have the appeal heard within the following month. 

The decision of the Enrollment Appeals Committee is final. 

Important dates and application deadlines

If you would like your appeal to be heard at a meeting, submit your appeal application along with all required documents by the appeal submission deadline stated below:

 

Month Appeal submission deadline
January 2021 January 20 at 9:00 am
February 2021 February 17 at 9:00 am
March 2021 March 24 at 9:00 am
April 2021 April 21 at 9:00 am
May 2021 May 19 at 9:00 am
June 2021 June 23 at 9:00 am
July 2021 July 21 at 9:00 am
August 2021 August 19 at 9:00 am
September 2021 September 22 at 9:00 am
October 2021 October 20 at 9:00 am
November 2021 November 17 at 9:00 am
December 2021 December 8 at 9:00 am

Turnaround time: depending on the number of appeals received, the goal for the Enrollment Appeal Committee is to make decisions on appeals accompanied with complete documentations within the same month of submission. Adjustments to student accounts (if any) and email communications are expected to be processed the following month.