Tuition Refund Request

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.” (

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%, or 50% refund of tuition 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. 

To avoid incurring the late fee payment penalties, students are advised to pay their tuition and other fees by the stated tuition deadline date. If you have concerns about interest charges, or are encountering difficulties in enrollment due to outstanding tuition charges, please contact Student Accounts directly. 

Tuition refund requests

Students who feel they are eligible for a tuition refund as per the criteria may request one using our refund request form. It should be highlighted that the tuition refund request is for the tuition fee only. All other fees, including supplementary fees and ancillary fees, are not eligible for refund.

Requests will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Factors in individual cases may delay a decision. Please ensure that all documentation is submitted at the time of the request application. Requests with incomplete documentation will be denied. 

Please note:

Due to a high demand in requests, the timeline to process a tuition refund request is 8 - 10 weeks. All communication and notifications will be sent to the SFU email address on file for applicants. 

Criteria and Eligibility

Criteria and Time Limit for Tuition Refund Requests

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

  1. The student must apply within one calendar year of the date the course(s) were taken.
  2. If you are requesting a tuition refund for multiple terms, then you will need to submit a separate application for each term. 
  3. The student's request is based on one of the eligible reasons per the criteria below.
  4. Only students with active SFU computing IDs will be able to open the appropriate Tuition Refund or Appeal Application.
  5. The course(s) in question must be either dropped, withdrawn (WD on transcript), or withdrawn under extenuating circumstances (WE on transcript).

If your course(s) in question are not dropped, WD, or WE:

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 (WE) Withdrawal Under Extenuating Circumstances. 

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.

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: Tuition refund requests for retroactive WEs must be received within one calendar year from the last day of classes in the semester for which you have received a WE, regardless of when the WE process is initiated or completed.

Eligible Reasons for a Tuition Refund Request


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 accommodate their condition and needs.  This includes:  Health and Counselling and the Centre for Accessible Learning for support services.

Required documentation:

Recommended documentation*:

  • A timeline of extenuating circumstances that you feel entitle you to a refund of fees, 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. 
  • Written communication with instructors, advisors, if applicable.


  • Death of a loved one, including immediate or extended family member, or close friend. 
  • 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.

Required documentation:

  • A death certificate or obituary in English (or an official English translation) is required as documentation. If these documents cannot be obtained, please contact our office at
  • A timeline of extenuating circumstances that you feel entitle you to a refund of fees, 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

Other exceptional circumstances, including but not limited to

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

Required documentation:

  • Official letters issued from employers or government organizations.
  • Written communication with or from course instructors, academic or departmental advisors.
  • Travel or flight documentation.
  • Documentation relating to technical issues.
  • A timeline of extenuating circumstances that you feel entitle you to a refund of fees, 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.

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 enroled 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 enroled 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

Appeal tuition refund decision

If you wish to appeal a tuition refund decision, please review the Tuition refunds appeals process.