4. Removing academic penalty or financial liability

In certain circumstances you can have your financial liability or academic penalty removed. Here's how to apply:

Removal of financial liability

If you have withdrawn after Census Date and think there are special circumstances that warrant the removal of your financial liability, you can apply to have your financial liability removed.

How to apply

Removal of academic penalty – before grades are finalised

If you have withdrawn, or you want to withdraw:

  • after the final date to withdraw without academic penalty, and 
  • before the finalisation of grades

and think your academic performance was jeopardised by health or personal problems, you can apply to have your grade changed to ‘W’ – withdrawal without academic penalty.

A ‘W’ won’t affect your grade point average.

Remove academic penalty

Requests must be submitted before the semester date for the finalisation of grades.

Removal of academic penalty – after grades are finalised

Once grades are finalised, requests to withdraw without academic penalty are not allowed – except in the very limited circumstances outlined in section 7.2 of the Finalisation of Grades Procedures.

If you’ve read the Finalisation of Grades Procedures and think you satisfy all of the eligibility requirements, you can apply to have your final grade changed to ‘W’ – withdrawal without academic penalty.

Requests are only approved in very limited circumstances.

Most students who apply have either failed to complete a course, or have received a failing grade for a course. In these situations, you can request to have your final grade changed to ‘W’ – withdrawal without academic penalty.

How to apply

You must prepare a written application that shows evidence of exceptional circumstances beyond your control.

Your application must consist of:

  • a letter addressed to the President of the Academic Board, and
  • supporting documents that show evidence of exceptional circumstances beyond your control.

In your letter, you need to explain how these circumstances made it impossible for you to withdraw earlier in the semester, or apply for assessment extensions or deferred exams.

Exceptional circumstances might include:

  • Serious family or personal problems – Your application must be supported by an original document, or certified copy of a document from your family doctor or counsellor. The document should confirm how these circumstances affected you and explain why you were not able to withdraw earlier.

  • Medical reasons – Your application must be supported by an original medical certificate, or certified copy of a medical certificate. The certificate needs to confirm the severity and duration of the condition, and how it affected your ability to undertake studies during the time period in question. An independent doctor must supply your medical certificate. If a relative or close associate has provided a medical certificate, we may seek a second independent opinion, or ask you to produce another certificate from an independent doctor.

  • Employment-related reasons – Employment-related reasons are not usually accepted as exceptional circumstances. However, we will consider your application if you are employed full-time and you have been directed to undertake unusual or additional duties that have prevented you from fulfilling your obligations as a student. Your application must be supported by an original letter from your employer that substantiates your claim. The letter must make clear that undertaking these additional duties was beyond your control.

Submitting your application

Submit your application – including your letter and all supporting evidence and documents – to the Student Centre, or by post to:

Student Centre
Level 1, J.D. Story Building
The University of Queensland QLD 4072

The outcome of your application will be posted to the mailing address entered into your profile in mySI-net. Before submitting your application, please check your address.

If you are no longer a UQ student, please clearly state this fact in your letter, along with your current mailing address.

I was very sick at the end of semester, but I didn’t want to withdraw just in case I passed. Am I eligible to have my final grades changed?
The Finalisation of Grades Procedures state that a final grade can only be changed if a student “could not have sought the change earlier”. This means there’s a very real possibility your request won’t be approved because you could have withdrawn sooner. Act immediately if you think your academic performance has been jeopardised by health or personal problems.

Why are the Finalisation of Grades Procedures so strict?
UQ is a public university, which means there are a large number of legislative and administrative requirements we have to comply with. Applying to change a final grade is the same as applying to change an official legal record. This is why we urge you to take immediate action to address any problems before grades are finalised.