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

You can apply to have your financial liability removed after Census Date if you withdraw because of special circumstances.

Your application has to include:

  • a detailed personal statement explaining the special circumstances that prevented you from completing your courses, and
  • supporting documents that show evidence of these circumstances.

Read the Removal of Financial Liability due to Special Circumstances Procedures before applying.

Apply online

Submit a request to have your financial liability removed

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If you have withdrawn, or you want to withdraw: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.

Apply online

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

Apply online. Your application has to include:

  • a personal statement written by you and addressed to the President of the Academic Board, and
  • supporting documents that show evidence of exceptional circumstances beyond your control.

In your personal statement, you need to explain how exceptional circumstances beyond your control 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 a document from your family doctor or counsellor. The document should confirm how you were affected by exceptional circumstances and explain why you couldn't withdraw earlier. Scan or photograph your document and upload it with your application.

  • Medical reasons — Your application must be supported by a medical certificate. The certificate needs to confirm the severity and duration of the condition, and how it affected your ability to undertake study 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. Scan or photograph your medical certificate and upload it with your application.

  • 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 prevented you from fulfilling your obligations as a student. Your application must be supported by an original letter from your employer that supports your claim. The letter must make clear that undertaking these additional duties was beyond your control. Scan or photograph your letter and upload it with your application.

Apply online

Change of finalised grade

Read section 7.2 of the Finalisation of Grades Procedures and information on this page before applying.

The outcome of your application will be posted in the 'My Requests' section of your my.UQ Dashboard. An email will also be sent to your student email account.

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.