International fees
& payments

At SAE, we believe higher education is an investment in your future, and one that requires careful consideration. Get in contact with us if you have any questions or would like to talk about your options.
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If you are an Australian resident visit Domestic Fees & Payments

The first trimester of tuition fees must be paid on initial registration. Our International Admissions team can help you with further information. All further tuition fees are paid in installments prior to the commencement of each subsequent trimester.

In December 2015, the Australian Government passed legislation to allow certain NZ SCV holders access to HELP loans from 1 January 2016. To be eligible, NZ SCV holders are required to meet a range of long term residency requirements.

These requirements are:

  • that the student arrived in Australia at least 10 years ago as a dependent child (i.e. aged under 18 years of age and did not have a spouse or de-facto partner); and the student has been ordinarily resident in Australia for the previous 10 years (that is, they have been here for the last 10 years – including resident for eight of the last 10 years, and 18 months of the last two years), and;
  • the student is otherwise eligible for HELP.

To get the specific dates for your movements in and out of Australia, request your International Movement Records by completing this form (free of charge). Download the form here.

For more information on HELP loans for NZ SCV holders, including clarification on whether you hold a NZ SCV, click here.

Tuition Assurance protects the interests of current and intending students of SAE courses that lead to an accredited award in that it ensures students are given a suitable alternative course or have their course money refunded if the provider cannot provide the course for which the student has paid.

As of January 1 2018 and in accordance with the Department of Education and Training’s interim arrangements, SAE will be exempted from the requirement to meet VET and Higher Education tuition assurance requirements. Instead, SAE is required to comply with interim arrangements which ensure similar tuition assurance protection is provided to students. For further information about VET tuition assurance exemption refer to our Statement of Tuition Assurance for Exempt VET Student Loans Providers and our Statement of Tuition Assurance for Exempt VET FEE-HELP Providers. For information about Higher Education, tuition exemption refer to our Statement of Tuition Assurance Exemption for Higher Education.

In January 2020, the Australian Government expanded the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) for international students to include similar tuition protections for domestic students accessing a VET Student Loan (VSL), or a FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP loan at a private education provider. The VSL tuition protection arrangements commenced on 1 January 2020. Tuition protection arrangements will support VSL students, and replacement providers, if tuition protection is activated. For information about the tuition protection arrangements for FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP students, please visit

SAE conforms to the requirements of the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) established by the Australian Government for overseas students which is part of the ESOS (Education Service for Overseas Students) Assurance Fund established under section 45 of the ESOS Act 2000.

You can apply for a refund of upfront tuition fees in exceptional circumstances if:

  • You were unable to continue studying and withdrew from the unit(s) after the census date has passed, or
  • You were unable to successfully complete the requirements of the unit(s) to a minimum of a Pass (P).

This application is only relevant to units that have not been successfully completed, and have either a Fail, or Withdrawn grade (WK, WF or F). You cannot apply for re-credit or refund under special circumstances if you have successfully completed the unit.

Applications will not be approved where no special circumstances exist.

It is expected if you are applying for special circumstances after withdrawing from a unit after census date that you have first explored all avenues prior to the decision to withdraw, such as applying for special consideration (that is, requesting deferred assessment, extensions etc.) or other support and assistance that SAE may be able to provide.

It is important to note that special circumstances may only be awarded where it was not possible to complete the unit(s) to a minimum of a pass level. Not completing your unit to your usual standards is not itself a reason for remission/refund.


What are Special Circumstances

Special circumstances are those that are considered to be unusual, uncommon, or abnormal.

To meet special circumstances, you need to demonstrate that your circumstances meet all of the eligibility criteria:

  • were beyond your control; and
  • did not make the full impact on you until on or after the census(s) of the unit; and
  • made it impracticable for you to complete the unit(s) and continue with your studies.
Special circumstances were beyond your control:

A situation occurs which a reasonable person would consider is not due to the person’s action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which the person is not responsible. This situation must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal.

Special circumstances did not make their full impact on you until on or after the census date:

To meet this criteria the following circumstances must have occurred:-

  • before the census date, but worsened after that day, or
  • before the census date, but the full effect or magnitude did not become apparent until after that date, or
  • on or after the census date.
Special circumstances made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements of the unit and continue with your studies:

To meet these criteria you will need to demonstrate it was impracticable for you to complete the requirements of the unit for the study period, because you were unable, for example:

  • undertake the necessary private study required, or attend sufficient lectures or tutorials, or other compulsory attendance requirements in order to meet the compulsory unit requirements, or
  • complete the required assessable work, or
  • sit the required examinations, or complete any other course requirements.

Failure to meet any progressive course requirements of the unit(s) prior to the special circumstances developing will not necessarily mean your special circumstances made it impracticable for you to complete the unit(s) requirements. That is, if you needed to pass all assessment items prior to your special circumstances (e.g. medical) occurred, you could not have passed the unit even if you had not fallen ill, therefore your application is likely to be declined.

Not completing your unit to your usual standard is not in itself a reason for fee remission in special circumstances.

You must be able to demonstrate you were unable to complete your studies in that unit at a minimum of a pass level.


Examples of special circumstances

Please click here to review examples of special circumstances and what they do not include.


How to Apply

To apply, you will need to complete the relevant forms.

On this form, you will need to provide a personal statement explaining your circumstances and how they meet the requirements of ‘special circumstances’ as detailed above. You will need to meet and address all three special circumstances detailed. This personal statement should include sufficient detail to allow us to make an informed decision about your application and circumstances.

You will also need to include relevant supporting documentation to support your application. Your application will be considered primarily on these supporting documents, so it is important your application includes these documents.

Depending on your reasons for applying you will need to provide varying independent supporting documentation. Please note: statements from family members are not considered independent and will not be accepted. Please read information on what types of documentation to include depending on your circumstance.

Please submit your completed application directly through to or hand the completed documents to Student Services at your local campus.

Alternatively, you can post the completed application to:

c/o National Student Finance
SAE Creative Media Institute
373-391Ewingsdale Road
Byron Bay, NSW, 2481


How your application will be assessed

SAE Institute will assess your application in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and associated guidelines. Your application will be considered on its merits and the supporting application must be of sufficient detail to the Student Fees Team to make an informed decision regarding your application.

We recognise that your application may include sensitive personal information. The information you provide is used only for the purpose of enabling a small central team of staff to make a decision about your application.

You will be notified of the outcome of your application within 28 days of the completed application being received by the Student Fees Team. The Fees Team may contact you to request additional supporting information if the application does not include sufficient information for the Fees Team to make a decision.

Time-frame for applications

You will need to apply for special circumstances within 12 months of the following dates:

  • The date you withdrew from the course, if you withdrew from it, or
  • The end-date of the relevant study period, if you didn’t withdraw.

Applications submitted more than 12 months after the relevant date will not be considered.

The Institute may consider waiving the application period, in accordance with HESA, if it is deemed not possible for the application to have been made within the 12 month period. Additional supporting documents will be required. Lack of knowledge of the debt is not considered reason itself as to why you could not submit an application.

What supporting documentation to include

It is most important to provide independent supporting documentation to support your application. It is not sufficient to provide only a personal statement outlining your special circumstances.

Please note, SAE Institute may contact any professional authority who has supported your application, to verify any information they have provided.

Your application, personal statement, and any supporting documents must be in English. An official translation in English must be included with your application for any supporting documentation issued in another language.

Please find the list of supporting documentation here.

Outcomes of the Application Process

You will be notified of the outcome of your application within 28 calendar days of the date the application was received by SAE Institute. The Notice of Decision will be sent to your student email and contain the following:

  • the outcome of your application;
  • reasons for the decision
  • How to apply for a review (if the application is refused)
Approved Applications

If your fee remission is approved the process applied for the re-crediting or remission of the financial liability will depend on your fee type and the method of payment used;

Upfront Fee Paying Students: Students who have paid tuition fees upfront will have this amount credited to their student account. Where a student requires a refund of monies rather than a credit towards future study, the student will need to complete the Refund Application Form.

Rejected Applications and Appeals

If your application is rejected and you’re not satisfied with the decision, you may apply for a review of the decision within 28 calendar days after you first received the decision on your application.

You will need to send your appeal c/o Director of Finance, to and you will need to include the following information:-

  • Your grounds for requesting a reconsideration of the decision; and
  • Any additional supporting documentation you may wish to include in support of your appeal

We will advise you in writing of the receipt of the appeal. Your request will be reviewed by an independent Senior Officer of the Institute.

You will usually be notified of a decision within 28 days (in most cases) of the result of your appeal.

If your appeal application outcome is reviewed and you’re still dissatisfied, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a further review of the decision (this does not apply to full fee-paying students or international students). This must be lodged with the AAT within 28 days of receiving the notice of the decision.

Ready to apply?