Supporting documentation

What is acceptable supporting documentation?


A letter written by yourself, outlining your circumstances is not sufficient evidence. You must provide independent documentation that substantiates your claims. You will need to ensure that your supporting documentation is on official letterhead (if relevant) and signed and dated.

If the circumstances existed prior to the relevant census date then your supporting documentation must show how your circumstances became worse after the census date.

Medical reasons

You require a certificate/letter/statement on application from a doctor stating:

  • The date your medical condition began or changed
  • How your condition affected your ability to study and
  • When it became apparent that you could not continue with your studies

A medical certificate stating just "illness" or "medical condition" or "medical reason" may not be sufficient.

Examples of special circumstances may include:

  • You have a medical condition that existed prior to the census date continued past that date and deteriorated to the extent that you were unable to continue your studies
  • Your medical condition only became known after the census date and it was such that you were unable to continue with your studies

Family or personal reasons

You require a statement from your doctor, counsellor or independent member of the community (e.g. A Justice of the Peace or a Minister of Religion) stating:

  • The date your personal circumstance began or changed
  • How your circumstance affected your ability to study
  • When it became apparent you could not continue your studies

Examples of special circumstances may include:

  • A member of your family suffers from a severe medical condition and, after the census date, you are required to provide full time care. As a result, you are unable to continue with your studies
  • A member of your family or close friend dies and you are affected to the extent that, after the census date, you realise that you are unable to continue with your studies
  • You or your family's financial circumstances change unexpectedly after the census date to the extent that you are unable to continue with your studies

Special Consideration applications – fire emergency

If you have lost, or are unable to access, your home due to the recent bush fires you will be able to apply for Special Consideration without supporting documentation. You will be considered to live in a fire zone if the residential address you have registered in My Student Records (MySR) (opens in a new window) corresponds with an affected suburb listed on the Rural Fire Service website.

If your study has been disrupted due to a relative living in a fire zone,  you will need to complete a Statutory Declaration (PDF, 7.93 KB) (opens in a new window)to be considered for Special Consideration. Please be aware it is illegal to submit a Statutory Declaration with misleading information.

Employment-related reasons

You require a letter from your employer stating:

  • Your previous work hours and location
  • Your current work hours and location
  • The reason for changed hours and location

Examples of special circumstances may include:

  • You are employed out of necessity and studying. After the census date, your employer unexpectedly increases your hours of employment in circumstances where you are unable to object. As a result you are unable to continue with your studies or complete your course requirements
  • You are employed out of necessity and studying. After the census date, your employer directs you be transferred to a different state. Your institution does not offer distance education and, as a result, you are unable to continue with your studies or complete your course requirements. Please Note: Choosing to increase your hours of work or undertake additional employment are not regarded as circumstances beyond your control

Course-related reasons

You require a letter from your institution stating:

  • That you have been disadvantaged by changed arrangements to your unit/course and that it was impossible for you to undertake alternative units or courses

Examples of special circumstances may include:

  • Western Sydney University cancels your unit or course after the census date and, as a result, you are unable to complete the requirements of the unit or course
  • You enrol in a unit, having applied for credit towards the units previously undertaken at another institution, and are not advised of the decision for credit by the University until after the census date