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Application for Waiver/Refund Due to Employment

The new Vice-Rector for Study Affairs has conducted an evaluation pertaining to the rules and regulations of waiving tuition fees and has found that, among other things, a significant number of students who are required to pay tuition fees - but who wish to apply for a waiver - tend to submit an application after the stated deadlines (March 31 for Summer Semester, October 31 for Winter Semester) even though the required paperwork and documentation are available. Instead, students pay the tuition fee (to September 30 for Summer Semester, to January 31 for Winter Semester) and then submit an application for reimbursement.

This seems to be a common practice, even though legal guidelines pertaining to waivers were issued by the responsible Federal Administrative Court on 1.1.2014: The rules for reimbursement applications (and the stated deadlines) are only when "verification documents to waive tuition fees cannot be provided by the deadline". Otherwise, the application to waive fees – and any application to reimburse fees already paid - must be submitted by no later than March 31 (for Summer Semester) or October 31 (for Winter Semester) , whereby “submit” (according to precedents set by the Federal Administrative Court) means that the application must have arrived at the responsible department at the JKU.

Bearing these guidelines in mind, beginning Winter Semester 2016/2017, the JKU will change previous practices and adhere to the guidelines as outlined above.

To see how this affects you, please consider the following sample situations:

Situation:
You would like to submit an application to waive tuition fees for SS 2017 as you were employed during the 2016 calendar year. The legal documentation to submit with your application is your 2016 tax return.

Option 1:
You already received your 2016 tax return on February 20, 2017.
Correct procedure:
As this date is before April 1, 2017, you must submit your fee waiver application so that it is at the responsible department at the JKU by no later than March 31, 2017. Waiver applications (reimbursement) submitted after this date will not be accepted and will be returned to the applicant due to having missed the stated deadline.

Option 2:
You do not receive your 2016 tax return until April 29, 2017.
Correct procedure:
As this date is after the March 31, 2017 deadline, the deadline for this day for your waiver application does not apply this case. To avoid being dis-enrolled from the university, you must pay the tuition for SS 2017 but you have until September 30, 2017 – using your 2016 tax return – to apply for a reimbursement of tuition fees paid (whereby again, it depends on when you submit the application to the responsible JKU department).

Option 3:
You do not receive your 2016 tax return until October 13, 2017.
Correct procedure:
In general, the same applies as in Option 2, meaning you must pay the tuition fees for SS 2017 by the deadline, but you have until September 30, 2017 to apply for a reimbursement of tuition fees paid. According to the legal opinion rendered by the Federal Administrative Court, the fact that you cannot yet show your 2016 tax return by September 30, 2017, does not release you from having to submit your application by September 30, 2017 (this means that applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted and returned unprocessed to the applicant)! After submitting an application on time, you will, of course, get an adjusted application in which you have a grace period of a few weeks to present your 2016 tax return. If you have still not received your 2016 tax return by the end of the grace period – meaning before the grace period ends – you will have to request an application extension. If you can show that through no fault of your own your 2016 tax return could not be issued, the application will be approved and another grace period deadline will be set.

The JKU was originally asked to adhere to these practices starting Summer Semester 2016. However, a number of (reimbursement) applications not meeting the submission criteria were submitted, showing that only some students received the corresponding information. In lieu of this, during Summer Semester 2016 we have decided to accept reimbursement applications one last time that include documentation (particularly a 2015 income tax return) issued before the April 1, 2016, deadline.

Regulations and rules pertaining to tuition waiver and reimbursement apply only to students who hold Austrian or EU citizenship (or persons considered as such).

Johannes Kepler University Employees

Employees at the Johannes Kepler University who hold Austrian or EU citizenship and are enrolled in an academic degree program and subject to paying tuition fees are exempt from paying fees without having to submit an application regarding income above the marginal earnings threshold (§ 92 Sec. 1 Z 5 2002 Universities Act).

Employees at the Johannes Kepler University who hold citizenship from a third-party country and an Austrian residence permit (researchers and special cases of employment) are asked to contact a staff member at the Admissions Office (www.jku.at/zus).


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