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Am I eligible for Compelling Personal Reasons?

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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 14-09-2014
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    This is my situation
    I am currently still at university, on my fourth year as a module retriever, meaning I was supposed to graduate the previous year but failed 3 modules which I had to retake this year. During this year, I lived about 1hr and half from university, which is the cheapest accommodation I could find in a shared house. During the week of my exams and pervious to that, I was subject to a number of threatening, violent, and vandalising acts from my house mate which climaxed on the days of my exam. The police were notified and are taking action, however I was forced to move out and lost all my belongings. Due to these circumstances I understandably failed my exams. At the moment I am not able to take all 3 modules during summer school as the university has a specific rule which only allows 2 modules in summer school along with extra fees.
    I was wondering if you can advise me on how the Compelling Personal Reasons could help me. Would I be able to attend for a fifth year, which would only be for the first semester to complete the missing modules and graduate?
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    Given the circumstances you describe, you should lodge your mitigating circumstances formally. If you can get the police to confirm the sequence of events and that should help to strengthen your case. It would have been better to have lodged this prior to the exam board, but if you haven't do it now. Go and see your tutor or course director as well and explain the situation.
    As there is a summer school, then it may be possible for them to make an exception and allow you to do the 3 subjects or allow you to sit the outstanding one at the next possible sitting. It will however depend on the rules if your university and what discretion they have at this stage.

    As a general rule if you think you have mitigating circumstances, you should make it known at the earliest opportunity and preferably before the exam board. If you pass, they don't necessarily consider the mitigating reasons, it tends to only make a difference where you are close to pass fail boundary or higher grade boundary.

    Good Luck.

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Updated: June 9, 2012
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