The Student Room Group

Withdrew from studies over a decade ago... Getting funding for a degree now

I withdrew from my studies well over a decade ago, I think it was either 2011 or 2012 (back when course fees were £3k instead of £9k!) - during my second year. I was unwell at the time, doctors weren't sure what was wrong with me and it was many more years before I eventually got a diagnosis. Naturally this also took a toll on my mental health, and on top of that I made the excellent decision of living with an abusive partner. Needless to say - there were many extenuating reasons as to why I had to withdraw!

I'm now looking at returning to university. From my searching, I saw that your student finance entitlement is:
The length of your course + 1 year - any years studied (and an uncompleted year counts as a full one).
This would leave me with 2 years full time finance, which obviously isn't enough. I rang up Student Finance this morning, and was actually told I should be entitled to the full 3 years, and I think this had something to do with the fact that course fees were lower back then? Or possibly also because I had been unwell?

I was wondering if I could have any more clarification on this? Again from my googling I thought I'd need to reapply with CPR, which is going to be a tough one for me because I really don't have much in the way of evidence as to why I withdrew back then. I was in and out of doctors surgeries for years, having tests left right and centre before they finally figured out what was wrong. So it isn't like I suddenly was struck ill, and I've got clear medical evidence. It's very muddy, and spread over many years - not to mention at this point I'm obviously not in touch with any of the medical professionals I will have seen over a decade ago.

Any advice on this is very much appreciated!
Original post by MissyLex
I withdrew from my studies well over a decade ago, I think it was either 2011 or 2012 (back when course fees were £3k instead of £9k!) - during my second year. I was unwell at the time, doctors weren't sure what was wrong with me and it was many more years before I eventually got a diagnosis. Naturally this also took a toll on my mental health, and on top of that I made the excellent decision of living with an abusive partner. Needless to say - there were many extenuating reasons as to why I had to withdraw!
I'm now looking at returning to university. From my searching, I saw that your student finance entitlement is:
The length of your course + 1 year - any years studied (and an uncompleted year counts as a full one).
This would leave me with 2 years full time finance, which obviously isn't enough. I rang up Student Finance this morning, and was actually told I should be entitled to the full 3 years, and I think this had something to do with the fact that course fees were lower back then? Or possibly also because I had been unwell?
I was wondering if I could have any more clarification on this? Again from my googling I thought I'd need to reapply with CPR, which is going to be a tough one for me because I really don't have much in the way of evidence as to why I withdrew back then. I was in and out of doctors surgeries for years, having tests left right and centre before they finally figured out what was wrong. So it isn't like I suddenly was struck ill, and I've got clear medical evidence. It's very muddy, and spread over many years - not to mention at this point I'm obviously not in touch with any of the medical professionals I will have seen over a decade ago.
Any advice on this is very much appreciated!

Hi there,

How many years of previous study do you have? How long would your new course be?

Thanks, Ross
Reply 2
Original post by Ross SLC
Hi there,
How many years of previous study do you have? How long would your new course be?
Thanks, Ross

I withdrew during my second year. I haven't had any other full time study. The courses I am looking at would either be a standard 3 year degree, or a 4 year including a foundation year.
Original post by MissyLex
I withdrew during my second year. I haven't had any other full time study. The courses I am looking at would either be a standard 3 year degree, or a 4 year including a foundation year.

Thanks for confirming.

Do you have evidence of the medical issues that happened during the year you withdrew?

Thanks, Ross
Reply 4
Original post by Ross SLC
Thanks for confirming.
Do you have evidence of the medical issues that happened during the year you withdrew?
Thanks, Ross

Hi Ross,

As I mentioned in my original post, From my googling I thought I'd need to reapply with CPR, which is going to be a tough one for me because I really don't have much in the way of evidence as to why I withdrew back then. I was in and out of doctors surgeries for years, having tests left right and centre before they finally figured out what was wrong. So it isn't like I suddenly was struck ill, and I've got clear medical evidence. It's very muddy, and spread over many years - not to mention at this point I'm obviously not in touch with any of the medical professionals I will have seen over a decade ago.
Original post by MissyLex
Hi Ross,
As I mentioned in my original post, From my googling I thought I'd need to reapply with CPR, which is going to be a tough one for me because I really don't have much in the way of evidence as to why I withdrew back then. I was in and out of doctors surgeries for years, having tests left right and centre before they finally figured out what was wrong. So it isn't like I suddenly was struck ill, and I've got clear medical evidence. It's very muddy, and spread over many years - not to mention at this point I'm obviously not in touch with any of the medical professionals I will have seen over a decade ago.

If you plan on doing the 3 year course your calculation would be
3 + 1 - 2 = 2year full funding - if you had CPR then we could offer full funding for 3 years of the course

If it was a 4 year course it would be
4 + 1 - 2 = 3 year full funding - again, if CPR was applicable then you'd be eligible for full 4 years.

I would still advise to try and obtain some evidence of your medical history if possible so we can look to award you full funding for the 4 years. You'd receive a Maintenance Loan for all years, just the Tuition we need to sort.

Thanks, Ross
Reply 6
Original post by Ross SLC
If you plan on doing the 3 year course your calculation would be
3 + 1 - 2 = 2year full funding - if you had CPR then we could offer full funding for 3 years of the course
If it was a 4 year course it would be
4 + 1 - 2 = 3 year full funding - again, if CPR was applicable then you'd be eligible for full 4 years.
I would still advise to try and obtain some evidence of your medical history if possible so we can look to award you full funding for the 4 years. You'd receive a Maintenance Loan for all years, just the Tuition we need to sort.
Thanks, Ross

Thank you Ross! Do you have any suggestions with regards to my medical evidence? It's been such a long time, I don't have letters or anything any more, and as I mentioned it actually took several more years after I left my degree to eventually get my diagnosis. So I'm not too sure how I would structure the evidence, or who to ask/what to seek. Any advice on this would be very much so appreciated. Also, if all else fails, am I correct in thinking I would get funding for part time study, even without CPR?
Original post by MissyLex
Thank you Ross! Do you have any suggestions with regards to my medical evidence? It's been such a long time, I don't have letters or anything any more, and as I mentioned it actually took several more years after I left my degree to eventually get my diagnosis. So I'm not too sure how I would structure the evidence, or who to ask/what to seek. Any advice on this would be very much so appreciated. Also, if all else fails, am I correct in thinking I would get funding for part time study, even without CPR?

You can get the funding for Part Time yes.

For the CPR evidence, if it was hospital appointments you could try and contact the hospital and ask for medical records if that's a possibility?

Thanks, Ross
Reply 8
Original post by Ross SLC
You can get the funding for Part Time yes.
For the CPR evidence, if it was hospital appointments you could try and contact the hospital and ask for medical records if that's a possibility?
Thanks, Ross

Hi Ross,
Unfortunately any hospital appointments would not have been around the time I withdrew - and the clinics I did end up attending have all been shut down as part of government cuts. So that isn't a route I can follow. Is there anything else I can do?
Original post by MissyLex
Hi Ross,
Unfortunately any hospital appointments would not have been around the time I withdrew - and the clinics I did end up attending have all been shut down as part of government cuts. So that isn't a route I can follow. Is there anything else I can do?

For CPR we require evidence and also a cover letter. You can try without evidence but it's reviewed on a case-case basis and no guarantee of acceptance as we do require evidence.

Thanks, Ross
Reply 10
Hi Ross,
I've scoured through my medical records, and I've managed to make this timeline:

Sep 2010: Started University

November 2010: Diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (misdiagnosis), there's also no evidence there of any of the many, many doctors and hospital appointments I had to get this diagnosis

November 2010 - Feb 2012: Absolutely nothing on my medical record, despite again, many doctors and hospital appointments

Feb 2012 - Dropped out of university

Feb 2012 onwards - Lots of involvement with doctors


The issue I'm concerned about is all this missing medical records which evidence me seeing GPs while I was at University. However, I do have evidence of appointments starting basically immediately after my withdrawal. Would this hold much weight, as it is from post-withdrawal?
I'm going to go to my current GP and ask him to write a letter explaining how my illness at the time prevented me from studying, but obviously this won't be the same doctors I saw at the time (I'm not even living in the same area). Will this matter? Is it worth getting this letter from my doctor? Is there any advice you could give on the content of the letter?
Hi MissyLex,

The CPR evidence would need to be from during the academic year to be considered. All I can advise is to explain in as much details as possible with as much supporting evidence you can gather and this will need to be reviewed on a case by case basis by our assessment team.

Thanks,
Calum
Reply 12
Does this mean that the information from Feb 2012 would be considered, seen as it's in that academic year, even though I had already withdrawn? It took another 5 or so years before I was finally diagnosed (as I've got a rare disease), so it's quite a long list of documents. Does this mean that a letter written by my doctor now explaining the situation then wouldn't be useful?

Many thanks
Hi MissyLex,

We would usually need to see evidence from during the academic year that you didn't progress from. If this is not possible I would advise sending a letter from current your GP or consultant explaining how your condition affected you at that time.

Thanks,
Calum
Original post by MissyLex
Does this mean that the information from Feb 2012 would be considered, seen as it's in that academic year, even though I had already withdrawn? It took another 5 or so years before I was finally diagnosed (as I've got a rare disease), so it's quite a long list of documents. Does this mean that a letter written by my doctor now explaining the situation then wouldn't be useful?

Many thanks


What course are you planning to study (if it's an exception course you might not need CPR evidence)?
Reply 15
Original post by normaw
What course are you planning to study (if it's an exception course you might not need CPR evidence)?

Unfortunately it isn't an exception course! History, full time.
Original post by MissyLex
Unfortunately it isn't an exception course! History, full time.

Hi there,

We would suggest applying and sending the evidence you can get and a cover letter detailing why you're sending it and the team will review and let you know if its been accepted or not.

Thanks,
Claire
Reply 17
Another question, I've read quite a bit talking about mentioning the academic year in question. However, my performance was seriously affected in my first year and I frequently missed tutorials, leading to a poor grade (but not a fail), and obviously my health became so poor I had to leave in my second year. Do I mention both years?

I'm still working on evidence, the doctors have lost two years worth of my medical records and am now currently in the process of both reporting this to the ICO and seeking independent legal advice due to the data breech. Is it worth including this information (that they've lost my medical records and I am pursuing it legally/with the ICO)?
Original post by MissyLex
Another question, I've read quite a bit talking about mentioning the academic year in question. However, my performance was seriously affected in my first year and I frequently missed tutorials, leading to a poor grade (but not a fail), and obviously my health became so poor I had to leave in my second year. Do I mention both years?
I'm still working on evidence, the doctors have lost two years worth of my medical records and am now currently in the process of both reporting this to the ICO and seeking independent legal advice due to the data breech. Is it worth including this information (that they've lost my medical records and I am pursuing it legally/with the ICO)?

Hi there,

Yes, we'd recommend including as much evidence as you have, and you should definitely mention both years.

Once you submit your evidence the assessors will review it as soon as possible.

For example, if they want to ask you any other questions they'll let you know by e-mail.

Thanks, Graeme

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