Full-time students – taking a break or withdrawing from your studies

What you need to do before you suspend or withdraw 

If you’re thinking about suspending or withdrawing, you need to speak to your uni or college. They’ll give you advice and help you make the best decision. 

If you do decide to suspend or withdraw from your studies, it’s really important to contact us and let your uni or college know your decision as soon as possible.  This minimises the risk of you being overpaid your student finance.

 

Suspending your studies 

Once your uni or college lets us know you’ve suspended, we’ll reassess your student finance based on the number of days you attended your course and send you a new student finance entitlement letter.  
We’ll stop any future payments to you or your uni or college until you return to your studies. Depending on the date you suspend, and when your uni or college let us know, you may have been overpaid. 

During your suspension 

You may be able to get some student finance during your suspension period, for example, if you’re experiencing financial hardship or you suspended due to a caring responsibility or illness.
You would usually need to send us evidence, such as bank statements or a letter from your uni or college. Each case is assessed on an individual basis. 
If you’ve suspended on health grounds, you’ll get full student finance for 60 days after you suspend. You don’t need to do anything as your uni or college should let us know. You may be eligible to get Disabled Students’ Allowances. 

Withdrawing from your course

Once your uni or college lets us know you’ve withdrawn, we’ll reassess your student finance based on the number of days you attended your course. 
We’ll stop any future payments to you and your uni or college and send you a new student finance entitlement letter.  Depending on the date you withdrew, and when your uni or college let us know, you may have been overpaid. 
 

Repaying your student loan 

You’ll be responsible for repaying any Tuition Fee Loan we’ve paid to your uni or college and your Maintenance Loan. You’ll repay these as normal unless you were overpaid.

 
If you’ve been overpaid

If you’ve been overpaid after suspending or withdrawing, we’ll contact you to let you know how to repay this amount.  You may need to repay this early and before you’re earning over the repayment threshold. Alternatively, we may reduce any future student finance payments if you return to study. 


How much Tuition Fee Loan you’ll need to repay


The amount of Tuition Fee Loan you’ll need to repay will depend on the date you suspended or withdrew from your course. Your uni or college will have their own fee charging policy, so you should speak to them about this. 
Your tuition fee is paid at the start of each term. The table shows how much of your tuition fee you’d normally have to repay depending on what date you suspend or withdraw. 

Date Percentage of tuition fees you'll have to pay back
From the first day of term 1 25%
From the first day of term 2 50%
From the first day of term 3 100%

 

If you return to university or college 


If you suspended
If you suspended and return to your studies in the same academic year, your uni or college will let us know and we’ll reassess your student finance. If you return in a new academic year, you should reapply for student finance as normal. 


If you withdrew
If you withdrew in your first year, you should be able to get full funding to study another course. If you left your course in your second year or later, you may have to cover some or all of the cost of your tuition fees yourself if you return to study.  You’ll usually still be able to get a Maintenance Loan in any self-funded years of study.

How we work this out 
As a general rule, you can get a Tuition Fee Loan for the full length of your course, plus one extra year if needed. The number of years you can get funding for is usually calculated as:
Length of current course + one year – years of previous study
You might be able to get an extra year of tuition fee support if you withdrew because of reasons outside your control, such as bereavement or illness. You would need to provide evidence of this. Depending on your circumstances, this could include evidence from:

  • your GP
  • social services
  • your uni or college