If you decide to suspend or withdraw from your full-time studies, you need to contact Student Finance England and let your university or college know as soon as possible. Content provided by Student Finance England.
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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 Student Finance England, 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 Student Finance England know you’ve suspended, they’ll reassess your student finance based on the number of days you attended your course, and will send you a new student finance entitlement letter. 

They’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 lets Student Finance England know, you may be 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 Student Finance England 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 Student Finance England know. You may be eligible to get Disabled Students' Allowances.


Withdrawing from your course

Once your uni or college lets Student Finance England know you’ve withdrawn, they’ll reassess your student finance based on the number of days you attended your course.

They’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 lets Student Finance England know, you may be overpaid.


Repaying your student loan

You’ll be responsible for repaying any Tuition Fee Loan Student Finance England has 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, Student Finance England will 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, they may reduce any future student finance payments if you return to study.

How much Tuition Fee Loan will you 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 which date you suspend or withdraw.

Date Percentage of tuition fees you'll have to repay
From the first day of the first term 25%
From the first day of the second term 50%
From the first day of the third term 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 Student Finance England know, and they’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 for any self-funded years of study.

How does Student Finance England 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

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