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Going back to uni: compelling personal reasons

Exchange editorial team

Providing up-to-date information about our student finance products and services.

Publication date: 03 June 2019

Every year, thousands of students return to study or have to repeat a year of their course because of circumstances outside of their control (known as compelling personal reasons). Our research shows that these students believe their uni or college should be on hand to offer information and the support they need to assist them when applying for student finance. We’re here to help you provide the guidance they’re looking for.

Extra year of Tuition Fee Loan: who qualifies

Students who have studied previously and have either had to drop out or repeat a year of their course due to compelling personal reasons may get an extra year of tuition fee support.

We’ve updated the eligibility page of our Tuition Fee Loan guidance which now includes more information on who can apply for an extra year of student finance. This will make it easier for you to advise students on whether or not they’re eligible.

Providing evidence

As a practitioner, you’ll often be asked to send evidence to support the student’s application for an extra year of tuition fee support.

It’s important to make sure that the evidence you provide:

  • is written on headed paper
  • confirms the student’s situation and when they left the course
  • covers the dates that the situation took place


It’s vital that the student sends a cover letter of their own explaining their personal circumstances along with any evidence you give them. You should remind them of this when providing them with evidence.

Information for students

Tell students to visit the student finance zone on The Student Room and our student finance pages on UCAS. We’ve created new pages with more information for students experiencing going back to uni or repeating a year due to compelling personal reasons.