Withdrawing or suspending from study

On average, one in 10 undergraduate students in the UK will drop out of university before their second year – so we want to make sure you’ve got the information you need to support them.

What you need to do

If a student decides to withdraw or suspend from their course, they need to let both you and us know as soon as possible. This is so we can make sure they get the right amount of student finance.

Once they’ve told you, it’s really important that you submit their withdrawal or suspension notification straight away. Otherwise they could get paid too much student finance and end up in financial hardship when they have to pay it back.

Please send us as much information as you can when you send us the notification.

What we’ll do

We’ll stop any of their future payments and use the date you gave us to work out how much Maintenance Loan they’re entitled to.

For example, if they were paid £1,200 for a 12 week term but left after 8 weeks, they’d have to repay £400.

This is because they’re only entitled to funding for when they were studying.

If they’ve suspended for health reasons

They could get funding for an extra 60 days after they suspend their studies. We can only do this if:

  • you’ve told us they suspended for health reasons
  • they’ve sent us evidence, such as a letter from their doctor

We might be able to give them funding for more than 60 days if they’d otherwise be in financial hardship. They’d need to send us evidence of this, such as a bank statement or tenancy agreement.

We might also be able to consider extending their funding if they’ve suspended because of caring responsibilities, financial difficulties, bereavement, or premature termination of a work placement. These are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

What happens next

Maintenance Loan

We’ll send them a letter telling them if the amount of Maintenance Loan they’re entitled to has changed. If it’s gone up, we’ll pay them anything extra as soon as possible. If it’s gone down, we’ll let them know how much they owe us. They’ll have to either:

  • repay it straight away
  • set up a payment plan
  • have it deducted from their next student finance payment, if they’re returning to study

Tuition Fee Loan

They don’t have to repay their Tuition Fee Loan straight away. We’ll add it to their balance, and they’ll repay it once they’re earning over the repayment threshold. How much they’ll owe depends on when they left their course:

Term they left Percentage of tuition fee they’ll owe
1 25%
2 50%
3 100%

They won’t have to repay any of their tuition fee if they left before registering on their course.

Returning to study

Make sure students know that leaving their course could affect their ability to get student finance if they decide to return to study in the future. Find out more about how previous study affects their eligibility.

They should also be aware that anything they’ve been overpaid might be deducted from any future payments. For example, if they were overpaid by £300 but were due a future payment of £1,000, we’d pay them £700 instead.