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Withdrawing

If you’re thinking about withdrawing or have withdrawn from your course, you need to know how this will affect you and what you need to do.

Permanently leaving your course means you could end up receiving more loan and / or grant than you’re entitled to.

This means your balance (what we’ve paid to you) will consist of two parts:

  1. the balance you’re entitled to – this is the portion of your balance you’ve been assessed as eligible to receive. It will be repaid (loans only) the April after you leave your course when you earn above the relevant repayment threshold; and
  2. any overpayment – this is the portion of your balance you’ve been reassessed as not entitled to receive because you’ve withdrawn (loan and grant). It must be repaid as soon as possible and is exempt from the repayment threshold.

It’s important to remember that any overpayment you need to repay is money we’ve already paid you. They’re not additional charges or penalties.

How does this affect your loan?

If you withdraw from your course we’ll reassess your application. Your loan entitlement will be recalculated based on your period of attendance until you withdrew (your university or college will use your last date of attendance as your withdrawal date).

Any amount of loan paid to you in excess of this will be classed as an overpayment and will need to be repaid.

We’ll send you a letter to confirm the amount and ask you to contact us to make an arrangement to repay this in a way which is affordable for you. Any plan agreed will be based on your circumstances.

You will also be sent a new Notification of Entitlement letter. This will show your reduced loan entitlement.

I’m already repaying through PAYE / Self Assessment, do I need to do anything?

You may already have loans which you’re already repaying through deductions in your salary or through your Self Assessment. These repayments will be for any balance of loan you were entitled to, not any overpayment. This means that you’ll need to make a separate arrangement to repay us directly for any loan overpayment you’ve received.

It’s important to remember that any overpayment you need to repay is money we’ve already paid you. They’re not additional charges or penalties.

How does this affect your grant?

If you withdraw from your course we’ll reassess your application. Your grant entitlement will be recalculated based on your period of attendance until you withdrew (your university or college will use your last date of attendance as your withdrawal date).

Any amount of grant paid to you in excess of this will be classed as an overpayment and will need to be repaid.

We’ll send you a letter to confirm the amount of overpayment and ask you to contact us to make an arrangement to repay this in a way which is affordable for you. Any plan agreed will be based on your circumstances.

You will also be sent a new Notification of Entitlement letter. This will show your reduced grant entitlement.

What do you need to do?

If you’re going to withdraw from your course then you must contact and advise:
  • your university or college – so they can notify us of your correct withdrawal date (your last date of attendance); and
  • us – so we can minimise the amount of overpayment you may need to repay.

If you have a grant or loan overpayment we’ll contact you and tell you what you need to do.

What happens next?

After you’ve contacted your university or college, we will:

  1. receive confirmation of the withdrawal date from your course;
  2. reassess your entitlement based on your period of attendance - (this may result in a grant or loan overpayment); and
  3. send you a new Notification of Entitlement letter - this will show your reduced entitlement.

If you have a grant or loan overpayment as a result of the reassessment, a separate letter will be issued. This will confirm the overpayment amount and ask you to contact us to make an affordable arrangement to repay this. Any plan agreed will be based on your circumstances.

How does withdrawing affect future student finance?

If you’re withdrawing from your course you should consider how this can affect future funding if you plan to return to higher education. Some general information has been provided in this section, however, we’d recommend you discuss this with us.

Loans

There are two main loan products:

  • Tuition Fee Loans; and
  • Maintenance Loans.

Tuition Fee Loan

The general rule is that you’re only eligible for student support for the length of your current course plus one year (assuming you don’t already have an equivalent level qualification).

However, support will be reduced by the number of years you’ve previously studied. If you withdraw from your course, it’s important to understand that even one days attendance will be considered as a year of previous study in the calculation for any future Tuition Fee Loan:

  • Duration of new course + 1 year - previous study years = x years loan available

For example, if you previously completed two years study then withdrew, your Tuition Fee Loan entitlement for a future three year course would be calculated as follows:

  • Duration of new course (3 years) + 1 year – 2 years previous study = 2 years Tuition Fee Loan entitlement

This means you would only receive two years Tuition Fee Loan for the new course. As funds are made available from the last year of study first, and then made available backwards, this means the Tuition Fee Loan would be available in years three and two of the course only. Year one would need to be self-funded.

If you need to withdraw due to reasons such as illness, bereavement or caring responsibilities these will be considered as Compelling Personal Reasons (CPR). You may be eligible for an additional year of fee support in the first year of a new course. However, evidence may be required to support your claim for CPR.

Maintenance Loan

You will normally remain entitled to this when starting a new course, so long as you continue to satisfy the eligibility criteria. However, if you have a Maintenance Loan overpayment from a previous course then this will be deducted from the new academic years entitlement.

Grants

If you’re entitled to any grants when starting a new course, any grant overpayment you have from a previous course will be deducted from the new academic years entitlement.

Need more information?

If you need more information on how withdrawing from your course can affect you or how an overpayment has occurred, then contact us.

How is a grant overpayment calculated?

The initial assessment for the Maintenance Grant, Welsh Government Learning Grant, Parents’ Learning Allowance and Adult Dependants’ Grant usually covers 365 days for each academic year of study (excluding the final year which is less as the summer is not included). If you withdraw from your course, then the amount of these grants you’re entitled to will be divided by 365 and then multiplied by the time spent at the university or college (your university or college will use your last date of attendance as your withdrawal date).

For example, if you’re awarded a Maintenance Grant of £4,000 and then withdraw from your course 30 days after the start date, you’d be reassessed as follows:

  • 30 (days attended) ÷ 365 (days in year) x £4,000 (original entitlement) = £328.76

The new Maintenance Grant entitlement after withdrawing would now be £329 (rounded up) for the academic year. Any payment received above this amount is an overpayment and must be repaid.

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