In this article:
- Can I still be funded once I resume my studies?
- What financial support can I expect to receive after a break from study?
- What happens if I exceed the ‘standard entitlement’ and need more funding?
- I am interrupting for reasons outside of my control, can this be taken into consideration?
Can I still be funded once I resume my studies?
Most students successfully return without funding problems, but this is not always the case.
You could be denied Fee Loans (and Maintenance Grants where relevant) for the repeat period if you have already received the statutory funding entitlement. This is because the regulations tightly control how many times a Fee Loan (or Maintenance Grant but not Maintenance Loans) can be paid by Student Finance.
This is why (in some cases) it can be detrimental to interrupt and why we advise you consult our guidance before interrupting.
What financial support can I expect to receive after a break from study?
Eligible students can expect to qualify for fee loans for the duration of a course plus one extra year. This is the ‘standard entitlement’ for fees. The extra year is often referred to as a ‘gift year’ or ‘+1 year’ and might be relied on should a student resume after either:
- Making a False Start. This is where a student starts a course but has a change of mind and does not progress beyond year 1. Instead, they opt to enrol on a new course (either immediately or in the future). The +1 year gives a student one opportunity to make a fresh start. Or...
- Repeating a period of study for the first time. This may happen because of a mid-year interruption or to compensate for a lack of progression from one year to the next. The +1 year gives a student an opportunity to repeat and access full funding for one repeat period, without restriction.
What happens if I exceed the ‘standard entitlement’ and need more funding?
The extra year allows you to repeat one year (or part year) only. If you have previously studied elsewhere or need to repeat more than one period of study, you are likely to be refused a Fee Loan until you progress further.
Only Maintenance Loans (and if relevant, targeted support such as parent related grants or Disabled Students Allowances) will be paid and you will be held personally liable for any tuition fee charged for the repeat period.
Currently, this must be paid in full by the 31 January of each academic year. For more information see Fee payments - when to pay.
I am interrupting for reasons outside of my control, can this be taken into consideration?
If you can show ‘compelling personal reasons’ (CPR) for not progressing or completing a course, you may be able to rely on discretionary funding rules to access extra Fee Loans beyond the ‘Standard Entitlement’.
CPRs are not defined by regulation but typically includes periods where serious ill health; a close bereavement; or other serious incident has negatively impacted your ability to study.
We advise that you inform your funding body of what has happened and provide evidence to demonstrate your situation. The Money & Housing Advice team can support you with your submission and help you to navigate the process.