If you’re thinking of withdrawing from your studies, there are a number of things you need to consider. We understand that this need may arise for a myriad of reasons which include financial, personal or health issues, all of which can make study or attendance difficult.
To ensure that withdrawal is a suitable option for you and that you are fully aware of the impact this may have on funding, housing and future study, it is strongly advised that you discuss your case with both your personal tutor and Advice & Guidance before making your final decision. We have lots of information and advice about Who to talk to in our article I'm not sure if I should leave my course or just take a break.
Important to know: If you are studying on a Student Visa, please refer to our guidance on Visa implications and sure to consult with Visa & International Adviser before making your decision.
In this article we address the considerations you need to think about before submitting a withdrawal request:
What happens with my fees and funding?
We cover this in detail in Fees & funding when withdrawing.
What will happen about my housing?
If you are living in King’s Accommodation, once you stop studying, you will need to find alternative housing as Halls are exclusively for students. You’ll need to contact the Residence Team about terminating your contract and agreeing a move out date by email or by phone on 020 7848 5959.
If you live in private halls or at a private rented property, then you should check your contract for terms and conditions. It may be that you are unable to break the lease early, even though you are withdrawing from the course. Get in touch with Money & Housing Advice if you need further support with this.
Will I lose my TfL Oyster student discount once I withdraw?
You attract this discount because of your enrolment at the institution, so once you leave, you will eventually lose this concession. At certain times of the year, the university must update TfL on withdrawals and this will prompt them to cancel your student discount card.
What happens with the Council Tax Exemption or discount that I have enjoyed at my property?
This is linked to enrolment on a full-time course so once withdrawn, you lose this discount or exemption. You are responsible for updating your Local Authority as they will need to review your council tax bill to take into account this relevant change of circumstance.
How are welfare benefits affected by my withdrawal?
Once you stop studying, you are no longer a student and therefore, should be free to apply for welfare benefits, if you need them. The usual restrictions on full time students should no longer apply.
On the other hand, if you are someone who has continued to access welfare benefits whilst studying, for example, you are a lone parent; then make sure that you update the benefit provider that you have left the course, so they can take this relevant change into consideration. For means tested benefits, this is likely to result in an increase in your entitlements as student loan income is likely to be reduced.
If you’re unsure about this and would like advice, you may wish to contact Citizens Advice.
What if I am unsure about what to do with my future. Who can give me some guidance?
It’s very common for students to be unsure about the future. You may benefit from speaking to the Careers and Employability Team here at King’s. They can help you identify your skill set, interests and pathways towards your next adventure.
If I withdraw before the end of the academic year, will I still pay the full tuition fee?
If you apply to withdraw permanently from King’s then the date of your application is taken as the date of withdrawal.
During the approval process of your application, your department will verify this date and identify whether this should be changed to the last date of attendance (normally when your circumstances have meant you were unable to submit an application sooner).
Your fee liability will normally be calculated based on the full fee for the academic year, divided by the number of teaching weeks for that year of study and then multiplied by the number of actual weeks before your withdrawal date. This revised fee will be notified to you when you receive your confirmation of withdrawal email.
In exceptional circumstances, where there has been a delay in submitting your withdrawal due to unforeseen circumstances, such as ill health, it is worth discussing this with your department, as this may help to reduce the final charge.
Are there any exceptions to this fee charging policy?
Yes, there are some courses where the charging arrangements differ. This is likely to be the case for King’s Online Courses and the International Foundation Courses. For more information please visit Tuition Fees: Withdrawal and Interruptions.
I am responsible for paying my own fees. Can I expect a refund if I have overpaid?
Once the withdrawal is finalised, your tuition fee will be determined and confirmed by Student Records. They will advise Credit Control (Finance) who will update your charge, if necessary, and if at that point you have overpaid, you can request a refund via Student Records. For more information on refunds visit Student Fee Payments FAQs.
I used a fee loan from Student Finance to pay my tuition fees. What if they have paid King’s too much?
If you are funded by Student Finance England (SFE) or regional equivalents, the university will update them about the change of registration and alert them to any revised charges. This will prompt them to adjust the fee loan paid so you will not overpay and you will receive a new financial assessment document.
Student Finance helped with my living costs too. How will withdrawing impact on maintenance support?
When your funding body amends the fee loan, they will also reassess maintenance loans and where relevant, grants. These are only paid for as long as you remain enrolled, and because this type of funding is usually paid to you in advance, a mid-year reassessment is likely to mean reduced entitlements and an overpayment being identified. Your funding body will write to you about any funding that need to be repaid.
I thought my loans were only repayable once I started working and earning over the £25,750 threshold?
If you were paid for a whole term yet failed to complete it, this will trigger an immediate overpayment request. Money paid towards periods that were completed, (where you were engaged on the course), will not be demanded from you in this way and will fall under the normal repayment terms, linked to income.
The NHS pay my living costs. Will they also make a request for money back if I withdraw mid-year?
Yes, once the NHS learn of your withdrawal, they too will review your entitlements and request any overpayment to be repaid.
I have spent all the money. What should I do if they ask for some money back?
Once you have received the overpayment notice, your options will be explained. You can usually either:
- Pay back the full amount immediately
- Agree an instalment plan to pay back what you can afford and review it as your circumstances change.
Find out more information by visiting Student finance if you suspend or leave your course.
I have been awarded a scholarship/bursary. What happens with that funding?
In this situation, it is important to check whether there are implications for withdrawing early. The King’s Living Bursary is not recalculated but that may not be the case for other sources of funding, so please refer to any written terms and conditions governing the payment. You might also like to speak to your personal tutor or course administrator about funding implications if the payment has been organised through King’s.
What affect will a withdrawal have on funding for any future studies?
Can I be funded again if I enrol on to a new course in the future?
Many students successfully return to higher education without any funding problems, but this is not always the case. Current regulations tightly control how many times a fee loan can be paid by Student Finance (not maintenance loans) so, on occasion, students can be denied fee loans if they re-enrol on a new course. Therefore, it is recommended that you seek advice before leaving King’s.
What financial support can I expect from my funding body?
At the start of your higher education journey, once general eligibility has been established, a student can expect fee loans for the duration of a course plus one extra year. This is known as the ‘standard entitlement’ for fees. The extra year is sometimes called a ‘gift year’ or ‘+1’ and every time a student enrols on a year of higher education, they use up one year of their standard entitlement. Given this, access to fee loans can run out or be reduced. It is a complicated area, which is why we strongly recommend speaking to the Money & Housing Advice team before committing to a withdrawal.
What happens if I enrol elsewhere but learn that I have exceeded the ‘standard entitlement'?
Your funding body will carry out a calculation to determine if and when fee loans can be awarded again. If you are ineligible for a fee loan this payment will be blocked but you should still be assessed for maintenance support, which usually includes maintenance loans, parent-related grants and Disabled Student Allowances. Where fee loans are blocked, you will be held personally liable for any tuition fee charged and this will happen at the start of the new course, not the end.
I had to withdraw for reasons outside of my control. Why should I be penalised and lose fee loans?
In certain situations, if you can show ‘compelling personal reasons’ (CPR) for not completing a year of study/course, you may be able to rely on discretionary rules to access extra fee loans beyond the ‘Standard Entitlement’. CPRs are not defined by regulation but typically includes periods where serious ill health has negatively impacted on study or perhaps, a close bereavement. In instances like these, letting your funding body know and providing evidence can help to improve your fee loan entitlements.