Suspending your studies and returning in the same academic year?

If you’re planning on suspending your studies and returning in the same academic year, make sure you discuss this with a course tutor and student services.

How does this affect your loan?

If you suspend your studies we’ll reassess your application. Your loan entitlement will be recalculated based on your period of attendance until you suspended.

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 overpayment amount and that we’ll try to recover this from any remaining payments you’re due to receive when you return to your course.

Overpayments which are not recovered while you’re studying will remain overdue. You’ll be required to make an affordable repayment arrangement when you finish your course.

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

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 suspend your studies we’ll reassess your application. Your grant entitlement will be recalculated based on your period of attendance until you suspended.

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 overpayment amount and that we’ll try to recover this from any remaining payments you’re due to receive when you return to your course.

Overpayments which are not recovered while you’re studying will remain overdue. You’ll be required to make an affordable repayment arrangement when you finish your course.

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

I’m suspending due to medical reasons

If you’re suspending your studies due to medical reasons, then you may be able to receive support for an extra 60 days beyond the date you’ve suspended study.

However, it’s important to note that, although you may be allocated the extra 60 days funding, this may only reduce the overpayment you’ve received.

You can find out more about how an overpayment is calculated.

I’m struggling financially what can I do?

If this is likely to cause financial hardship, we’d recommend that you discuss this with your university or college. They can provide guidance and in some circumstances might be able to provide financial help.

What do you need to do?

If you’re planning to suspend studying for a period of time before returning at a later date, then you must contact and advise:

  • your university or college - so they can notify us of your correct suspension date (this may include the additional 60 days if you’re suspending for medical reasons and you’ve provided your university or college with the evidence to support this); and
  • us - so we can minimise the amount of overpayment you may need to repay.

What happens next?

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

  1. receive confirmation of the date you’ve suspended your studies - this may include the additional 60 days if you’re suspending for medical reasons and the university or college has accepted this;
  2. reassess your entitlement based on your period of attendance including the additional 60 days if applicable - 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 the intention to recover this from any remaining payments you’re due to receive when you return to your course.

Alternatively, you can contact us on the number provided to repay this.

Overpayments which are not recovered while you’re studying will remain overdue. You’ll be required to make an affordable repayment arrangement when you finish your course.

How does suspending affect future student finance?

When you return to your course any payments you were originally assessed to receive will have been revised. If you have an overpayment due to suspending your studies, this may be deducted from any remaining payments you’re due to receive.

Some general information has been provided in this section, however, we’d recommend that you discuss this with us.

Loans

There are two main loan products:

  • Tuition Fee Loans; and
  • Maintenance Loans.

If you plan to return to study after suspending for a period of time, consider the following points:

Tuition Fee Loan

Tuition Fee Loan support will remain available to you if you’ve suspended study and intend to return.

Maintenance Loan

When you resume your studies, any Maintenance Loan overpayment may be deducted from any remaining payments you’re due to receive.

Overpayments which are not recovered while you’re studying will remain overdue. You’ll be required to make an affordable repayment arrangement when you finish your course.

Grants

When you resume your studies, then any grant overpayment may be deducted from any:

  • remaining payments you’re due to receive within that academic year
  • future payments you’re due to receive in the following academic year(s)

Overpayments which are not recovered while you’re studying will remain overdue. You’ll be required to make an affordable repayment arrangement when you finish your course.

Need more information?

We would always advise that you discuss any possible suspension in your studies with a course tutor and student services at your university or college. Where a suspension in your studies creates financial hardship, we’d also recommend that you speak to a welfare advisor at your institution.

If you need more information on how suspending study can affect your financial support or how an overpayment has occurred, then contact us for more information.

How is grant overpayment recalculated?

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 suspend your studies, 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 suspension date).

For example, if you’re awarded a Maintenance Grant of £4,000 and then suspend your studies 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 suspending your studies would now be £329 (rounded up) for the academic year. Any payment received above this amount is an overpayment and must be repaid.

If you've suspended due to medical reasons, then an additional 60 days can be added. This would adjust your entitlement increasing to:

  • 90 days attended ÷ by 365 (days in year) x £4,000 (original entitlement) = £986.40

The new Maintenance Grant entitlement after suspending for medical reasons would be £987 (rounded up) for the academic year. Any payment received above this amount is an overpayment and must be repaid.



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