Changes in circumstances
The funding you get now and in future, can be affected by a change in your circumstances, for example if you're repeating a year, suspending or withdrawing, coming back to university or transferring.
Find out what to expect if your situation changes, and if your eligibility for funding or the level of funding you will receive is likely to be affected.
Funding for the length of your course + 1 year
The Student Loans Company will generally fund your tuition fees for the length of your course, plus one more year (your "+1 year"). For example, if you're doing a four-year programme and have not studied in higher education before, you'll be eligible for four years of funding plus one extra year, if you need it.
Repeating a year
As an internal student
If you're an internal student (ie studying with tuition, on campus) and this is your first repeat year, you should be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. This includes your Tuition Fee Loan, your Maintenance Loan and any supplementary grants you get. This will count as your +1 year though, so if you need to repeat another year later on, it's very unlikely you'll receive a Tuition Fee Loan or Maintenance Grant (though you may still receive a non-means-tested loan).
As an external student
If you're repeating a year as an external student (studying without tuition, off campus), you're not eligible for any funding from the Student Loans Company. It doesn't make any difference if this is your first or second repeat year.
You're not eligible to claim state benefits either. If you have children you may still be eligible for Child Benefit and tax credits.
As an external student, you dont pay tuition fees. But before becoming an external student, think carefully about how you'd pay for rent and living costs for the year. Most external students have to find paid employment to help cover their costs.
Suspending or leaving your studies
If you suspend your study or withdraw (permanently leave) part way through the year, you'll still have to pay some of the tuition fee. The amount you're liable for will depend on when you suspend or withdraw.
This will also affect the amount of living costs funding you'll receive.
Your living costs
The Student Loans Company will only pay you for the number of days you've attended university that year, although if your suspension is due to illness you will automatically receive additional student finance for up to 60 days beyond the date you suspended study.
If your term started on 23 September, and you left university on 13 October, the Student Loans Company would only pay you for 21 days funding. You would already have been paid the first instalment of your loan, which would be more than 21 days of funding. So, the Student Loans Company will ask you to repay the money, and could potentially deduct it from any payments they make to you in the future.
Whilst there is no automatic access to student loans or grants during a suspension period you may be able to apply to continue your funding while you're away from the University if you can evidence that it will cause financial hardship. You will need to write to the Student Loans Company's Discretionary Payments Team to request a continuation of funding during your period of suspension, and include any relevant evidence to support your situation (e.g. bank statements, medical evidence) and demonstrate ongoing financial commitments (e.g. rent contract). Their address is:
Student Finance England
PO Box 210
Tuition fee liability dates
On the first day of each term (provided you're registered) you become liable for a proportion of your tuition fees. The University confirms your attendance to the Student Loans Company, which releases an instalment of your Tuition Fee Loan. This is paid directly to the University.
You become liable for your tuition fees as follows:
- term 1: 25% of the total tuition fee
- term 2: 50% of the total tuition fee
- term 3: 100% of the total tuition fee.
At the start of each term, you should also become eligible for an equal proportion of the Tuition Fee Loan from the Student Loans Company to cover your tuition fees.
Part-time students are liable for the same proportion of the tuition fee on the first day of term, but the Student Loans Company will only pay an instalment of the Tuition Fee Loan after you've been on the course for at least two weeks.
Coming back to university
It's important to remember that if you suspend part way through an academic year (even if only after a couple of weeks), the Student Loans Company will count this as your whole +1 year (see above).
You might not notice this straight away when you resume your course, as your funding may be exactly the same as it would have been the year before. But if you need to repeat another year later on in your course, you won't be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan or Maintenance Grant.
After withdrawing permamently
If you withdrew permanently from a University course in the past, and are now intending to come back, you'll be liable for the new tuition fee of £9,000 per year.
You'll also move into the new funding scheme, so may potentially be eligible for a maintenance grant and a university scholarship.
However your years of previous study will be deducted from your new entitlement, meaning you might have to fund some years yourself, without any support from the Student Loans Company.
Transferring your course at Leeds
If you transfer from one course to another at the University, we'll tell the Student Loans Company. They will then update your record. Unless your new course has a different mode (such as changing from full-time to part-time or vice-versa), different tuition fees, or lasts for a different length of time, this is unlikely to affect you in any way.
Transferring to Leeds from another university
If you transfer from one university to another, your new university will tell the Student Loans Company. If you transfer during the academic year, your Tuition Fee Loan may be split between the two universities.
When you transfer to Leeds, we'll inform the Student Loans Company and calculate your tuition fee based on when you transferred, and how much of your Tuition Fee Loan has been paid to your first university. If your first university has already received an instalment of your tuition fee from the Student Loans Company, Leeds will not charge you again for that term, but you'll first need to tell our Fees team about this - email: email@example.com.
If you registered at the University of Manchester in September, and transferred to Leeds in November, your Tuition Fee Loan would be paid as follows:
- term 1: 25% of your Manchester fee would be paid to the University of Manchester
- term 2: 25% of your Leeds fee would be paid to the University of Leeds
- term 3: 50% of your Leeds fee would be paid to Leeds.
Changing the way you study
If you switch between full-time and part-time study, your eligibility to state benefits, student loans and funding from the University will change. For example, part-time students don't receive a student loan, but do pay council tax; full-time students aren't eligible for Jobseeker's Allowance, but get more support from the Student Loans Company.
To talk to someone about possible changes in your circumstances and the financial implications of this, contact:
- Funding team in the Student Services Centre on 0113 343 2007, or
- Student Advice Centre in the Student Union on 0113 380 1290.
The Student Advice Centre can also give you more general advice on budgeting and possible funding.