Student Finance advice for undergraduate students repeating the academic year (or part of)

It is perfectly normal to encounter bumps along the academic road and for some students this means having to repeat an academic year (or part of) or choosing a different path and starting a new course altogether.

If this is you, you need to know how this affects you financially, so read on:

What happens if you’re repeating the whole year?

  • You are still eligible for your Maintenance Loan if you have to repeat all or part of an academic year, even if you’ve repeated years of your course previously. This also applies to any supplementary  grants – such as the Parents’ Learning Allowance, Childcare Grant and Disabled Students’ Allowances.
  • You are automatically entitled to a Tuition Fee Loan for a repeat year if needed, but you can only have this once. This means that if you have already repeated a year or studied on a previous course for a year, this is not automatic. In this instance you need to ask Student Finance to use their discretion to award you a further additional year of Tuition Fee Loan if fees are due.
  • This appeal process is called requesting ‘compelling personal reasons’ (Student Finance jargon). This is very similar to ‘mitigating circumstances’ – for example pregnancy, illness, disability or traumatic personal events. You need to present a case to SFE that you had strong reasons for having to repeat and you need evidence to support your case. We can help you with this.

What happens if you’re repeating part of the year?

  • The university will record you as being a part-time student enrolled on a full time course. This can be confusing, as you may only be studying 1 or 2 modules, but nevertheless you are still treated as a full-time student for the purposes of Council Tax, student funding and any DWP Benefits you may be eligible to receive. You can therefore continue to apply for full time funding as you did previously.
  • The exception to this would be if you have transferred to a part time course in which case everything changes and you should contact the Student Advice Service for more advice.

Very important information for both scenarios:

If you have already applied for 2019/2020 funding, you need to change your year of study on your student finance application. You can do this by accessing your online application and following the ‘change my application’ instructions. The university Academic Services department can  do this remotely and tell Student Finance that your course year. Please note that this can take 6 weeks to process.

If you need any more help or advice about this or any other issue, please contact us

Phone 01273 642888 or email:

Student Advice Service

Helen is the Student Advice Service Manager within Student Services and is based in Tithe Barn on the Moulsecoomb campus

Posted in General advice and information, Money Advice

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