SFE will fund eligible students for the ordinary duration of their course plus 1 additional year, minus any years of previous study as a standard rule. Suspending part way through a year does mean that your funding will cease from when you last attended and will also count as a full year of funding.
However, if you interrupt your studies for CPR and can provide evidence of your circumstances, your student finance provider has discretion to extend your support for the remaining part of the current year and/or an additional year. Examples of a CPR may include a serious illness, bereavement, pregnancy, personal family crisis (something that is beyond your control). It does not cover things like academic failure or not liking your course.
What additional funding might be available?
If you are taking time out due to illness or caring responsibilities, your funding provider may be able to continue to pay your maintenance payments for a further 60 days after your last attendance.
If the interruption to your studies would cause financial hardship, your funding provider may allow you to continue receiving payments of maintenance support for the duration of the interruption. It is assumed that you will return home during this time and so you will need proof of rent/bills/bank statements etc if this is not the case.
If your CPRs mean that you have not been able to complete the year then your funding provider may be able to reinstate that year so that you do not lose a year of your entitlement.
How do I request funding discretion due to CPR?
You will need:
- A letter written by yourself explaining your CPR and why it has affected your ability to study effectively.
- A letter from a professional confirming the difficulties you’ve had and the effect it has had on your ability to study effectively.
Writing the letter:
- Personal details – name, address, date, email, telephone number, student finance reference number.
- What are you requesting?
Eg.1 Reinstatement of funding for a year of study you could not complete due to CPR
Eg.2 Request for continuation of Maintenance loan during the current academic year
- Write a chronology of events that illustrate your CPR
- Describe how these events have prevented you from studying effectively in this academic year. Include any physical, emotional and psychological effects.
Example of information to include in your CPR letter:
- What are you requesting:
‘I was unable to study to the best of my abilities in the academic year ………………. and I was advised by my tutor to interrupt my studies in (…month/year) and come back in September to repeat the year.
I am writing to request that discretion be applied to my funding so that I do not lose any future entitlement under the previous study rules and that my funding for (year/year) be reinstated due to the circumstances beyond my control that prevented me from completing that year.
I would like to request that I still receive payments of my maintenance Loan during the period of time I will be interrupting my studies as without it I could not afford to support myself or to return to University to continue my course. I am unable to work due to the health problems and I have to pay rent / bills totaling £…………because I am unable to return home to my parents because……….’
- Chronology of events – list all events and appointments that affected the year
- Describe how the difficulties affected your ability to study
‘I suffer from depression and anxiety. My illness has affected my ability to leave the house so I have been missing lectures. I have also had problems motivating myself to complete the work and have found it very difficult to process information because of my depression. I also get panic attacks which have prevented me from attending lectures and seminars, as well as my placement. My tutor advised me to interrupt my studies and my doctor is supportive of my decision.’
Evidence should be obtained from the student to support a claim that the withdrawal or requirement to repeat a year was for compelling personal reasons. The evidence should include a letter from the GP and / or a letter from The University wellbeing team or Social Services etc. All evidence must be from an official source.
Send your letter and evidence to:
- Student Finance England PO Box 210 Darlington DL1 9HJ
- Student Finance Wales PO Box 211 Llandudno Junction LL30 9FU
- Student Finance NI Part-time Office Ballee Centre Ballee Road West Ballymena BT42 2HS
The SU advice team can discuss your options and guide you through the process. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01484 473446 to book an appointment.