Student Life Centre


Withdrawing from your course may leave you in a position where you may receive more loan/grant than you are due. We have created a page to help explain how temporarily or permanent withdrawing will affect your funding.

The majority of this information is only relevant to students who are funded by Student Finance England. If you are funded by another funding body and have questions, please contact the Funding Team.

Temporary Withdrawal (TWD)

Students can take a temporary withdrawal if they intend to return to their studies at Sussex in the next academic year.

Students will need to speak to a Student Life Centre advisor to discuss the academic ramifications of taking a temporary withdrawal. The information below is only about the effects on funding

Once your temporary withdrawal has been agreed, the University will contact Student Finance to tell them that you are no longer attending University. Part of this notification will be a “date of last attendance” and it is this date that Student Finance will use to re-calculate your maintenance funding for the year.

Tuition Fee

Depending on the point in the academic year when you withdraw the University may recalculate the tuition fee due for the year. For more information on how the new tuition fee will be calculated can be found here 

Please contact Student Accounts if you have any questions.

Maintenance Funding

Students are only entitled to maintenance funding for the time they are studying and for the majority of students (see withdrawal on health grounds below) funding will stop on the last day of attendance, even if your withdrawal is processed later than this. Student Finance will recalculate your funding entitlement for the year and issue a new entitlement letter. Depending on when the student withdraws, this may mean that either some of the maintenance grant and / or maintenance loan needs to be repaid. As long as there are no changes to the student’s course, this will normally be deducted from the next grant / loan payment.

If a student does change course i.e. from Law with American Studies to Law, or even a simple change from English with a Year Abroad to English, this counts as an “interruption in studies”. This will trigger a demand from the Student Loans Company for any outstanding grant / loan before they will allow a student further maintenance or tuition fee funding. If you do have issues with the Student Loans Company please contact the Student Life Centre to find out what support we can offer.

Temporary Withdrawal on Health Grounds

Students who withdraw on health grounds are automatically entitled to an additional 60 days funding from the date of last attendance. Holiday periods as well as term time are counted within the 60 day period. Depending on the date of last attendance this may mean a student receives a funding award after they have taken TWD. If this is the case the student will NOT have been charged fees for this period.

Claiming State Benefits whilst on TWD

Students on TWD are still counted as full time students and are not eligible for state benefits in most instances. The exceptions to this are students who were eligible for benefits whilst studying, who should ask for re-assessment because their maintenance funding from SFE has stopped, and students who withdrew on health grounds but are recovered enough to work. If you have any questions or issues with benefit claims please contact the Funding Team.

Funding on Return to Studies

Students on TWD should apply for funding well before they plan to return. Normally this will be in February / March if returning in September and September / October if returning in January. Maintenance funding will be automatically agreed, but repeat years may cause issues with tuition fee funding.

Students have a statutory right to an additional year’s tuition fee funding. However if you suspended your studies on health or personal grounds, such as a bereavement or a family crisis, you should apply for Compelling Personal Reasons (CPR) so you don’t use your gift year.

Once you have applied for funding for your return to studies, you will need to write a letter to Student Finance asking for the interrupted year to be disregarded. Student Finance will then contact you asking for additional documentation. For instance, students who suspended due to ill health will need to supply a letter from a medical professional and a member of University staff (normally a Student Life Advisor or Disability Advisor).

If you have any questions, or would like support during this process, please contact the Funding Team.

Permanent Withdrawal (PWD)

If a student permanently withdraws from their course then they will go through a similar process to students on TWD with regards to fee and maintenance funding. The exception  is that any maintenance overpayment will need to be paid back immediately. Students who withdraw on health grounds are not entitled to additional funding.

Claiming State Benefits after taking PWD

Ex-students are entitled to claim benefits as per other members of the general public and we strongly suggest that student who are taking PWD to start a Universal Credit claim as soon as they can.