Suspending your studies
If you are a Higher Education student at USP College you can suspend your studies for several reasons, including:
- Maternity-related leave
- Family issues
- Financial issues
Getting advice about suspension
If you are thinking about suspending your studies, you can talk about your options in confidence with:
- The HE Student Advisor
- Your Programme Leader
- Your Personal Tutor
How to request a suspension
- You must meet with your Programme Leader to request suspending your studies.
- Your Programme Leader will also need to complete and authorise the suspension of studies form and send this to the head of higher education for approval.
- You will then get an email confirming the decision. This email will also include the date when we expect you to resume your studies and information on the Return to Study process. Student Services and your Programme Leader will also be informed.
Staying registered as a student
You must remain registered as a student while you are away from the college. Maintaining your registration is free and allows you to keep your college email account and access to the college computer network. This will help you communicate with your department and Student Services.
Disability Service users
If you are suspending your studies or leaving the college and are in receipt of Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) or other-funded support from a Specialist Study Skills Tutor, Specialist Mentor, Note taker or Study Assistant you should contact the Disability Service so that they are aware.
Extending your suspension
If you can no longer return on the agreed date, you must contact your Programme Leader to discuss.
Resuming your studies
Before the agreed date when you will resume your course, you should contact your Programme Leader to confirm that you will return.
The HE Administrator will write to you three to four months prior to your expected return date. You will be asked to complete a self-assessment form and depending on the reason for your suspense, and the feedback you provide, we may need your permission to be in contact with your doctor/health practitioner. We will only request information from them which is relevant, and we will hold this information confidentially. Read our confidentiality guidelines
The information you provide will help you start to think and plan for a successful return. Your answers will also help Student Services identify if you might be entitled to extra support or funding. Student Services will contact you, and in most cases your Programme Leader, to detail the outcome of the Return to Study review.
If there are significant concerns about your fitness to study, the decision will be referred by the Head of Higher Education for consideration under the colleges Fitness to Study policy.
If you use the Disability Service and are in receipt of Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) or other-funded support from a Specialist Study Skills Tutor, Specialist Mentor, Note taker or Study Assistant you should contact Learning Support to arrange for your support to resume.
Student Services can help you assess your needs and talk to you about any ongoing support.
Preparing to return to the College
Contact your Programme Leader about how you should prepare for your course. You should also talk to the HE Advisor about how resuming your course will affect your fees and finances.
Permanently withdrawing from your course
If you have decided to leave your course, you must speak to your Programme Leader.
If you have already suspended your studies and no longer want to return, you will still need to contact your Programme Leader.
Getting advice on what to do after College
The Careers team can advise you about your options, including career choices and transferring to another university or college. You can book a meeting with a Careers Adviser.
Student Services can also give you confidential advice and support.
How suspending or withdrawing will affect your fees and finances
Suspending your studies can affect your fees, grants and loans. How this affects you will depend on your circumstances and how far into your course you are. The HE Student Advisor can tell you how suspending your studies or leaving the College will affect your finances and what actions you need to take.
If you are suspending or withdrawing, book an appointment with the team to talk about your finances and any scholarships you have. The HE Student Advisor can also help you with any negotiations with the University Finance office and other funding bodies.
The Finance Office can advise you on tuition fees. Information is also available on the Gov.uk website.
If the Student Loans Company (SLC) funds your studies
The amount of fees you must pay depends on when you suspend or withdraw from your course.
If you suspend or withdraw after:
- 30 September 2021, you must pay 25% of the fee for the year (returning students)
- 4 October 2021, you must pay 25% of the fee for the year (returning students)
- 10 January 2022, you must pay 50% of the fee for the year
- 25 April 2022, you must pay 100% of the fee for the year
You will need to pay the relevant proportion of tuition fee whether you complete the semester or not.
How suspending or withdrawing affects your tuition fee loan entitlement
As a student, you can receive SLC funding for the normal duration of your course, plus one year. If you suspend or withdraw from your studies, even after only a few days, this will use up the additional year. This may affect your flexibility to make changes to your studies in the future.
How suspending or withdrawing affects your maintenance loan or grant
You are only entitled to a maintenance loan or grant for the time you are registered as an attending student.
If you suspend or withdraw from your studies, you will probably have to pay some money back. Your awarding authority will adjust your entitlement based on your last date of attendance. If you have been overpaid, your awarding authority and the Student Loans Company will contact you.
If you are suspending or withdrawing because of your health, make sure your department is aware of your circumstances and has seen the relevant medical evidence. If your department records this as your reason for suspending on the Change of Circumstance form, the SLC can extend your maintenance loan or grant beyond your last date of attendance.
If you are suspending or withdrawing for other reasons, you may still be able to extend your maintenance loan or grant. Contact HE Student Advisor for more information.