Withdrawal/deferral anyone know what happens?

(14 Posts)
Itscoldouthere Fri 15-Jan-21 19:19:29

My DS is in 2nd year, things haven’t been going well, he has some MH issues and just hasn’t engaged at all this year.
He is talking about asking to defer or withdraw from this year, hoping to have the option to go back into year 2 again in September. In the meantime he’s going to stay in his uni house and try and work through his MH issues.
Does anyone have any experience ? Is uni likely to let him do this? I assume he’ll still have to pay this years fees etc?
Any advice welcome.

OP’s posts: |
stillhappytohelp Fri 15-Jan-21 19:23:49

Not sure about the fees OP but the uni will almost definitely let him do it, DD’s close friend at uni had to leave in January after exams because of physical health issues so I would hope they’d treat mental health the same (and expect they will.) She was given the option to return in September to start her final year again from Sem 1, or to come back in the January and start from Sem 2 if she was happy with her grades from Sem 1 (as she had already taken exams). Appreciate your DS may not want to do this if he feels his MH issues will have affected his grades so far so hopefully he’ll be able to start afresh in September. He will get the extra year of student finance as they get given a ‘gift year’ but not sure what it will mean for his fees for the rest of this academic year.

Hope you find a solution that works for him flowers

stillhappytohelp Fri 15-Jan-21 19:26:12

However I would hasten to add that he should try and make a decision before his January/February student loan payment drops (or if it already has, don’t spend any!) because if it’s anything like the masters loan he’d have to pay it back as he’s quit straight after receiving it if you see what I mean, whereas he wouldn’t have to pay September’s back as he stayed long enough for it to be considered spent. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works with Masters as when I considered dropping out in December time, uni said make sure you decide asap so you don’t get asked for your loan back - not sure if it is same for undergrad though and I may just be waffling on!

CupcakesK Fri 15-Jan-21 19:27:23

I would get him to email the School welfare officer/personal tutor (or similar) who will be able to advise on all of the options. At my uni you can’t suspend your studies at exam time - ie now, if he has any for semester one. If he does have exams now, the best course of action is to submit an extenuating circumstances form (with evidence of MH issues - eg GP letter) to ensure that these exams don’t count and he can retake them at no penalty later on.

In general the uni will be supportive of any decision, but this is a complex area so he really must enquire about how to go about doing it.

Some other considerations are specific degree regulations - e.g if a professional course (medicine etc) then there may be a limit on how long he can take to complete the degree or the university may have stipulations on how many attempts at a year can be made. If he stays at his uni house he may be liable for paying council tax as will not be a full time student.

I hope he gets better soon and finds the support he needs

Covidcovid Fri 15-Jan-21 19:27:54

Yes, uni will let him.

No he won’t need to pay this years fees. He’ll need to pay one term. If he acts quickly he won’t need to pay the second term. Normally an interruption is for a year so he’d go back next Jan.

But if he’s been struggling with online stuff since Sept and pleads his case the uni may take pity on him and let him start in sept and waive the first terms fees. He may need the student union to help plead the case for that. Worse case he goes back in sept and pays an extra terms fees.

I’m a uni lecturer and we definitely waive fees for a term in such cases. Dd has also interrupted and got a terms fees waived.

He needs to talk to his personal tutor ASAP.

Itscoldouthere Fri 15-Jan-21 20:02:01

Unfortunately it’s been an ongoing saga, it started last year, he had to retake some units to get into 2nd year, but he hasn’t really engage at all this year, he’s been in touch with student services since September so hopefully they will let him just rejoin next September.
I don’t know what the cost implications will be but he definitely wants to stay in his uni house as that’s what’s keeping him together, unfortunately we are not in the UK at the moment, so his uni house is his home.
I had suggested to him that he ask to withdraw midway through last term, but he didn’t want to do so then, but he’s come to this decision now, so hopefully the uni will be ok about it.
Obviously he may not improve and may not return in September but we have to deal with the hear and now at present.

OP’s posts: |
Covidcovid Fri 15-Jan-21 20:25:10

He won’t get his cost of living loan once he withdraws so can he pay his rent?

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Itscoldouthere Fri 15-Jan-21 20:32:08

@Covidcovid we pay his rent as he gets minimum loan, but it means we will have to give him living expenses as well. Not ideal but he can’t come to us as we are in Canada and the borders are closed 😢

OP’s posts: |
Covidcovid Fri 15-Jan-21 20:34:09

I guess he’ll be able to sign on for job seekers allowance as well.

Covidcovid Fri 15-Jan-21 20:34:41

Or possibly work....but I know jobs are so hard to get at the minute.

Itscoldouthere Fri 15-Jan-21 20:54:38

Yes it also depends on his MH as well, not ideal but I’m sure Covid has made it much more difficult for some people, online learning just doesn’t work for some.
I’m just praying that a bit of normality returns soon (ish) and our young people can try and get back to a more rounded life.

OP’s posts: |
CoffeeWithCheese Fri 15-Jan-21 21:16:12

I'm a second year student myself and I've had these discussions with my tutor recently. I was given three options really (my mental health collapsed... then the fucking schools closed and my mental health said fuck this for a living and pissed off completely).

Option 1 try to soldier on through it with whatever I could get in the way of counselling/medication etc (already exploring those avenues)
Option 2 was to apply to suspend to basically the same point in the year next year and drop back into that cohort after Christmas - the department would have been prepared to support applications to do that - but I am (god this sounds arrogant and I'm not at all that kind of person) a very strong academic candidate (solid firsts for assignments all last year). Personally I wanted to stay with my cohort as we're very small and close knit and didn't want to drop back and feel like I'd not finished what I started.
Option 3 was one that they've basically done bespoke to me - they've essentially shuffled my modules around so I've reduced the load now, and moved my placement block into our final term which is only exams anyway (and my course doesn't have much in the way of exam content). That both helps me sort out childcare/child education issues and has reduced the pressure down a little bit until hopefully counselling, uni mental health services, the GP, and the govt getting their arse in gear can start to improve the situation. Still had to be supported by the department and formally approved by the faculty board - but they did get back to me very very quickly with an approval to do that (I had it sorted out within a week). I don't know if I'd have got as much help and possible solutions if I hadn't had the record I do of solid attendance and results - or was on a bigger course where you're less noticed.

I've had to chase it though and approach my tutor with a "HELP SINKING FAST HELP!" message - otherwise no one was going to sort any of it out for me if that makes sense.

I do empathise - I'm really motivated and focused on the course but online learning is such a soul destroying slog it's testing even the most dedicated of us.

Itscoldouthere Fri 15-Jan-21 21:46:58

@CoffeeWithCheese thank you that’s really interesting to hear, sounds like you are working through it, but it sounds bloody tough.
To be honest my DS probably should have asked to have this year out and returned after sorting out his MH problem but sometimes you get on a path and it’s hard to change your plans, he did seem enthusiastic about going back but we didn’t really realised how down he was.
As a result he’s not applied himself at all this year, but because we had already made contact with student services they had already picked up on his lack of engagement.
It may we’ll be they think he’s not a good university candidate and that he hasn’t got what’s needed to complete a degree, he’s doing biological sciences, so it does need commitment.
I suppose we will have to wait and see what they say, I realise that university policy will have to be followed and it may be more complicated than we think.

OP’s posts: |
stillhappytohelp Sat 16-Jan-21 09:35:46

Echoing what a PP said about council tax - he will have to pay as soon as he is no longer officially a student. If he gets signed onto UC and approaches his council for council tax support then he should get a hefty reduction.

Still seems to be jobs in supermarkets, warehouses etc coming up everyday on Indeed so hopefully he gets some luck there smile

I feel for you all OP, I can imagine this has been really worrying and difficult with you being so far away flowers

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