How to Drop Out of College in the UK – Steps and Considerations

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Dropping out of college, is something that is desirable for some students and for others this would be a catastrophe as their degree is very much aligned with their future career. Either way dropping out of college should be intensely considered, as it will have a huge impact on your future. Students, tend to be concerned regarding the process of getting out of college. They should consider these options; Who should I seek advice from? How do I repay my loan? Is dropping out of college for me?  

This article seeks to appease any concerns you have regarding dropping out of college and to provide you with some guidelines as to what you should consider if this is the decision you are leaning towards.  

Ultimately, to drop out of college you need to speak to your college and alert them that you no longer wish to be there. This then leads to your college contacting Student Finance England and alerting them that you no longer require tuition fees. Subsequently, you will be contacted by Student Finance England as to how you much money you need to pay off and how to go about doing that. The process of dropping out is straightforward for students; However, making the right decision for you individually is difficult as the wrong decision can be detrimental to your future career and opportunities. When deciding to drop out of college you must consider your career, finance, educational opportunities, living arrangements etc. before making your choice as re-enrolling is a tedious process. 

While the above gives you a framework as to what the process of dropping out of college involves and which things to consider; reading this entire article will give you a more in depth understanding of the process and will highlight alternate considerations. 

How to Drop Out of College in the UK?

To drop out of college, to begin you are required to speak to your college and subsequently they will contact Student Finance England. This will be done via email and alert them that you no longer require a maintenance loan etc. This then means that you will be contacted by Student Finance England. They will instruct you on how to go about paying back the money that you have spent thus far at college. You can then drop out of college as you have alerted the college and student finance England of your decision. To find more information check out this link.

What Action Will Student Finance England Take When They Know You No Longer Require Any Loans?

Your college will contact Student Finance England, after you have told them you wish to drop out of college. They will then deal with your college finances. So, when your college alerts Student Finance England that you are being withdrawn from the university, they will then reassess your student finance. 

They are able to do this by assessing your finance based on how many days you have attended your course. Student Finance England will then cease to provide you with any future payments to you or to your college. They will then send you a new student finance entitlement letter. Depending on the date that you have been withdrawn from college, and the date that your college alerts Student Finance England, you may be overpaid after you have announced you no longer willing to continue with college. 

What Do You Have to Pay Back When You Have Dropped Out of College?

When you have dropped out of college you must ensure that you are aware of the amount of money you have to pay back. This will be the money you have to pay for the amount of time you have actually been in college. You must be responsible when repaying the fees, you have been loaned. If you are not efficient it may take longer for you to pay the money back.  

 You have to pay back any and all tuition fee loans that Student Finance England has provided you with for your college – this includes youmaintenance loan, which is usually forgotten or disregarded. 

 The amount of money that you have to pay back to Student Finance England is dependent on the date which you were withdrawn from the course at your college. Every college has their own (often similar) fee charging policy – to seek individual guidance you need to speak to your tutor/advisor who will be able to direct you with handling your colleges fee charging policy. 

What Happens if You Are Overpaid?

Some students are overpaid, even after they have stated they no longer require loans. This is due to the fact the college doesn’t get into contact with Student Finance England promptly. If this is the case for you, Student Finance England will get into contact with you and will thus inform you as to what the process is to pay this extra money back. Usually students don’t spend this money, so paying this overpaid money is straightforward. 

It may be required that you repay this money early and before earning over the repayment threshold. This money was given after you had already stated you no longer require a loan (most students are aware of this, so they don’t spend this money as they no longer need it for college, and they usually have to pay it back as soon as possible). However, Student Finance England may lower some of your future student finance payments, if you later decide to return to your course or to continue college studying another course/qualification. 

What is Student Finance England?

Student Finance England is an agency which allows you to loan money for university or college tuition fees – it also can support you with living costs, through providing you with a maintenance loan. If you live in a lowincome household, if you have children or if you have a disability and require further support, Student Finance England will give you more money so that college/university is more accessible to students even with circumstances which can hinder their progression onto higher education. 

Should You Drop Out of College Because of COVID?

This year as well as last year COVID has had a great impact on students’ studies – it has meant that students who are in college receive their work at home. Dropping out of college because of COVIDs inconvenience alone is not a credible reason for dropping out of college because whilst it is difficult college still provides you with the education you need for your future. 

Even if you were to drop out of college, alternative educational opportunities are reduced because of the impact that COVID has had, which therefore means you may be left in a situation in which you have dropped out of college and aren’t able to find anything suitable. Certainly, if you have already found an opportunity that you believe you wish to take up, thoroughly considering all of you options, you should drop out of college.  

However, you must acknowledge that once COVID is reduced you will have a relatively normal college experience. so, enduring an inadequate college experience for a while will eventually lead to a preferable college experience. With this stated, if your college work is posing a significant threat to your mental health during these unprecedented times, it may be worth dropping out. 

Is Dropping Out of College for You?

Dropping out of college can be suitable for some students based on their personal situations and their educational goals; However, for other students it may hinder them as they may not be able to pursue the career that they wish to take up. For instance, if you want to be a paediatrician, staying in college is essential so that you obtain the qualifications you need to be a paediatrician. 

However, if you want to be a hairstylist you don’t necessarily require a college course as you can still train to be a hairstylist through practical work, therefore in this instance dropping out of college is more suitable. Certainly, you should still consider remaining in college as it will provide you with more context and potentially policies which aren’t explained in such detail when doing more practical work. 

For some career prospects your college course is required; whereas, for other career prospects your college course isn’t always required – it is essential to check and do some research regarding the Job you wish to take and what is required for that specific Job. 

Who Should You Seek Advice From?

Even if you have thoroughly researched alternative career avenues and the ways in which to go about them, it is vital to seek advice from other people, as this is a huge decision.  

You should seek advice from your college tutor/advisor/instructor etc. They will be experienced with handling people who wish to drop out of college and therefore are able to give you advice, resources and will talk through the process with you ensuring that you understand the significance of what you are doing so that you don’t later regret the decision that you have made. 

Your college tutor is probably one of the best people you can talk to as they will be aware of your educational progress and will be aware of other factors which may be making your college experience more difficult. They will be able to direct you as they will have experienced students going through this process, but they may also advise you to stay as they may identify that your reasons for wanting to leave college is a short-term problem which can be addressed (For instance, experiencing stress). 

You should also seek advice from your parents/carers as it may be that they no longer wish for you to live with them, which means with leaving college you must be prepared to live on your own – which is also something that you must take into consideration when deciding whether to drop out of college. 

You can also seek advice from people who are doing the same course as you as they may have similar career aims and therefore may be able to support you with your individual circumstance. Certainly, if you are struggling with your course and as a result want to leave, your fellow peers studying the course may be able to abet your learning and understanding so that dropping out of university isn’t necessary. 

Ultimately, you should talk to trusted individuals about dropping out of college as they will be able to give you, insight about things you may not have considered, and they may also give you resolutions to the problems you have with remaining in college. 

Will Dropping Out of College Affect Your Job Prospects?

Dropping out of college is a bold choice to make and different employers will view the decision you have made differently. For instance, it can give a negative impression of you as it can convey a lack of motivation and dedication. However, if since then you have successfully been doing an apprenticeship, it will illustrate to employers that even after an unsteady educational journey you have managed to persevere. 

The way in which you manage your time after dropping out of college is a crucial indicator to employers about the kind of person you are. So, if you decide to not do any work for a few months without reason it can hinder you job prospects as some employers will regard that as indolent and therefore aren’t likely to employ you. 

To ensure that you give the best impression to employers, you should partake in some form of education/volunteering so that they recognise you as a hard-working candidate. Dropping out of college doesn’t necessarily affect your job prospects; However, it is essential that you use your time efficiently after you have left your college. 

What You Shouldn’t Worry About When Deciding to Drop Out of College

There is a stigma attached to dropping out of college which is aligned with the idea that students who decide to drop out of college have failed and that they won’t be able to lead successful lives. Obviously, it is a shift in academic direction but many people who drop out do find opportunities which boost their career prospects. 

People also feel as though they must explain and even apologise for dropping out of college and are worried about the impression that it leaves. If you decide that you have an alternative avenue to a career in mind, don’t feel as though you have to apologise as you lead your own life and dropping out of college may have been the most appropriate decision for you to make. 

A misconception people tend to have about dropping out of college is that it can portray poor character – when in fact dropping out of college and persevering shows initiative and resilience, which are key attributes employers seek to find. How you handle what you do after dropping out is the most indicative factor of your character. So, if you deal with your progress appropriately, you shouldn’t worry about how your character is presented. 

Another misconception people have about dropping out of college is that you won’t be able to get a good Job. Now, whilst obtaining a degree is the more secure avenue (in most cases) to obtain a well-paid Job; Dropping out of college doesn’t mean that you can’t get a well-paid job. Often if you look out for the right opportunities, do your job well and have experience you will be well-paid.

For some people, they drop out of college because they realise that they would like to be a part of their family business etc. and feel as though they are judged for doing the job as they haven’t done something separate and the job was given to them. If you are passionate about your family business and take pride in what your family does, it certainly is a good idea to be involved, especially if it is aligned with what you want to do in the future. 

Is Dropping Out of College Worth it?

Some people decide to drop out of college because of the debt that comes with studying and they would argue that by not having the debt they feel as though they are freer – so they may feel it is worth it to drop out of college as if the course isn’t working out for them the money, they will have to pay back is certainly a reason to drop out. 

Other people decide to drop out because they find their course challenging. For instance, some med students drop out when they have done 4/5 years as they don’t believe they can handle the work-load. For them, dropping out of college may not be worth it as they have to pay back the money, they have been loaned for the 4/5 years and subsequently find a job that most likely won’t pay them as much as they would be paid if they had continued with their course. 

Ultimately, for different people different factors will make dropping out worth it. On the whole, most people don’t decide to drop out of the course that they’re doing; however, if you do decide you can still lead a successful life, if you have thoroughly considered what it is that you wish to pursue in life. 

You may want to check out this student article to aid your decision: 

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