If your circumstances change while you are studying
If your circumstances change while you are studying - for example, if you get married or change your course - you must let your local Student Finance NI office know as soon as possible as this may affect your entitlement to financial help.
Changes in your circumstances while you are studying
If your details change while you are studying, it's important that you let the right people know. The main types of change are:
- changes to your home circumstances, marital or financial status
- changes to your course or place of study
In most cases, you should inform your local Student Finance NI office first.
If your marital, financial or home circumstances change
If there are any changes to your personal or financial circumstances while you are studying, you must let your local Education and Library Board know as soon as you can as it could affect the amount of financial support you get as a student. These changes include:
- getting married, or establishing a civil partnership
- becoming separated or divorced
- having children
- your parents having more children
- becoming sick or disabled
- your household income rising or falling
Your local Student Finance NI office will be able to advise you depending on what changes have occurred.
Changes to your course
If there are any changes to your course or place of study, the action you should take will depend on the change.These changes include:
- switching to a new course or place of study
- repeating a year of your course or deferring your studies
- leaving your course early
- returning to a course after a break
Switching to a new course or place of study
If you want to change your university, college or course, in some circumstances you may also be able to transfer the financial support you get. Your first step should be to talk to your place of study and to your local authority to discuss the financial impact.
If your new place of study approves your transfer, it will send your local Student Finance NI office a form called a Notification of Student Transfer and they will carry out a re-assessment on your behalf.
Continuing Northern Ireland domiciled students starting their courses in England, Scotland or Wales who change their mode of study
Northern Ireland domiciled students transferring to courses or undertaking 'top-up' courses at a Higher Education Institution (HEI) elsewhere in the United Kingdom should be aware that they may be treated as 'new students' by the Institution. This may happen if their mode of study changes (for example, move from a full-time course to a part-time course). Therefore, they may be subject to the revised tuition fee charges of £9,000 for full-time courses and increased part-time charges.
Students should check with their HEI if they intend to change their mode of study.
Repeating a year of your course or deferring your studies
If you want to repeat a year of your course, or defer your studies, you should first discuss your reasons with your place of study and with your local Student Finance NI office. They will then let you know how your financial support could be affected.
If you defer or repeat a year due to circumstances beyond your control, you may be offered full support. If your university or college approves your repeat period or deferment, they will inform your local Student Finance NI Office, who will take a decision on whether you will continue to get full financial support.
Leaving your course early
If you leave your course early, it may affect your entitlement to financial support if you return to higher education in the future. You can find out more by talking to your local Student Finance NI office and place of study. Your Student Loan will enter repayment in the April following your last date of attendance, provided you are earning in excess of £16,365.
Returning to a new course after a break
If you are returning to higher education after a break in your studies, you should contact your local Student Finance NI office. You will still be able to apply for a student loan, but you may not be entitled to financial support towards your tuition fees or a higher education grant if you have previously received financial assistance from the government. However, there are exceptions and your personal circumstances will be taken into account.