Dropping out of university can be an incredibly stressful experience. From dealing with feelings of failure, to worrying about what costs you might still have to pay, dropping out of uni can create a whole host of anxieties that can make you feel like you’re getting wrinkles and grey hair before your time. That’s why we have listed below everything you need to know if you decide to drop out of university to make the process easier for you. You can thank us later.
First step: contact your university
If you decide to drop out of university, it’s important to establish a line of contact with your personal tutor and course leader. This will set the ball rolling and allow you to ask any questions about how your uni handles withdrawals specifically, as each uni has their own bureaucratic process. This also gives you the opportunity to see if there are any other options available that might better suit you than dropping out. Perhaps deferring a year, changing course or getting extra support from the pastoral team might work better for you. Remember, university staff deal with this type of issue all the time and it’s their job to support you. But they can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on! So try to keep them in contact, even if it’s feels awkward.
Understanding the fees
You will still be required to pay tuition fees, but the amount you pay depends on what term you drop out in. So, if you choose to leave within the first term, then you only need to pay the first term’s fees. If you drop out of university in term two, you’ll pay fees for terms one and two. However, if you leave in the third term, you will have to pay the whole year of tuition fees. Don’t stress too much about this, as when you drop out it doesn’t change how you pay back your fees. Like all uni attendees, you’ll only start paying when your income is over a certain threshold amount. At the time of publication that’s an income of over £27,295 a year.
Your maintenance loan works similarly, as you are only entitled to the loan for the portion of the course you are enrolled in. If you drop out in term one, unfortunately you won’t get your maintenance loan for terms two and three. So that means no blowing free money on takeout and good times with your newfound freedom. Sigh.
Consider moving out costs if you drop out of university
Moving out costs can sometimes catch students out when they drop out of university. If you’re living in university accommodation, you normally pay rent for the remaining term. However, each university is different. Unless able to find a replacement tenant, some students have still been charged for the full year. In this scenario, make sure to contact the National Students Union who may be able to help. Also bear in mind that in university halls, you won’t be allowed to live in your room past a set moving out date. This is the case even if you’re paying rent for the remaining term.
If you’re in private accommodation, a lack of maintenance loan can become tricky when it comes to paying rent. If you have no alternative means to pay, the best thing you can do is contact your landlord. You might be able to avoid paying rent if you can find a replacement for your room or sub-let it. Failing that, you might have to get a job after you leave uni to pay the rent each month, even if you aren’t living in your accommodation. It’s also worth noting that if you’re no longer a student, then you will be required to pay council tax. Plus, if you require help to move your belongings out of your accommodation, you’ll usually have to pay an additional fee. Ouch!
Looking after your well-being after you drop out of university
Remember: you have options!
There are plenty of things to do aside from getting a degree. From travelling, getting a job, doing an apprenticeship, starting your own business, or completing online courses to pad out your CV (we’ve compiled a list of them here to get you started). The possibilities are endless. So whilst it’s okay to feel disappointed your university experience didn’t turn out as you hoped, try to remember that you’re one huge step closer to figuring out what’s right for you.
Be kind to yourself
Last but not least, remember to be kind to yourself. Dropping out of university is a tough decision to make. If you know dropping out is right for you then you’re brave to take that step. There are plenty of successful people who dropped out uni, including Bill Gates, Ellie Goulding, George Clooney…even the beautifully bearded Charles Darwin was a uni drop out! Do not convince yourself for a second that leaving uni means you have failed, because you haven’t. You can (and will still be!) successful.
Sometimes, university just doesn’t turn out like planned. Anyone who has been to uni knows that it can be an incredibly challenging experience and it just isn’t for everyone. No matter what your reason for dropping out of university, trust in yourself. You know what is best for you, so back yourself.
Hopefully after reading this article, you feel more assured about the typical process of dropping out of university, so you can worry less about the logistics and more about finding your feet as you start your new chapter. Good luck-you’re gonna do great!