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What if I want to change my course or my university?

Don't rush into any hasty decisions, switching subject or university ain't like taking back a pair of impulse bought shoes, it's a big deal. Talk about it first – to friends, to parents, to tutors, to the students’ union welfare department, to people in the street, priests, radio talkshows - anyone really, till you’re either bored of the idea or absolutely convinced it’s the right thing to do.

The reason you need to take such care is that it will affect you financially and there may be the most horrendous pile of red tape and administrative hassle to deal with. And, as with the shoes, don't excpect your money back.

But if you’re more sure of yourself than a cocky geezer out on the razz, then:

  • Tell your university what you’ve decided to do (generally it’s easier to change courses than institutions).
  • Tell your LEA (or the SLC, if you live on one of the parts of the country where they deal with the application). They can give you a change of circumstances form (CO1), which is also downloadable from www.studentfinancedirect.co.uk. It’s pretty straightforward to fill out and covers leaving or taking time out from your course, changing course or even changing other details like your name. They’ll also be able to advise you on any extra bits of paperwork you need to complete.
  • If the fees for your new course are higher than those on the old course, you may be able to apply for an extra loan to cover the difference – get hold of a tuition fee loan request form from http://www.studentfinancedirect.co.uk . The form is pretty easy to fill out and covers: leaving, changing or taking time out of your course. Student Finance Direct can also advise you on any extra bits of paperwork you're struggling to pen in.
All the small print: finance for real people

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