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Charged for fees after withdrawing from uni

My son started a degree course at a college in September 2015. He had difficulties and was withdrawn from his course with the date of withdrawal from the college given as 30th November 2015. They have charged him personally a full year's fees (minus what student covered from September to November), which we challenged unsuccessfully. Their fee policy apparently states that 'if a student withdraws from their course after two weeks they are liable for full fees'. Is this a normal policy? We have a few issues - it states full fees and we thought this meant full terms fees not a full year's fees. We also thought that as he received Student Finance, it would be covered. However, Student Finance only fund for the time attended so once this particular College's Fee Policy has been applied - this leaves the remaining balance outstanding for the year, which the student is then personally liable for. He now has a bill for £7500 which is the fees for the rest of that year, interest and legal costs (as we tried to defend it unsuccessfully). I want to know if this kind of contract is normal? I have never come across one like this before and its taken us by surprise. Incidentally, he can not possibly pay £7500 - he is young and has no job - and now has a CCJ against him for it.
Answered by Alison Patterson
Hello Samantha,

Every university we have looked at follows the SLC payment pattern for refunds which would mean he would pay 25% for withdrawal on 30 November, so I am sure the college is some way out of line on this. However, if there is a CCJ, it looks like a court has determined that the policy is not unlawful.

The only recourse now might be something like writing to the local MP complaining about the unfairness of it all. Find out about the practice elsewhere and go with hard evidence that the college is out of line and make the case they are being totally unreasonable.

Also talk to the SLC and/or SFE
www.gov.uk/contact-student-finance-england

I'm not sure which college is concerned here.

I hope this works out for you both.

CUG

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