Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 24 Feb 2021

Eligibility and assessment

Compelling personal reasons factsheet

Maximum loan entitlement

Learners are entitled to apply for up to 4 Advanced Learner Loans for a approved learning aims. 

If a learner withdraws from a course funded by an Advanced Learner Loan after the initial liability point (14 days), this counts as one of their 4 loans.

A learner is only entitled to one Advanced Learner Loan for the following qualifications:

  • a programme of A levels
  • an Access to HE Diploma

This is because these qualifications focus on a particular outcome related to progression. So, we will not fund repeat study. The one exception is where a learner has had to withdraw from their studies due to compelling personal reasons (CPR).

Eligibility – compelling personal reasons

Sometimes thereare  extenuating circumstances when a learner withdraws from their learning aim. We can take these into consideration and regard them as CPR.

We can award learners repeat funding through the Advanced Learner Loan if they can give enough evidence of their CPR.

There are many different reasons why learners may not be able to complete their learning aim and withdraw. These can include:

  • illness
  • bereavement
  • family crisis
  • pregnancy
  • unavoidable caring responsibility

The above list is not exhaustive. All CPR cases are unique and will be granted on their own merit depending on the learner’s circumstances.

When a learner is granted CPR, they will still be liable for the loan they took out before. CPR does not write off loan liability, it only allows for repeat funding.

There is no time limit in which a learner must submit evidence for CPR. There is also no limit to the number of times we can consider CPR.


Alice has had Advanced Learner Loan funding for 3 different learning aims. She then receives a fourth loan for a Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing in academic year 2021/22. She drops out as she decides the course is not for her and she wants to pursue a different career. She has now used her maximum entitlement of 4 loans. There are no extenuating circumstances for why she withdrew from her course, so CPR cannot be applied. Alice is not entitled to receive a further Advanced Learner Loan.

Luke received 2 Advanced Learner Loans between academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21. These were for a Level 3 Certificate and an Access to HE Diploma. Luke competed his Level 3 Certificate but withdrew from the Access to HE Diploma due to CPR. During academic year 2021/22, Luke would like to apply to use repeat funding for a second Access to HE Diploma. Luke is eligible for funding as he withdrew from the first Access to HE Diploma due to CPR.

Georgia has already completed an Access to HE Diploma in Business. She then withdraws from an A level component due to CPR in academic year 2020/21. During academic year 2021/22 she applies for CPR to use the repeat funding for another Access to HE Diploma. Georgia is not eligible for the repeat funding of the Access to HE Diploma. This is because the CPR relates to her withdrawal from the A level component, not the earlier Access to HE Diploma.

Applying for compelling personal reasons

If a learner has withdrawn due to CPR and later wants to apply for a course funded by an Advanced Learner Loan, they can submit evidence to receive repeat funding.

We can accept photocopies of all evidence of their mitigating circumstances supporting a claim for CPR. This can include:

  • medical evidence from a GP on headed paper
  • letter from a learning provider on headed paper
  • letter from social services on headed paper
  • letter from clergy or a professional person on headed paper
  • death certificate
  • birth certificate

CPR evidence should be signed and dated, confirming why the learner withdrew from their course.

In some circumstances one piece of evidence may not be enough. We recommend that learners send in as much evidence as they can.

If CPR is awarded, the learner will need to submit a new application form for their new course.

If a learner thinks they may be eligible for CPR, they should discuss this with you first. They should then phone our ALL learner helpline to discuss the evidence we need from them.

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