Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 24 Feb 2021

QAA Access to HE write-off factsheet

Completion of the QAA Access to HE Diploma


When a learner completes their QAA Access to HE Diploma learning aim, they will follow the usual repayment process. This means entering repayment in the April after the end of their course. 

They do not have to progress immediately from the access course to the higher education course. The offer to write off the loan for the QAA Access to HE Diploma will remain open until they complete a higher education course. It is possible that they will enter employment in this period. If they earn over £25,725, they will start to make repayments.

Access to HE write-off on completion of the higher education qualification

When the learner completes the higher education course, they can have the balance of their loan for the Access to HE Diploma written off. This includes any loans for Access to HE Diploma courses where they withdrew.

Tuition Fee Loan funded higher education students

When a higher education student who received tuition fee support completes their higher education qualification, we will check if they previously completed a QAA Access to HE Diploma. They do not need to send us evidence of having completed their higher education qualification. We will count them as having completed it when:

  • the university or college has made the final attendance confirmation in the final year
  • their higher education course does not have withdrawn or suspended status on their course end date

We will automatically write off the balance of the QAA Access to HE Diploma loan for these students. We will write to them to confirm this.

Part-time, placement, overseas and non-Tuition Fee Loan funded higher education students

Not all higher education students who are eligible for the QAA Access to HE Diploma write-off will have received a full-time Tuition Fee Loan. They may have received part-time or other SFE funding.

These students do not have their attendance confirmed in the same way as full-time Tuition Fee Loan students. We will count them as having completed their higher education course when they meet the following criteria:

  • part-time students – when the university or college makes the last attendance confirmation in the final year
  • placement or overseas students – when they have been paid their final year maintenance instalment
  • students not funded by a Tuition Fee Loan – when the university or college has confirmed registration in the final year

For all students, the account must not have withdrawn or suspended status on the course end date.

We will include these students in the process that automatically writes off the balance of the QAA Access to HE Diploma. We will send them a letter once their loan balance has been written off.

After the write-off, we will check with the university or college to confirm that the student completed their higher education course. If we find that they did not complete, we will reverse the write-off and let the student know.

Self-funded higher education students

Students who self-fund their higher education qualification are still entitled to a write-off if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Self-funding students will not be on our higher education systems, so there will not be an automatic process. We will promote write-offs to these students through our information and guidance.

Students need to give us details of their higher education course. They will also need to give us evidence of their SFE funding eligibility. This will be based on the policy rules on the first day of the first academic year of their higher education course.

We will contact you to confirm that they completed their higher education course. We will then contact the student to let them know if they are eligible for the write-off.

Write-off amount

There will be no financial limit to the amount of loan we will write off. We will write off the full outstanding balance of QAA Access to HE Diploma loans at the course end date. 

The write-off will cover any interest accrued on the loan amount. However, we will not refund any repayments that have been made before the end of the higher education course.

For self-funded learners, the loan is not automatically written off. Therefore they may have made repayments after the end of the higher education course. We will refund these payments.


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