My daughter wants to drop out of college. Will it cost more to start a new course?

Ask Brian: Repeat students who leave courses after October 31st pay a penalty

Difficulties are a very common for young people moving from the highly managed environment of school to the self-management of college life. Photograph: iStock

Difficulties are a very common for young people moving from the highly managed environment of school to the self-management of college life. Photograph: iStock

 

My daughter doesn’t want to continue with her BA in history and English degree which she started about a month ago. She says she finds it difficult to adjust and manage her time. Would you advise her to pull the plug now or stick with it? Your daughter’s difficulties are a very common for young people moving from the highly managed environment of school to the self-management of college life.

If she is really struggling six weeks into the academic year, then maybe she should consider taking a break from college for the rest of this year and reconsidering her options.

Before she does so, she should discuss her difficulties with the support staff in her faculty.

From a parent’s perspective, you have only 24 hours to save yourself thousands of euro. Unless your daughter received a Susi grant, you will already have paid a €3,000 registration charge in September.

After October 31st in most CAO colleges, every registered student’s name will be forwarded to the Higher Education Authority( HEA).

Once received, the HEA will pay that college a sum of on average €4,000 per half year. The amount will be considerably more in faculties where the costs of delivering the programme is high, such as engineering or medicine.

This process is repeated again in February, when the HEA funds every college for all students still registered at that stage of the academic year.

If your daughter’s name is not formally removed from the list of registered students by Thursday, October 31st, she will be credited on the records of the HEA as having received State support for the first half of a level 8 degree. The college will also retain the sum of €1,500 of her €3,000 registration charge.

The financial impact of this will only hit home for you if and when your daughter chooses to begin another degree programme.

Apart from paying the €3,000 registration charge again, the registration department of the college in question will receive a letter from the HEA informing them that your daughter has already been funded for first year.

Your daughter will then receive a letter informing her that she is liable for the HEA funding of the first year, or the first half of that year, if she formally withdrew prior to January in her initial course.

The only way to avoid this substantial bill is to write to the registration department of her college, and ensure they acknowledge receipt of her letter on or before October 31st.

If she writes and hand delivers that letter immediately today, she will not only receive a reimbursement of her registration charge, but she will also remain entitled to full HEA funding on any new course she may choose to study next year.