The Student Loans Company has overpaid nearly £70 million in grants in a single year, a Government minister said.
Universities Minister David Willetts said the quango overpaid £69.1 million to 49,300 students in the academic year 2011/12.
He said overpayments were often made when a student's circumstances changed.
The figure was revealed after a written parliamentary question from Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds, of Stalybridge and Hyde.
Mr Willetts replied: "Grants are paid upfront to students based upon the latest information provided to SLC about individual students' circumstances.
"Overpayment generally occurs when the SLC receives information from a student or their higher education institution that the student's financial circumstances have changed, or that they are no longer attending their course of study, which leads to the grant being reassessed."