‘Losing my maintenance grant means £80,000 of debt. It’s daunting’

Aug 5, 2016 by

How will UK students cope now that living costs are no longer covered by grants? Guardian readers share their thoughts

As of 1 August, the government’s maintenance grants for poorer students – worth up to £3,500 a year – have been replaced with additional loans. We asked prospective students and current undergraduates about how the change could affect their studies and future plans.

This is a massive disadvantage to people like me’

Anonymous, 19, Barnsley

I’m starting a computing course at Sheffield Hallam University in September. Without maintenance grants, it will mean that I’m taking out a £8,200 maintenance loan on top of the £9,000 tuition loan, which equates to £51,600 worth of debt for three years’ study. This is obviously a massive issue for people like me because I’m from a disadvantaged background and area. The government has created a divide and limited options for people from poor backgrounds.

‘A lack of money shouldn’t prevent education and personal improvement’

Poppy Watt, 18, Cornwall

I don’t want to let the scrapping of the grants to affect me as I have always aspired to go to university, regardless of the cost (even coming from a family of low income). Hopefully I’ll start in September. I don’t believe that money – or lack thereof – should prevent education and personal improvement. However, the scrapping of the maintenance grant comes as a blow. Starting adult life in up to £60,000 of debt will be daunting and off-putting to many working-class families and I think that the gap between the rich and poor will continue to grow.

Source: ‘Losing my maintenance grant means £80,000 of debt. It’s daunting’ | Education | The Guardian

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