The Unfair Student Finance

As a student, the one thing that I find most unfair is how the amount of student finance you receive depends on your household income.

Because of this, students from varying backgrounds arrive at University to find that some are in a better financial place than others based on something out of their control.

It doesn’t take into account that parents may earn a lot of money to cover the costs of many things. They may have many more children to look after, they would have a car to insure and fill with petrol, a mortgage to pay and things to buy for themselves.

I know a few people who get the minimum loan with no grant and the money they receive does not cover the cost of their accommodation. In most cases I’ve seen, their parents aren’t in the best position to help with the costs and ended up relying on their overdraft.

After accommodation costs you need to actually feed, clean and clothe yourself but if you can’t even pay for the roof over your head, how can you pay for these basic necessities?

The government should know that the cost of accommodation at University is more often than not at least £3,500. You then need money on top of this to pay for food, toiletries, and other necessary basics.

The minimum student maintenance loan that students can potentially receive could be as low as £3,575. Such students receive no grant.

The maximum student maintenance loan and grant could be £8,854.

A difference of over £5,000.

Why do the government think that these low household income students need so much?

Are parents expected to provide the extra £5,000 to those who cannot receive this amount?

It’s ridiculous.

I believe that there are two possible solutions, either:

  1. Raise the minimum maintenance loan available. That way, the basics are covered. The government should research accommodation and food costs to find a reasonable amount which gives students enough to not find themselves struggling. Fair enough, sacrifices must be made – those en suit halls may have to be given a miss but when the cheapest of places is unaffordable, something has to be done.
  2. Give all students the same amount of money. Everyone will owe the same amount, everyone is in the same boat. People won’t find themselves struggling to buy a tin of beans with the minimum loan while others could be strutting around the campus with new clothes and gadgets courtesy of their hefty loan. Any other money which students receive will either be from working hard in the holidays or a treat from the parents.


About spacebearblogger

I love writing literature, astronomy, art and I like to think and debate about the society we live in. View all posts by spacebearblogger

6 responses to “The Unfair Student Finance

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  • Dan MacDonald

    “How dare someone who has had the audacity to be born into a family that is less fortunate than mine, be presented with a modest advantage over me! I’ve worked tirelessly to be wealthy by default of my parents and I’m not about to change my lifestyle because the government doesn’t recognise that a persons real value comes from the size of their house and the type of car they drive…”
    What a small minded, self involved and pathetic human being you must be if you genuinely believe that people from poorer households don’t deserve financial aid when their children want to go to university.
    My dad has worked a 13k job for 33 years waking up at 4:30am 5 days a week because opportunities that are available for me weren’t available for him because his father worked a low wage job as well.
    I received £7000 in loan and grants for my first year and let me tell you that I did not “strut” around with new clothes and new gadgets, I struggled to feed myself and ate pasta 9/10 every day I was there because I couldn’t find a job. This year I spent the summer working at a supermarket 5 days a week since the week after my course finished up until the weekend before I moved into my new house so I that this year I can live in comfort with the heading on in the winter and the air con in the summer. I sincerely doubt the idea of finding work to support yourself ever even crossed your mind because of course being born into a family of wealth has obviously bore you with a sense of entitlement and privilege that the government just don’t see to recognise…

    I believe there are two possible solutions

    1. If you’re so desperate to remain in university and so strapped for cash then why don’t you get off your silver spoon fed, Marks & Spencer shopping, BMW driving ass and find a job to support yourself rather than griping about the inequalities that have so unjustly plagued your vapid and pretentious existence

    2. Shut the fuck up and be thankful for what you’ve got

    Yours disgustedly
    Dan MacDonald

    • spacebearblogger

      Hello Dan MacDonald

      Thank you for your comment; however I feel that you have completely misread what I have posted.

      I do not believe that those people from poorer backgrounds deserve no financial aid. In fact I’m a huge supporter of it. The opinion behind this post was that those families who have a relatively high income, (not wealthy), because they need to pay for other costs such as a large family or other things unique to a family’s situation, are expected to cough up for their children who decide to go to university. Children who are only given £3,575 to cover the cost of living for an entire year.

      I receive around £5,500 for maintenance. I have worked every summer, Christmas and Easter holiday at my local Subway store and more often than not up to 50 hours a week, sometimes working 14 days consecutively on £4.98 an hour. So yes, the thought of a job did cross my mind. I tried to find work in the city of my University but my course hours are not very flexible and I find it to be a demanding course without working too. So I work in the holidays when I’m home.

      I have never been “silver spoon fed”, neither my family nor I shop at Marks and Spencer’s and they certainly do not drive BMWs. Every time I get a wage slip or have a bit left over from my weekly budget at University I save it for driving lessons of my own.

      I understand that not all those who receive a large sum for Maintenance do “strut” but the point of my post was that there is the potential for it. I met a student who got a little over £7,000, so similar to you. He lived in accommodation £10 a week more than mine but was still left with a fair amount of money. He always had plenty to cover food, books and a cheeky pint or three at the SU bar. He could have bought new clothes and new gadgets. The point was that there is the potential for him to buy such things but not for everyone else.

      Last year, I stayed in the cheapest University Halls provided which was £78 pw or £3,276 for the 42 weeks of the whole year. I met students from very different backgrounds. I met two girls who got the minimum loan of £3,575 leaving them with, at the most, £299 to last the entire year for food, books etc.

      For one of the girls, her parents were able to provide a monthly sum to keep her going while the other’s parents could not. She was from a big family, and though the household income was enough to cover the family house and family cost, they could not help her cover her costs for living away at University.

      This is the point of my post; that these two differing home situations are seen as the same in the eyes of the government. When I mentioned the maximum amount that some students get, that was more to point out that parents cannot be expected to cough up such a huge difference.

      I believe everyone should either receive the same amount, or the minimum should be raised. In essence, everyone should be treated equally.

      I think you have misinterpreted my post and your harsh words were very unecessary.

  • Unfair | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me

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