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NUS voices concern over cost of student living

Posted on Friday, 4 October by

Toni Pearce - NUS President

NUS president Toni Pearce says that student finance is not keeping up with the rising cost of student living and worries more students will seek to cover their debts by resorting to payday lenders.

According to the NUS, on average, there’s a difference of over £7,000 a year between available financial support for students and how much it costs to pay for essentials while you’re at university. Students can get loans at a maximum of just over £7,100 a year if they come from households with the lowest income. Even then, the cost of living isn’t covered.

Outside London, the cost of going to university is £21,440 on average. In London, the figure stands at £23,187. This includes tuition fees, study materials, the cost of living and the cost of leisure.

This is a problem that the NUS believe has reached crisis point. In the next year, the NUS aim to tackle the problem as one of its four main priority areas.

NUS president Toni Pearce said:

“We’re looking at having a single student finance system that actually covers the cost of living because at the moment there’s a seven thousand pound a year difference between how much money you can get to support yourself and how much it costs to live while you’re at university.

For most people that’s seven thousand pounds can’t be made up by the bank of mum and dad and it’s worrying when you see students resorting to payday lenders.”

A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokeswoman said: “The student finance package targets limited Government resources at those who need it most. This year, students from the lowest income households can access over £7,100 of living cost support, of which over £3,350 does not have to be repaid.

“The Government also provides additional, non-repayable support to students in specific circumstances, such as students with children and disabled students. Scholarships and bursaries are also available from most universities, and students in hardship can apply for additional support through the Access to Learning Fund.”

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Chris Flynn

Chris Flynn

Contributor at SQ Magazine
Student at the University of Brighton and contributor to SQ Magazine. Passion for sport and keeps a keen eye on all things Brighton & Hove Albion.

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