Are student loans fit for purpose ?

(94 Posts)
cumfy Thu 22-Aug-13 14:31:53

I just wondered since there seems to be quite a few bursary/fee waiver offers dependent on proof of low income of the parents.

Surely this shouldn't be an issue any more ?

I would have hoped that if student loans were working properly, access would be equal and adequate for all.

mumeeee Thu 22-Aug-13 15:09:03

The student loan doesn't actually cover accomadation and other living costs.

SilverApples Thu 22-Aug-13 15:11:45

No, the amount it is possible for an adult of 18 to claim isn't enough to live on unless parents top it up, or they manage to do paid work as well as study.
It should be a level playing field for all students, with them paying back loans from their fabulous graduate salaries. But it isn't.

PearlyWhites Thu 22-Aug-13 16:06:12

But they can get a loan and a grant if parents are low income ( which really isn't that low) a total of 8k which is liveable.

AliceinSlumberland Thu 22-Aug-13 16:11:52

You don't get a full loan AND a full grant, you get a loan or grant. For every bit of grant you qualify for you get a bit less loan. So you don't get the full grant and the full loan.

Also the way they work it out is solely on income, not outgoings. A person may earn 40k but have 3 kids in uni, debt and a high mortgage etc, but this will not be considered. They earn 40k so the children will get no grant, and the loan on its own is not enough to live off.

Also if parents are separated it runs of the income of the household they live in. So if stepdad earns a lot, they child may get no grant but stepdad may not help them out at uni. There are quite a few flaws in the system, particularly for those who earn a middle sort of income. Often they qualify for no grant but parents do not earn enough to help and the loan doesn't even cover accommodation.

PearlyWhites Thu 22-Aug-13 16:16:50

Yes you do get both a loan and a grant if on low income.

AliceinSlumberland Thu 22-Aug-13 16:21:57

You get a loan and a grant but you don't get the full loan and the full grant - you get the grant on a low income and a reduced loan. To quote their website:

'The grant is paid into your bank account at the start of term. You don’t have to pay the grant back, but any grant you get will reduce 
the Maintenance Loan you can get.'

So you wouldn't get 8000, because if someone is getting the full 3000 grant, they won't recieve the full 5000 loan. Only those who get not grant get the full loan. The idea is that those on a lower income have less to pay back, so they get grant instead of loan.

SilverApples Thu 22-Aug-13 16:24:37

'The idea is that those on a lower income have less to pay back, so they get grant instead of loan.'

But why should that be relevant? You get the same degree as the next chap and go on to have the same opportunities and salary. So why the fuck isn't the grant option available to all?
Unless the governments have lied to us,a nd a degree isn't a magic key to wealth and success?

AliceinSlumberland Thu 22-Aug-13 16:26:04

Who knows, it's a bizarre system.

SilverApples Thu 22-Aug-13 16:41:57

Those on a lower income...it's not their income, it is that of their parents. Who will not be required to pay back anything, the graduate does, from their salary once it reaches a certain level.

PearlyWhites Thu 22-Aug-13 16:50:39

I put my income into the calculator and yes the loan was reduced to 3700 but the grant was also 3300 so was still 8k

PearlyWhites Thu 22-Aug-13 16:51:25

Sorry 7k my maths is dire!

It's impossible to live on the maximum amount you can borrow, so regardless of how it is sold, if you have poor parents, you're not going.

SilverApples Thu 22-Aug-13 17:07:29

Unless you have a part-time job as well.

Which don't exist.

MissMarplesBloomers Thu 22-Aug-13 17:10:44

And since when is a degree a magic key to wealth & success??! hmm

Plenty of degree kids working in McDonalds.

happyinherts Thu 22-Aug-13 17:12:17

Starlight I thought that yesterday- if you have poor parents you're not going.

Okay on the face of it there's a so called loan / grant system. However, uni wanted a £200 deposit for room months ago.

Then there's £120 for kit for practical lessons which needs ordering now.

Recommended book list which even second hand on ebay cost a fair bit

And this is all before student receives a penny piece from either grant or loan as nothing gets paid till Sept 16th.

There will also be additional costs of moving home - and I feel sad that this opportunity may be beyond a bright yet poorer student.

SilverApples Thu 22-Aug-13 17:12:29

Exactly.

SilverApples Thu 22-Aug-13 17:14:26

Sorry, that was to MissMarple.
What was bad about the old system?
You were clever enough to go, you got the grades and a grant, and you signed on in the summer holidays.

alreadytaken Thu 22-Aug-13 17:15:13

no the system isn't fit for purpose but young people with poor parents do go, they just have to find work and/or live at home and go to the closest university. If not living at home they also end up with substantial overdrafts. Sometimes grandparents help out a bit.

It can be more difficult for middle income families as they aren't always in a position to top up the amount the young person can borrow. There is a particular problem in London where no-one can live on grant+loan. I am very concerned about young medical student friends of my DC who are going to London and don't seem to know quite how bad it is going to get.

And don't forget basic living equipment and studying equipment like printer paper, a couple of pans and a bit of crockery, them stupid plastic wallets you're supposed to submit your essays in, laundrette money, an iron perhaps etc etc.

cumfy Thu 22-Aug-13 18:31:16

£8k is certainly very livable if the 3 summer months are spent at home.

It's pretty tight to cover the whole 12 months though.

Given that it's a loan, I can't see why it shouldn't be £9-10k

So what if the 3 months ARE spent at home?

How many landlords do you know offering 9 month contracts?

SilverApples Thu 22-Aug-13 18:40:56

DD came home for the summer. Old contract finished end of June, new contract started August. So she had a month out, but we still had to get the month's deposit and the rent for August, so it worked out the same.
<sigh>

SilverApples Thu 22-Aug-13 18:41:58

She's paid up, but living with us until the term starts to avoid having to pay for bills and food and laundry and...smile

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