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Why are adults (18+) still seen as dependents when it comes to university?

(11 Posts)
KATTT Wed 03-Aug-11 14:16:01

Here's my question -

Is there any other area of life where, post 18, your parents' income determines what help/aid/benefits you can get from the state?

It seems strange to me that 18 year olds going to university should have their help dependent on how much money their parents have - surely by then they are adults?

And, if a person waits until they are say, 25 to go to university would the help they receive still be dependent on parental wealth? If they waited till they're 30? is there a cut off?

STIDW Wed 03-Aug-11 16:08:01

For student loan purposes a student is considered independent if they have supported themselves for at least 3 years or are 25 years of age or older. Dependent students are those who have recently left school and haven't usually yet had the opportunity to establish themselves financially.

KATTT Wed 03-Aug-11 18:39:31

Thanks STIDW I thought there'd be something like that.

So why don't people take three years 'off' instead of just one for their gap year? I will encourage my kids to do that, if they will have to work till they're 70+ there's no hurry to get started.

(It does seem a bit unfair to treat this 'benefit' differently from other benefits available to adults.)

HarrietJones Wed 03-Aug-11 19:09:26

I looked at going to Uni at 20. I owned my own home & was engaged but until I was married I would have been assessed on my parents income.

BigHairyGruffalo Thu 04-Aug-11 08:41:14

It is completely ridiculous. From my experience, 'poor students' in reality are the students whose parents earn above the threshold for help but don't help them out. Unless the parents of university students have a legal obligation to look after them, it is completely unfair to assess funding on parental income.

tallulah Thu 04-Aug-11 08:59:26

I've never understood this one either. CHB and Tax Credits consider them to be adults so that stops, but SLC considers them dependents.

The other thing i find really unfair is those families who have split and child lives with SAHM but father is loaded. They don't take NRP's income into account at all. My niece got all the handouts going even tho DB earns more than double our joint income, because she lives only with her mum. Then they charge our DC more to cover bursaries and help for the "poor" kids... (and we can't afford to "help" ours)

KATTT Thu 04-Aug-11 11:43:36

tallulah - I wish I had time/money to challenge this. They can't have it both ways - if offspring are dependent after 18 we should get CHB etc. If they're not dependent then they should get help (apart from the trust fund kids smile)

MindtheGappp Thu 04-Aug-11 11:46:34

My 19 year old is dependent on us. He couldn't possibly support himself and do a challenging university course. His unskilled summer job pays minimum wage, and while he is saving it, it will soon run out next term.

If I consider him a dependent, so should the state.

titchy Thu 04-Aug-11 12:01:42

It's not just student loans where the NRPincomne isn't taken into account. someone I know doesn't work so her dc gets FSM, but the stinking rich NRP tops this up to the tune of £3 per day. And give the dc £20 a week pocket money. DC is 11....

On balance it's probably right though given the number of NRP who contribute sweet FA.

shuckleberryfinn Thu 11-Aug-11 21:46:51

well, maybe this isnt relevant but my DH is a 32 year old student, he also works. I don't, for the purposes of student finance they consider him my dependant. His wage is not taken into account (not that it would matter, its peanuts). On the one hand it's boggling, on the other it's a bit galling tbh.

A1980 Wed 17-Aug-11 22:41:04

Head over to the a-level exams results forum.

The way the mothers are going on, believe me their DC's are still dependant children grin

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