Future Voices: “For many it appears to be elitism at its highest” - reaction to axing the student maintenance grant

Future Voices: Student maintenence grant. Photo: Beth Ashby

Future Voices: Student maintenence grant. Photo: Beth Ashby - Credit: Archant

The government says that abolishing the students maintenance grant will save billions of pounds, but what do the potential university students of tomorrow think?

Before it was scrapped in this year's emergency budget, the grant had helped thousands of students from households with incomes of less than £42,620 to manage their living costs during their time at university.

From 2016, the maximum loan support will increase to £8,200 per year from £7,400 for those studying outside of London, but is this enough and is it fair?

Some students feel the grant was a lifeline, and hat the idea of a taking out a bigger loan is unnerving.

Jess Colville, a student at the College of West Anglia, said: 'For some that financial support is essential. If someone is from a low-income family it makes it increasingly difficult for them to go to uni.'

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Among post-2012 students in 2014, 56pc received the grant to some extent, representing over half of the student population, fully outlining the necessity of the grant to students.

With tuition fees at £9,000 per year, students from households with the lowest incomes will now expect to see a loan of around £51,600 for a three-year degree, and to some this figure is too massive to consider going to university.

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George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, has stated the scrapping of the grant will result in savings of £2.5 billion by 2020-21.

Just under half of students starting after 2016 will not notice the new system too much, mainly because their household income means that they are not entitled to the grant anyway.

Regina Legarte, a student at Springwood Sixth Form said the change hasn't put her off going to university, 'mainly because I'm really set on uni, and I wasn't entitled to any grants in the first place'.

Although it may perhaps contribute towards creating a stronger economy in the future, the issue is still under high debate by students and prospective students alike.

For many it appears to be elitism at its highest.

By Charlotte Wilson, 17, from King's Lynn

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