Maintenance grants for students in families with low incomes will be scrapped in next year’s budget cuts.
As of academic year 2016/17 the maintenance grant will now become a maintenance loan which students will have to pay back along with their other student finance loans.
Currently students from England and Wales, in household families with an income less than £42,620 can qualify for a maintenance grant of up to £3,387. These grants students do not have to pay back unlike their student loans.
Under the new budget, the cut off point for a maintenance grant will be £25,000, and those with a higher household income will have the option to take out a maintenance loan to cover their living costs.
Graduates will have to repay these maintenance loans off along with their tuition fees once their income reached £21,000 a year.
The UCLan Students’ Union Student Affairs Committee said in a statement: “We believe that the decision to replace maintenance grants with loans will put off a number of prospective students hoping to attend university and will particularly put off those from the low socio-economic backgrounds who we know through economic studies are most debt adverse. This is a backwards step for education, pushing out the poorest.”
See their full statement about the new budget cuts here.