As of the latest budget, maintenance grants for university students from low income families will be scrapped and replaced with loans. That means many students, like myself, will be priced out of education with a whopping £52,000 worth of potential debt.
Controversial? Yes, and somewhat unfair. This cut means that countless students will not be able to attend university, or will be faced with giant debt. There are fears, and rightly so, that the students affected will not have enough money to live on. The current grant is a lifeline for less affluent students; without it, the prospect of higher education could be taken away.
The National Union of Students (NUS) president Megan Dunn agrees with me on this point stating: “Cutting maintenance grants would be detrimental to hundreds of thousands of our poorest students who currently rely on it, and could risk putting many people off applying to university”. She then added, “if grants are cut, it could mean the cost of student loans will go up for everyone or repayment conditions will get tougher than they already are. This is yet another unreasonable barrier to accessing higher education.”
It is not just myself and Megan Dunn that share these concerns. 81% of respondents to a survey conducted by the Institute of Fiscal Studies oppose the new policy. Despite such opposition, the government still have no qualms with endangering many students’ education and future.
If you too recognise the profound and destructive effects of the maintenance grants, take a stance! We must stand together as the student body, for the student body! Join the NUS with their #CutTheCosts campaign -simply tweet your stories or sign the petition. Let’s stand united, and ask the government to #CutTheCosts instead of the grants