Student support available to help with the cost of living

Push.co.uk has estimated that a student starting university in 2009 could owe a staggering £23,500 by the time they graduate. Yet it’s important to remember that this is the average figure and there can be considerable variation in costs from university to university and from city to city – some places are cheaper to study than others.

Student Loan for Maintenance

The majority of students take out a Maintenance Loan to help with their living costs while they study.

The amount that eligible full-time students can receive is dependent on their household income, but all students are entitled to around 75% of the appropriate amount – it is only the remaining 25% which is means-tested (when your individual financial situation is taken into account).

Here is a summary of the maximum loans available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for 2009/2010.

Students living away from home and studying in London

Maximum Loan available 75% (non-means tested 25% (means-tested
Starting 2009/10 £6,928 £5,196 £1,732

 

Students living away from home and studying away from London

Maximum Loan available 75% (non-means tested 25% (means-tested
Starting 2009/10 £4,950 £3,712.50 £1,237.50

 

Students living at home

Maximum Loan available 75% (non-means tested 25% (means-tested
Starting 2009/10 £3,838 £2,878.50 £959.50

 

The Loan for Maintenance is paid to the student in three instalments – at the start of each term.

How much does it cost to take the student loan?

Interest is charged on the student loan, but it is only equivalent to the rate of inflation, and so is adjusted annually. This makes a student loan cheaper than other loans available. From September 2009 student loans will be charged at 0% interest to reflect the fall in inflation.

Maintenance Grant

Alongside Student Loans for Maintenance, there is also a Maintenance Grant, which does not have to be repaid.

The Grant is assessed on the student’s household income, with a maximum of £2,906 available.

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