something has gone wrong down the line

I am talking about student finance here! It seems that something seriously backwards has happened somewhere along the way. It would seem like a good system with everyone getting an allowance of £3600 and then dependent upon home income a grant of up to another £3000 can be gained. On top of this the university can decide to give more money to students depending on either grades or low income.

Now, I live in a house with 4 other girls in Birmingham. 3 of us get all of the aforementioned loans, grants and bursaries. The other 2 of us are given the lowest loan. Now you would expect that both of the students with the lowest loan have the lowest income in their household, as I’m sure the student finance company I’m sure thought would happen. But no, along with many other students that I have spoken too it seems that many students who would be considered the high end of middle and higher class society are gaining ALL of the loans, grants and bursaries that are on offer. This is just one thing that I feel has gone wrong.

Another thing I feel needs amending is the fact that students (regardless of their family income background) are struggling. The government expects that if students are struggling then their parents will step in and highly rely on this! I don’t think this is very fair at all. If parents want to help their children it should be a nice gesture rather than something that causes endless fights and parents feeling obliged. I feel parents should not be pushed into this as they have other children and things to pay for at home. At university students should start to feel independent and not have to rely on handouts that parents didn’t even plan to give out in the first place.

I see friends and peers struggling to manage 2 jobs, assignments, lectures, workshops, going home, social life and trying not to get stressed about not having enough money. On top of this, students are constantly told to make the most of University – how is this meant to be done without money. Keeping up with friends involves transport, the activity maybe a meal and why should this social activity be done with such guilt when adults do it without a second thought. Surely university grades are of the highest importance and not money worries – of course learning the value of money is important but surely not on a system starting with unfair means.

EVERY student is there to learn for THEM – not based upon how well their parents have done (which also should not be based upon money) and we should be inspiring students to learn at university and achieve their dreams – not rile them with guilt if they sneak a chocolate bar because they are struggling to get through their 5000 words essay.

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