Midweek Money: Grant yourself some peace of mind
Wednesday 26 August 1998
In the Seventies, when the parents of this year's intake were studying, everyone undertaking a course of higher education received a grant for their living expenses from their Local Education Authority (LEA). Admittedly, the offspring of wealthy parents received only a token pounds 50 a year, but the level of grants for those on average incomes was reasonably adequate, so that their parents were expected to contribute only an affordable amount.
Since 1990, the level of grants has been steadily eroded. The sum payable to those starting a course this year has been dramatically slashed by 50 per cent.
As of this were not bad enough, those starting a course next year will receive nothing at all. The expense will come as a shock for many parents.
As in the past, the grants are means-tested on the students' parental income. The calculations are based on the residual income, which is basically the gross income from all sources, less any payments which qualify for tax relief, such as pension contributions, some mortgage interest, and payments into life policies taken out before 11 March 1984.
It is only the offspring of parents whose residual income is below pounds 16,945 who will receive a full grant. Those with a residual income above this amount will be expected to contribute to their son or daughter's expenses on a sliding scale, with a reduction of pounds 75 for every other dependent child. As a rule of thumb, those with a residual income of around pounds 35,000 or more who have a student undertaking a course will receive nothing.
For parents who are employees, the calculations are based on their income in the financial year preceding the start of the course - the 1997/98 tax year for courses starting this autumn.
For self-employed parents, the LEA may, with agreement, base its assessment on the income in the trading year ending in the last financial year before the start of the course. Where parents are divorced, the assessment is generally made on the income of the parent with whom the student lives.
Those who have not already applied for a grant should contact their LEA as soon as possible to make the arrangements.
Maximum grants for the academic year 1998/99 in England and Wales are: London, pounds 1,225; elsewhere, pounds 810; Parental Home (any location), pounds 480. The figures are based on an academic year of 30 weeks and three days, and 25 weeks and three days at Oxford and Cambridge. Extra weekly payments are made for additional weeks of study - London, pounds 82.20; elsewhere, pounds 61.60; and those living at the parental home, pounds 43.15
Arts & Ents blogs
Dennis Hopper's lost sixties photo album found
Top Gear makes Saudis look liberal, Kirsty Wark tells Independent Bath Literature Festival
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Jenny Collier row: Comedy promoter apologises after dropping female comic 'because venue did not want too many women on the bill'
Lena Dunham strips naked for Girls spoof while hosting Saturday Night Live
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time