Extent of student debt revealed

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The Independent Online
A third of undergraduates are living in permanent debt, according to a researched published as it emerged that students are set to face pounds 3,000 bills for tuition fees.

As ministerial sources indicated the Government will accept a recommendation to introduce tuition charges of around pounds 1,000 a year, the new findings suggest that already only around a quarter of students have no experience of debt.

Of those whose bank accounts never shifted out of the red, the majority felt they were not adequately prepared for the financial demands of university life, the study found.

Another third of undergraduates had at least some experience of debt while at university.

The survey, by the NatWest Bank, found that students in debt often could not identify what had pushed them into the red, and many did not realise the full extent of their debt until after graduation. The tuition fees would add to average overdrafts of between pounds 3,000 and pounds 5,000 already experienced by students on leaving university.