Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled the first Conservative budget for almost two decades – and students have been among the worst group of people to be hit the hardest.
Yes, university maintenance grants for lower income students in England and Wales are to be scrapped from next September because they’ve become “unaffordable,” he said.
Is this really bad news for students? Yes.
1) Maintenance grants are seen to be crucial in allowing students from disadvantaged backgrounds go to university during a time when they are already being faced with high tuition fee debt. Increasing this debt is sure to act as a disincentive and any further increase from here on out is sure to finally put-off the many students who can’t afford to go to uni.
2) Students have long been the brunt of jokes as the stereotype of them not being able to afford ‘decent food’ has followed them since almost the beginning of time. Not having that extra money in the pocket – and not having to worry about paying it back – looks to be all-to-real now.
3) This isn’t the first time time this government has scrapped non-repayable payments for students: in 2010, poorer students would have received Education Maintenance Allowance at college and then maintenance grants at university. Now, students have to bid farewell to both. Overall support cut for college students going on to uni? A whopping amounting of £12,500.