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WHY do the student loans company not give most people enough to live on?

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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 14-09-2014
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    Hello everyone!

    Well my question is in the title really.

    I can't really fathom why it's seen as a student loan when it doesn't cover many of our costs. If it was a "student grant" as standard i'd understand but we have to pay this back, why can't they just up it to an acceptable standard which people could then top up with jobs or whatever.

    I find it hard to grasp that we are seemingly 'punished' when many people are on benefits which they don't have to pay back when we are the ones who are aiming to better ourselves for the good of the economy in the future.

    I'm not asking for a large amount to live on but defo cover accomodation and then maybe £30 a week to live on. Obviously this would vary in different areas of the country as the cost of rent/living is different... especially in London.

    Opinions?

    EDIT: A lot of universities, mine included have warned us away from jobs. Especially in student cities/towns where most of the jobs concern bartending which then means lack of sleep/missing lectures... negative multiplier effect.
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    Student Finance don't have an unlimited pot of money. Yes it is a loan and not a grant but it's not a traditional loan where they'll definately get it back and they still need the money there in the first place to give.

    People from low income households do get enough to live on and to cover accommodation costs, it's those from higher income households which don't. The idea behind this is that if your parents earn more then they can afford to either give or at least lend you a bit of money if it's a case of doing that or letting you starve.
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    How would it be decided? Rent costs vary across the country. And why should the government pay for someone to live in an expensive area?
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    You can get jobs and work through the summer. If you do enough hours, you'll have about enough. You should also have an overdraft. The thing that pisses me off about the Student Loans system is that they assume if your parents earn a certain amount then they'll just give you money like that. For starters, I have to pay back everything I borrow from my parents, and secondly, they don't have enough disposable income to give me much anyway. As for unis telling you not to get jobs. If it's between having a job and not having enough money to eat properly, they'll advise you getting a job. My university advises against long hours in the third year, but they understand that students need the money.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    How would it be decided? Rent costs vary across the country. And why should the government pay for someone to live in an expensive area?
    Why should disadvantaged students have to accept not being able to study at, say, LSE or UCl because they can't afford London costs?

    Or is London the one and only exception to the rule?
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    For what it's worth my opinion is that given the recent huge rise in food prices and energy bills student loans are subsequently inadequate. This means students are having to work more which is hard to find given the state of the economy so it's a tough situation especially as middle income parents will struggle to pick up the slack. However if they increase the loans landlords will only increase rents. Guarenteed.
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    (Original post by Aramiss18)
    Why should disadvantaged students have to accept not being able to study at, say, LSE or UCl because they can't afford London costs?

    Or is London the one and only exception to the rule?
    I lived in London for about a year. It's not that much more expensive than other cities. Actually, travel is much cheaper than it is in some places.
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    As I said on a recent thread - what should the Gov't sacrifice to give more student loans out? More NHS cuts? Cuts in school funding? Further police cuts? Raise taxes even higher?

    It'd have to be funded somehow - the promise of "someday, maybe, but not likely" the student will pay it all back isn't going to magically make money appear right now to fund it.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    I lived in London for about a year. It's not that much more expensive than other cities. Actually, travel is much cheaper than it is in some places.
    In student accommodation?

    In know a guy at Imperial who's rent was, iirc, around £160 per week- that's for a room in a shared flat. £35-50 more per week than in Leeds.

    I don't want to sound belligerent but London is well known for it's high rents- maybe you just got lucky.
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    (Original post by Aramiss18)
    Why should disadvantaged students have to accept not being able to study at, say, LSE or UCl because they can't afford London costs?

    Or is London the one and only exception to the rule?
    London is already an exception - the loan is bigger there (and indeed London seems to have an economy of its own. 99p for a packet of Hula Hoops???). It would be harder to differentiate between the others, and I agree with your point about landlords just putting up rent.

    OP, I'd say the loan practically is a grant as the vast majority will never pay back the full amount. I see your point, but it's a bit like looking a gift horse in the mouth - the loan gives us enough of a step up to be able to consider it, but why should they give us £30 a week to live off? That's not how life works. I know getting a job isn't ideal, but people in this country seem to have forgotten that for most of human history you had to work to survive. Most students are perfectly capable of supporting themselves through university.
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    In most European countries there are no loans. Students either save up or their parents pay for them.

    Of course, no fees either. So swings and roundabouts.
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    In most European countries there are no loans. Students either save up or their parents pay for them.

    Of course, no fees either. So swings and roundabouts.
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    (Original post by Aramiss18)
    In student accommodation?

    In know a guy at Imperial who's rent was, iirc, around £160 per week- that's for a room in a shared flat. £35-50 more per week than in Leeds.

    I don't want to sound belligerent but London is well known for it's high rents- maybe you just got lucky.
    £50 a week more not to live in Leeds?

    Worth every penny.
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    (Original post by HannahMortlock)
    Hello everyone!

    Well my question is in the title really.

    I can't really fathom why it's seen as a student loan when it doesn't cover many of our costs. If it was a "student grant" as standard i'd understand but we have to pay this back, why can't they just up it to an acceptable standard which people could then top up with jobs or whatever.

    I find it hard to grasp that we are seemingly 'punished' when many people are on benefits which they don't have to pay back when we are the ones who are aiming to better ourselves for the good of the economy in the future.

    I'm not asking for a large amount to live on but defo cover accomodation and then maybe £30 a week to live on. Obviously this would vary in different areas of the country as the cost of rent/living is different... especially in London.

    Opinions?

    EDIT: A lot of universities, mine included have warned us away from jobs. Especially in student cities/towns where most of the jobs concern bartending which then means lack of sleep/missing lectures... negative multiplier effect.
    Your parents are expected to suppliment it. That's why it's based on their income.
    Also if I can work around an engineering degree there is absolutely no reason why you can't work around a journalism degree.
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    (Original post by Aramiss18)
    Why should disadvantaged students have to accept not being able to study at, say, LSE or UCl because they can't afford London costs?

    Or is London the one and only exception to the rule?
    I am not sure about SF England, but SF Northern Ireland offers larger loans to those studying in London.
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    It annoys me a little bit the way that people think the government should not only pay for their course, but that they should pay for them to live as well. What's wrong with working for a few months in the summer holidays between sixth form and uni? What's wrong with working a few hours a week on campus or in a bar?

    I wasn't entitled to anything other than the bare minimum loan, and my parents chose not to give me any money which is was absolutely their right to do. I knew that I wanted to go to uni, so I started trying to get a job during sixth form. I couldn't find a proper job, so I got four paper rounds which took me eight hours a week and paid £40 a week.. some of which I used to live on at college as I didn't get EMA either, and the rest I saved up for uni.

    I then had to make a plan about what I was going to eat at uni, and found that things such as supermarket's own rice/pasta/cereal is relatively reasonable, and you can manage on just a little each week for food if you plan ahead and don't go buying expensive treats.

    There are lots of threads about this forum about how you can make money/save money/cook cheap etc, so have a look around and you'll see that SFE doesn't need to give people more as there are ways and means to make money out there.
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    It's means-tested. If your parents earn over something like £25K then your loan decreases because SF expect your parents to help you out. Then they use their extra money to send poor kids off to Uni. So hopefully one day those poor kids will get a good job and be able to help their kids out. It's a big circle...
    So one day there will be no poor kids

    :teehee:

    EDIT: I was joking But it is means-tested for that reason though
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    The country is in billions of pounds of debt. Councils are having to close services and departments. People are being made redundant all over the place because companies are struggling. Fuel prices at record high. Shops closing and making people redundant because high street spending is down. Massive cutbacks in disability benefits, housing and education. There is no money for government spending and most people are going to see their standard of living go down as cuts continue to bite.

    This is why the government won't pay for student's accomodation and give them £30 a week to live on. There are bigger problems to deal with first.
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    (Original post by Popppppy)
    I am not sure about SF England, but SF Northern Ireland offers larger loans to those studying in London.
    It's the same with SF England.
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    (Original post by Popppppy)
    I am not sure about SF England, but SF Northern Ireland offers larger loans to those studying in London.
    Same with SF England. I was using it as an example because OU Student said "And why should the government pay for someone to live in an expensive area?" and in such a scenario without enhanced loans a disadvantaged student would struggle to live in London.

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