Why don't they do means-tested maintenance loans for masters? Watch

StartingTheParty
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I really want to do a masters degree but my low-income background means i'd literally only have the £10,000 to pay my fees and my living costs.

Why don't they do maintenance loans for masters/phds? Feels as though its locking out able and eager students who dont come from quite as privileged backgrounds
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Anonymous #1
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Yeah it's unfortunate. I am from a low income background too. I will be starting a masters in September and the loan will only cover tuition fees, not living costs. I have a bit of money saved up but I will work alongside my masters to pay for living costs.
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by StartingTheParty)
I really want to do a masters degree but my low-income background means i'd literally only have the £10,000 to pay my fees and my living costs.

Why don't they do maintenance loans for masters/phds? Feels as though its locking out able and eager students who dont come from quite as privileged backgrounds
The funding available for a first undergraduate degree is already generous. Can't expect taxpayer's money to be available in perpetuity for every qualification in the land.

If you want to do a postgraduate qualification, you can shop around and find institutions that have lower fees.

You can also do part-time study and work

You can find scholarships

Or you can work and get your employer to help out with the fees too, especially if you want to pursue a STEM related career.
Last edited by Blue_Cow; 4 weeks ago
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by StartingTheParty)
I really want to do a masters degree but my low-income background means i'd literally only have the £10,000 to pay my fees and my living costs.

Why don't they do maintenance loans for masters/phds? Feels as though its locking out able and eager students who dont come from quite as privileged backgrounds
I'm also from relatively low-income background, so I worked for 3 years before studying my master's degree, so I had the loan plus a big chunk of savings to support myself.

People who do master's degrees are generally older than those doing an undergraduate degree, therefore they are expected to be able to work during or before their degree to support themselves (potentially using their first degree to get a better paid job than a school leaver could achieve). The governmental postgraduate and doctoral loans are still pretty new, so they aren't going to shove more money their way unless they know that it'll be worthwhile.
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Notoriety
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Why? Too expensive; PG study is seen as a luxury.

Fine scholarships or p/t job.
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mgi
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(Original post by StartingTheParty)
I really want to do a masters degree but my low-income background means i'd literally only have the £10,000 to pay my fees and my living costs.

Why don't they do maintenance loans for masters/phds? Feels as though its locking out able and eager students who dont come from quite as privileged backgrounds
Because in theory you are now a graduate who is over 21 and able to work and earn money. By the way your can get a PhD Doctoral loan that includes a maintenance part to it. This is a relatively new government loan.
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AngryRedhead
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Just get a full/ part time job like every other masters student does. Just because you’re poor it doesn’t mean you’re entitled to have more money
(Original post by StartingTheParty)
I really want to do a masters degree but my low-income background means i'd literally only have the £10,000 to pay my fees and my living costs.

Why don't they do maintenance loans for masters/phds? Feels as though its locking out able and eager students who dont come from quite as privileged backgrounds
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Themysticalegg
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I think it's very generous I come from a working class background and £10,000+ is great. I'm working full time whilst studying part time.
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sophia5892
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I'm from a low-income family and did my MA the year before the £10k loan was introduced.... I got a scholarship (academic merit) which paid my fees (about 5k), and then I worked to fund my living costs.

There are some bursaries/scholarships available for Postgraduate Taught Programmes which you could try apply for on the basis of being from a low income family. If you search for things like "widening access" it'll bring a few up like these....
https://www.ncl.ac.uk//postgraduate/...nts/pos19.html
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/finance/sps

However they are generally oversubscribed. I applied for the Newcastle one and was advised that as it was so oversubscribed successful applicants had to meet multiple criteria.

Then you can look at scholarships based on academic merit - the scholarship I got was offered by my particular department at my uni. But there may be externally-funded options too.

If you're worried about managing to work enough hours alongside studying and aren't able to build up some savings working full-time over the summer before... you can always study part-time. You could still get the Master's Loan paid across 2 years and then have more time to work to cover your costs.
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PQ
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People applying for masters courses will almost all meet the SFE criteria for "Independent" (supported themselves financially for 3 years....while studying their degree). Which means if they did an income assessed component then even the richest background students would still get the full award.

Instead of paying staff to conduct income assessments they've made the loan itself as large as possible for everyone.
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OddOnes
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I completely agree with you. I was lucky enough to get a scholarship from the university but I'm still paying £7,000 (supposed to be £9,000). I live at home and commute as it is a lot cheaper and nicer than renting a dirty student student house.

I feel like some universities don't help by the vast difference in masters tuition fee prices for the same course. You end up paying £2,000 more for the university name.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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I think it's sad that so many people don't realise how lucky they are to get the education they get. Some countries have 0 education, whereas we get 100% free (well, tax, I know, but free at point of entry) education up to at least the age of 18. Then the degree may as well be free because the loan is reasonable and loads of people never even have to pay it back. You don't have to live away from home either, so the government will actually pay for your course plus living costs, for 3/4 years. How far do you want things to go? How much money do you think there is? Nobody has a right to more money for education. A masters can be taken any time, so get a job and save up for a couple of years, and then go for it.
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Themysticalegg
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(Original post by xoxAngel_Kxox)
I think it's sad that so many people don't realise how lucky they are to get the education they get. Some countries have 0 education, whereas we get 100% free (well, tax, I know, but free at point of entry) education up to at least the age of 18. Then the degree may as well be free because the loan is reasonable and loads of people never even have to pay it back. You don't have to live away from home either, so the government will actually pay for your course plus living costs, for 3/4 years. How far do you want things to go? How much money do you think there is? Nobody has a right to more money for education. A masters can be taken any time, so get a job and save up for a couple of years, and then go for it.
Literally this couldn't of said it better, very few countries treat their citizens as well as the UK have. We're lucky to be in a country where we even have ready access to higher education where it's a luxury in most countries. Two of my friends one who migrated from Lithuania and one from South Africa find it funny what the British youth actually moan about.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by xoxAngel_Kxox)
I think it's sad that so many people don't realise how lucky they are to get the education they get. Some countries have 0 education, whereas we get 100% free (well, tax, I know, but free at point of entry) education up to at least the age of 18. Then the degree may as well be free because the loan is reasonable and loads of people never even have to pay it back. You don't have to live away from home either, so the government will actually pay for your course plus living costs, for 3/4 years. How far do you want things to go? How much money do you think there is? Nobody has a right to more money for education. A masters can be taken any time, so get a job and save up for a couple of years, and then go for it.
Yeah, well I don't think we should set our standards lower simply because countries like Afghanistan or Somali do not have very good support for education. Should we also not expect free healthcare or basic human rights?
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mgi
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(Original post by xoxAngel_Kxox)
I think it's sad that so many people don't realise how lucky they are to get the education they get. Some countries have 0 education, whereas we get 100% free (well, tax, I know, but free at point of entry) education up to at least the age of 18. Then the degree may as well be free because the loan is reasonable and loads of people never even have to pay it back. You don't have to live away from home either, so the government will actually pay for your course plus living costs, for 3/4 years. How far do you want things to go? How much money do you think there is? Nobody has a right to more money for education. A masters can be taken any time, so get a job and save up for a couple of years, and then go for it.
Yes , well said. But you are talking to the snowflake generation: low resilience, low responsibility, everyone else owes them something...lol!
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JamesManc
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All about the money I'm afraid.
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Charlie23232
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I saved as much of my BSc loan as I could (it wasn't glamorous!) and took out a student bank loan from HSBC. I have enough saved up (plus HSBC) to do an MSc in Belgium. Its only 900 euros a year, and rent and living is much cheaper too. The courses are in English and I think the uni courses are more rigorous! Several unis have promised not to increase fees post brexit for UK students either.
I was very uncertain at applying to an EU uni (especially with brexit and all) but its so worth it! I'm now doing a PhD out here
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Scotney
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I agree with OP students from disadvantaged backgrounds less likely to get a masters as loans do not cover expenses.Oxford and Cambridge charging £14,500 tuition fee alone and are full of people whose parents can afford to pay for the privilege.I would argue loans may have made the situation worse for poorer students as now you virtually have to have a masters to get a funded Phd where as before you could go straight to PhD.I think particularly in STEM subjects there is a brain drain at this point that is not good for academia in general.
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