Majority of students to get grants in 2008
According to John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, two-thirds of students will get grants for the first time next September.
The grants are part of an advertising campaign targeted at young people to encourage them to go to college and university.
From next year, a student coming from a household with an income lower than £25,000 will get a full grant of £2,835 which will go towards their day-to-day living. At the moment, only those coming from a household with an income of less than £18,000 receive a full grant.
In addition, students coming from homes with an income between £25,001 and £60,005 will receive some kind of grant, the previous limit was £38,000. Only those coming from homes with and income of over £60,005 will not get a grant.
The changes are very important said Mr Denham, it means two-thirds of students going to college next September will get grants. The objective we are trying to achieve is that those from lower-income households can still go on to further education.
The changes should encourage more young people to go to university. The aim is for 50% of 18-year-olds to go to university, it is currently around 43%.
This September, approximately 274,000 went to university for the first time and just over half of these received some sort of grant.
A similar amount of people are expected to start college in September 2008 and due to the changes, two-thirds will get a grant.
Grants are for maintenance costs – living expenses and rent. However, students still have to pay tuition fees and in 2008-9 these will be up to £3,145 a year. Students can take out a student loan to cover the full cost of tuition fees and the sum is paid directly to the university or college.
Furthermore, students can also take out student loans for maintenance which can be up to £6,475 for those from poorer homes.
Finally, for those planning to go to university in 2008, student loan repayments will be more flexible. There are no full details yet but having a 5-year break from repaying loans will be an option.