U.K. Parents Face Higher University CostsBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Parents in the United Kingdom better brace themselves for higher university costs. It is said that there is an increase of about 27 percent from last year's rate.
Telegraph reported that data from the Student Loans Company (SLC) revealed that there was a "hidden" rise in the amount that parents are expected to set aside for their child's higher education. It was revealed that some parents are facing a 27 percent increase from last year's rate. This means that a lot of families will be paying hundreds more a year.
The research was done by MoneySavingExpert.com. It was also revealed that the highest earning parents, earning above £69,803 a year, are expected to pay more than £5,300 a year for university costs.
This comes after there were changes in the way that student loans are allocated. Before, low-income students were qualified for a non-repayable maintenance grant to help with the cost of living.
The grant was scrapped by former Chancellor George Osborne and replaced with an increased maintenance loan. This maintenance loan is means-tested based on the income of parents.
According to BBC, Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, has criticized the "lack of transparency" that comes with the new student loan allocation. He described the recent change as "another hit to many families already feeling the squeeze."
Lewis argued that the loan system does not clarify to parents how much they should pay. He added that parents are not made aware of the costs which may lead to students not getting enough support. "For a huge majority of students it simply won't cover even basic accommodation costs," he said.
Manchester University noted that accommodation costs about £4,995 for 40 weeks. Food is expected to cost around £1,525 while transportation costs are estimated to be at £450.
"We have increased maintenance support for students from the lowest income backgrounds by 10%," a spokesperson for the Department of Education said. "As the OECD has recognized, this government's approach to student finance is sustainable. Maintenance support is provided as a contribution to students' costs. Financial assistance is also available through universities."