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For students throughout the entire world, the student loan holds short term joy alongside long term anxiety. The loans themselves are the main form of direct government support for students in higher education in the UK. Money is loaned to students at a subsidized rate that helps contribute towards maintenance costs as well as tuition fees.
The whole notion is seen to financially support as much as possible, trying not to deter potential students who may be put off by the economic restraints associated with university.
The current system in place however does have its critics, with the maintenance loan often becoming an issue with a large number of students whose parents earn more than the average amount.
Many view university, or higher education as the perfect platform to mature, both academically and personally. This learning curve includes financial dependency for the majority of students, who are encouraged to use their loans wisely in what is fast becoming an economically strained society.
The value of the maintenance loan has severely increased over the last twenty years, with the average annual sum standing at £390 per student in 1990/91, when only 28% of eligible students accepted their loans. 1995/96 saw an increase to £1,250, whilst the turn of the millennium saw an even larger increase, with the annual average reaching £2,900. This academic year has seen the highest average at £3,700 per year, or just over £1,200 per term.
The whole idea behind a maintenance loan is to cover accommodation fees and imperative living essentials. However following on from last weeks article which focused on the party culture in the UK, this modern society we live in is failing to grasp what is viewed by many as one of universities, if not life’s fundamental learning stations.
More and more parents are naively agreeing to pay their children’s accommodation fees, which in turn leaves the said student in possession of the entire maintenance loan to spend how they wish. With a figure of over £3,000 million a year spent on student loans throughout the United Kingdom, it is obvious that in many cases this can amount to a lot of money.
Even though many parents feel they are providing beneficial financial support to their children, in many cases, individuals are left with over £1,000 a term, to spend how they wish. With a term being no more than a few months long, students who have this luxury are able to live fairly comfortably, a standard or living not associated with student life.
The excessive amounts of money available to students despite the stereotypical beliefs surrounding modern students is astonishing, which leads onto last week’s article that highlighted the party culture, excessive drinking and illegal drug taking that has become accustomed at many universities throughout the United Kingdom.
The stereotypical views associated with students, in these particular cases, are down to their own doing, and lack of financial responsibility. To be presented with such a large sum of money at the start of term and then to reach the final week’s and be well into your overdraft is an unnecessary deterrent that is easily avoidable.
Although it’s often said that years spent at University are the best of your life, this current party culture seems to take this term too literally which in turn is seen to jeopardize their academic studies and financial stability.
Although this financial ‘blessing’ doesn’t lend itself to every student in the UK, those who may be considered unfortunate in the short term will definitely benefit from their style of living, as they work hard to make the money they need to survive, developing good values and even better morals.