Due to the government’s revised student finance strategies, many young people are revising their decisions to go to university to study for degrees.
While tuition fees will increase, so will loans
From 2012, some universities in the UK will be able to charge up to £9,000 a year for tuition fees for home students, and many universities have admitted that they are planning to do so. The good news is that students are not expected to stump up the extra costs for tuition themselves – loans will cover them completely, and students will also be eligible for loans for living costs, known as Maintenance Loans, as well as extra funding in the form of grants and bursaries.
Universities in Scotland are free for everyone and will remain so, and universities in Wales are subject to different rules whereby students living in Wales can attend university and the Welsh Assembly will cover the extra costs from the previous funding regulations.
The threshold for paying back the loans will also raise
Currently, graduates and non-graduates with student loan debts are expected to begin paying them back 9 months after the end of the course, or the last year they attended, and when their annual salary is £15,000. With the new student finance system you will begin to pay back your student loan debts when your salary is at least £21,000, and you will pay back lower amounts on a tiered scale than those beginning university a year before.
Further, after 30 years, student loan debt under the new system will be written off altogether, meaning only students earning more than £42,000 a year for the entire period will pay back all of their loans.
Student loans not really a loan but a “graduate tax”
It has been argued that, despite the average graduate leaving university with over £40,000 of debt, it is not actually a loan like bank loans or even mortgages are. In fact, due to the criteria for paying back the loans, students are faring better than those that are currently studying, as the majority of them won’t pay all of their student loans back, in reality. Therefore, do not let the thought of having to pay £ 9,000 a year put you off applying for university. Remember that there is always a way to get what you want, if you really want it.