George Osborne's Student Loan Changes Will Cost the Average Student £2,800 in Repayment

Posted by Ross Jones-Morris in

A new study carried out by the Sutton Trust has revealed that George Osborne's proposed changes to the student loan system (as outlined in the summer budget) will hit women and the poor the hardest.

The plans (which are open for consultation) propose that the level at which graduates start to repay their loans be frozen at £21,000 for five years, starting in 2016.

The changes won't affect everyone however. Only students who have taken out loans from 2012 onwards will be affected (a double whammy considering their tuition fees will have been many times higher than their pre-2012 peers anyway).

While these students were expecting the £21,000 threshold to increase in line with average earnings (once introduced in 2016), Mr Osborne's summer budget will change all that.

The Sutton Trust's research argues that freezing the repayment threshold will significantly increase the cost of going to university for many, especially in light recent cuts to grants and maintenance loans. The report concludes that freezing the threshold would lead to extra loan repayments averaging £2,800 over 30 years.

This figure, alongside the aforementioned cuts to other modes of financial support, could leave the average student in debt to the tune of £50,000 by the time they graduate.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons.