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Government Expects Parents to Contribute to University Costs

Posted by Richard Ward in , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Money saving expert Martin Lewis has written an open letter to the Minister for Universities Jo Johnson asking that explicit bespoke information is given to parents on how much the government expects them to contribute towards the cost of university education.

For those students starting university in 2016 the amount of university maintenance loan they will receive is means-tested.

As a result, these living loans can now be discounted when a families combined income is as little as £25,000 a year and loans can be halved for those with parents that earn a combined £60,000.

Martin Lewis pointed out that the Student Loans Company outlines within its guide on how parents are assessed that "depending on their income, parents may have to contribute towards the living costs of their student children".

It's argued that if the government's policy is to incorporate a parental contribution into the system, then as a bare minimum parents should be told exactly how much they are expected to give.

At current there is an implicit premise that parents will fill the shortfall, however Mr Lewis is warning that parents have not be adequately advised.

As a result of the change some parents are now expected to give 27% more than those in a similar position in 2015, and it is feared that the living loans received won't be enough to cover even basic accommodation costs.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: "There should be no barrier to any child's ambitions and we are already seeing record numbers of disadvantaged young people going to university. We have increased maintenance support for students from the lowest income backgrounds by 10 per cent."