Students can expect to spend £7,000 more while at university than they receive from student finance, according to a damning report.
The National Union of Students’ (NUS) research reveals student loans are failing to match increasing living costs. NUS President Tori Pearce said in a statement that those without the “’bank of mum and dad” are increasingly being driven to work full time alongside study or, worse still, into the arms of predatory pay day lenders just to make ends meet.
Third year Leeds Neuroscience student, Jamie Forrest, told LS: “I’m not reckless with my money, however virtually all my loan goes on rent and I end up spending my overdraft”.
Those forced into part time work can struggle to maintain their grades. Second year international development student Harley Riman who works part-time at the nightclub Wire said: “My family are middle income earners, but they don’t have the disposable income to support me. If I didn’t have to work nights, I feel I would have got better grades, but this was the only job that complemented my timetable.”
Popular local businesses near the University, including the Terrace Bar, have confirmed to LS that they raise their prices every few months in order to match inflation. At this stage the government has no plans to increase maintenance loan rates, which were capped in 2009 as a budgetary response to “difficult economic times”. NUS alleges that the freezing of maintenance loans has not kept pace with the rising costs of student living.
Expenditures such as rent were rising approximately 0.8 per cent higher than the rate of inflation in June.