A third of freshers pick their uni based on bursaries

Cash rules everything around uni


Bursaries and the amount of financial help at hand are some of the main reasons for choosing your uni.

According to new research, a third of this year’s freshers said money problems were the driving force behind picking where they wanted to study.

Forget the nightlife, sports societies and even career prospects – 36 per cent claim their first choice uni was chosen just to save cash in a survey of nearly 6000 students.

This comes after the shock scrapping of maintenance grants, which means we’ll have to pay back our precious lifeline of £3387 with interest.

The survey from The Student Room found that students are worried about debt and the cost of living has doubled in the past two years.

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No maintenance or living grants mean we’ll have to pay back more cash after we graduate

More than half said the removal of maintenance grants would force them to seriously consider whether they could afford to go to university.

The percentage of students who are seriously worried about money grew from 10 per cent in 2013 to 19 per cent in 2015.

As well as the death of grants, some elite unis giving “high quality teaching” will be given special permission to charge us more than £9000 per year according to new government rules.

To fight this, some unis are now offering cash rewards or other incentives for students who choose their institution and get grades above their offer.

Maintenance grants will no longer be available from the 2016/17 term.

Jack Wallington, community director of The Student Room, said: “Options 2015 clearly shows students originally felt pragmatic about student debt when tuition fees were first introduced, and it’s of great concern that they are taking a step backward.

“It has never been more essential for higher education to provide students with an accurate cost-of-living league table to help with their decisions.”

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19 per cent of students are ‘seriously worried’ about money

Dr Lee Elliot Major, chief executive of education charity the Sutton Trust, told The Telegraph: “It should be a major concern that debt is becoming a much bigger issue for young people.

“Under the current system, nearly three-quarters of students will fail to clear their student loans before they are written off after 30 years, and the large majority will still be paying off their loans well into their forties, figures that will increase with the abolition of grants and increase in fees.

“Those from disadvantaged homes now face the largest debts with the abolition of maintenance grants next year and this could have a serious and detrimental impact on their social mobility, but many middle income students also face the prospect of higher repayments than before, something that could impact on their ability to afford a home in later life.”