Students need an extra £439 every month on top of their maintenance loan just to survive

A new report has found that inflation is hitting students particularly hard

The average university student needs an extra £439 every month on top of their maintenance loan just to survive.

This has risen sharply from £340 last year and represents the highest shortfall on record, according to a new survey by Save The Student.

Jake Butler, a money expert at Save The Student, said: “This is the most worried I’ve ever been about the financial situation students are facing.”

For the average student, living costs have seen a 14 per cent increase since the 2021 survey, yet government funding in England has only risen by 2.3 per cent.

In the 2021 edition of the same survey, 10 of the 12 regions had average student living costs of £800 per month or less.

Now, the cheapest area (West Midlands) costs £822 a month, whereas London costs a whopping £1089 a month, showing how this sharp increase has hit every region of the UK.

It’s no wonder that 82 per cent of students worry about making ends meet.

Over a third (34 per cent) say rising living costs have impacted their academic performance while 59 per cent say they have had a detrimental effect on their mental health

In more extreme cases, a startling number of students are now having to go without basic necessities to afford things like rent.

One in 10 students who responded to the survey said they’d used a food bank in the last academic year,

One first year student from the University of Surrey said, “I go for multiple days without food to be able to afford my rent.”

Another student spoke about the stress they are under: “I have found myself not knowing if I’ll be able to pay rent or feed myself throughout university.”

Jake Butler from Save The Student explained the impact on students’ parents compounds the issue. “Most students are struggling to bridge this gap,” he said. “And it’s not fair in this climate for the government to ‘expect’ parents to contribute such a high amount.”

“Students were neglected throughout the pandemic and it appears that treatment continues with the cost of living crisis.”

National Union of Students VP Higher Education Chloe Field said: “It’s shocking, but sadly not surprising to see this research out. NUS’ research has shown that students are faced with a huge crisis – low paid precarious work, loans not increasing by inflation and shoddy housing that they can’t afford to heat – and it’s having a huge negative impact on mental health.

“We need an emergency student support package for every single person studying and we need it now.”

Featured image via Shutterstock /  Daisy Daisy

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