In defence of cutting the Welsh tuition grants
Don’t come at me for being part of the 35 per cent
So, for those of you who don’t know, the government have confirmed that they will no longer be supplying tuition grants for welsh students who’s parents make less than £59,200 without being means tested. Which basically means only 35% of welsh students are guaranteed the full tuition grant.
Shit news, I know. I don’t disagree, and a lot of students who find their families are on the middle ground will struggle. But it there isn’t some endless amount of money for funding, and cuts need to be made somewhere. Maybe not on education, but that’s another article altogether.
Don’t blame me for my family’s financial situation
I didn’t ask to be born into this tax bracket. No one did. I can assure you, except from favorable maintenance and tuition fees, being part of the 35% is no fun.
The reason i get such a high loan is because I come from a place of disadvantage- without delving too much into my personal life, things were tough. My father passed away without much money and our house got repossessed, but my individual reasons aren’t really what’s important here. The point is people have all sort of life situations that mean their parents do not make enough money to even imagine being able to send them to uni. Disability, Mental Health, Abuse, Divorce.
We worked hard for our space
The socio-economic factors surrounding low income families make it really hard to strive academically. When you come from a poor area, you generally aren’t surrounded by academics. That may be a sweeping statement, but it’s true. When you come from a community where people aren’t renowned for doing well for themselves, it’s all too easy to fall off the right path.
Teachers don’t respect you, no one really expects anything of you. Combine that with difficult home situations, emotionally testing times and shitty luck, it’s even harder to actually concentrate at school, So if you come from this kind of home life and actually manage to get the grades to get into uni, it would be inhumane to deny a place because you don’t have the money.
How else are we meant to escape the cycle?
If we work hard to get into uni, but don’t have the money, how are we ever meant to create a better life for ourselves? How are we meant to build a career if we can’t get a degree? Without the financial support of the government we would just be stuck in limbo, and the wedge between the elite would become even wider. University degrees wouldn’t be a marker of intelligence, but just a sign of how much money mummy and daddy had.
Put things in perspective
Basically, maybe it will be a little harder for your parents to make ends meet. So they’ll have to sacrifice a holiday, a brand new car, and shock horror they might have to start shopping at Lidl. But if sacrificing higher maintenance and tuition fees meant I wouldn’t have had to deal with half the hardship I did growing up, then I’d swap in a heartbeat.