Thursday, 22 December 2016

Grants cut for low income families


Adventures in Evidence:

"It’s the simplest and most unanswered question."

"In the summer of 2012, Ministers decided to reduce grant levels substantially for all low-income students new and continuing from the following autumn. And we still don’t know why."

"It was inevitable this would have one of two effects on students from lower-income families: they would either have to borrow more than before to make up the gap, or make do with less. The extra debt/lost income was non-trivial: around £35m a year of cash support for people from low incomes would be lost, or around 40% of existing means-tested grant."

"So this was an odd choice of a target for cuts, for a government which had repeatedly expressed concern that people from low-incomes are put off going to university by debt, and emphasised its creation in 2013-14 of a "minimum income guarantee" and a much higher universal minimum loan, to meet NUS concerns about immediate hardship."

"The decision to visit cuts on grants has never been explained (it’s also unclear why the SAAS budget took a much larger hit than the SG budget as a whole that year). Instead, the SG’s discussion of the 2013-14 changes has concentrated entirely on the way these provided more money up-front (using extra loan). But topping up the package with more loan doesn’t logically imply cutting grant at the same time."

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