Guide to government student grants

Summer is almost over and a new year of college is nearly upon us, bringing with it the chance for education, friendship and some of the best times of your life. However one should also be aware of the ever increasing costs involved with third level education.

Rent, the rising cost of fuel and groceries are all examples of increasingly expensive college life. In addition to this with fees set to rise to between £6000 and £9000 things just seem to be beyond the reach of normal people.

It is estimated that an average student spend almost £45,000 during the 3 years of their college course. Combined with potential tuition fees of £18,000 - £27,000 some students will be looking at costs of well in excess of £70,000. Lloyds TSB themselves estimate that the average student loan will be £17,500 by the time of graduation.

Its not all doom and gloom however, the good news is that most  students are entitled to government student grants and bursaries.

Up to 60% of students are entitled to the Governments Maintenance grant (also known as Special Support Grant). This means tested payment is intended to support students from lower income families. The total value of this grant is up to £3,000 and approximately 30% of students are eligible for this amount. Full details of eligibility and how to apply online are available at the governments website direct.gov.uk, search for the term "Student Grants".

Students who pay tuition fees and are in receipt of a grant will be entitled to a bursary from their college or university. Applications for these payments should be made via the 3rd level institution and the payments can vary between £349 up to £1,000.

For more details on student finances be sure to check studentcashpoint.co.uk, remember applications for these payments should be made as early as possible.


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