Securing grants for college

A new semester in college is only weeks away and with exam results secured students face another anxious wait on their hands. How will they be able to afford college?

College tuition fees set to rise to between £6000 and £9000 a year but this is only the tip of the iceberg. The UK is starting to feel the combined pinch from rising inflation driving up costs and the recession causing massive job loses.

The cost of living has steadily rose since the start of the year, rents groceries, travel expense and fuel are all increasing and part time jobs, the mainstay of student financing are the first to be lost in most industries.

In a recent Lloyds TSB survey it was shown that an average student loan will be almost £18,000 by the time of graduation and that a student will spend £45,000 in three years of college.

Little wonder that students protest over the cost of education. The government however does provide several grants for college that should make third level education much more affordable.

Two thirds of students are estimated to be entitled to some form of the "Governments Maintenance grant". This payment is means tested and is awarded to students from lower income families. The value of the grant is awarded on a sliding scale up to a value of £3,000 per college year. Almost one third of students are estimated to eligible for full payment.

For full details of eligibility and an on-line application go to direct.gov.uk --> Education and Learning. It is advised to apply as soon as possible to avoid a delay in payment.

Universities and Colleges should also have an "Access to Learning Fund" that offers grands to students who are in financial difficulty. These grants and funds can run out quite quickly so it is advisable to make your application as early as possible.

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