Support Students: Give us student maintenance payments that meet the needs of all students

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Currently, students who are in receipt of student maintenance loans get three termly instalments paid to them.

The problem is many Universities don't work on this pattern, many operate on a semester based (two long terms of around 12 weeks) academic timetable, resulting in many students having to do a half a year's worth of study, with only a third of their student maintenance to support them.

The reality is that for many students they're existing on the fringes of financial affordability: skipping meals; choosing between studying or working a shift in often minimum wage roles, all the time racking up debt and not getting the education they deserve, with many often deciding that the viability of studying any longer isn't for them...

We need a common sense solution to this problem.

Whilst the Government is considering the financial support and contributions that are made for Higher Education Learners through the Augar Review, they also need to review 'how' they're doing it, ensuring the system is designed to meet the broadest needs of students.

Like every student, I want to see a move away from student loans and a return of maintenance grants alongside a fully funded higher education system. However, whether 'loans' or 'grants', the current model for payments is not fit for purpose and needs to be addressed.

The National Union of Students preferred model for student maintenance payments would be by monthly instalments with a double payment at the beginning of the academic year to help with start-up costs.

At the very least we need institutions that have a two semester based system to have student fees paid in two equal instalments, and not leaving them for half a year short on cash.