Studylink to reassess Student Allowance eligibility criteria
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Although I support my family by working part-time on top of earning secondary school qualifications, Studylink calls me ineligible for a Student Allowance (Weekly payment made by the government that doesn't have to be paid back). This is because one of my family's two sources of income is irregular and greatly reduced by tax and business expenses which are not taken into consideration by Studylink. This means that I am reliant on scholarships and loans to get me through 6+ years of competitive university away from home to reach my dream of Medicine.
I believe that every student who has no choice but to be financially self-reliant because they will not be receiving support from parents/caregivers should be eligible for a Student Allowance. This is not happening under Studylink's current policy.
If some students receive Governmental support while others don't, then those who slip through the cracks are disadvantaged further by being made an even smaller minority. Money is powerful, and its presence or absence in the life of an eager student will aid or obstruct them in the pursuit of their dreams. This criterion is that deciding line, and if it's causing students like me to have a smaller chance of reaching a successful future; then it’s not good enough.
If the criteria used for deciding whether a student is eligible to apply for a Student Allowance was made more flexible or considerate of special circumstances (AKA more human), then no student with a dream and good intentions to pursue it will step into tertiary education without the necessary means to support themselves.
Please help me urge Studylink to reassess their policy so that New Zealand students can have equal access to education.
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