The cost of going to HE
It is vitally important that learners are given accurate information on the changes to HE finance in a clear and accessible way. There are still a number of myths and misconceptions that need to be addressed in order for learners to make informed HE choices and indeed to decide if HE is right for them.
The financial support for those who want to go into Higher Education falls into two main categories: government support and money that comes direct from universities and colleges. Government funding in England is operated by Student Finance England, which is part of the Student Loans Company. Universities and colleges will have dedicated information on their own institution websites where learners can find out about the financial support packages that may be available for them. Often the support is explained using the terms 'scholarships' and 'bursaries'.
- from 2016/17 all means tested student maintenance grants will be replaced with loans (this will not impact students starting courses in 2015/16 or already at university)
- maintenance support available in loans will increase to the highest level ever for students from low-income households – by £766 to £8,200 for those studying away from home outside London and to £10,702 for those in London
- tuition fee loans for 2016/17 remain the same
- targeted grants such as Disabled Students' Allowance, Childcare Grant, Parents Learning Allowance and Adult Dependents' Grant will still be available for students who are carers, disabled or have dependents
- university will remain free at the point of entry – no one has to pay up front, and graduates only have to repay their loans when they are earning over £21,000
- the government will consult on freezing the student loan repayment threshold at the current level of £21,000, repayments will remain tied to earnings
- from 2017/18 institutions offering high quality teaching will be allowed to increase tuition fees in line with inflation – the government will consult on how this will be done.