What young people in Suffolk think about proposed student loan shake-up
- Credit: Gregg Brown
New rules around student loans have been proposed - but what do they mean for young people in Suffolk?
The Government announced the plans last week, with the key changes being consulted on being:
- If a student fails to get Maths and English GCSEs, or two A-levels above grade E, then they will not be entitled to a student loan.
- Tuition fees in the UK will be frozen at £9,250 for the next two years.
- Students will pay their student loan back over 40 years rather than the 30 it is currently.
- Annual income required to start paying student loan back has decreased from £27,295 to £25,000 and will remain the same for the next five years.
The Department for Education said the proposals would “rebalance the burden of student loans more fairly between the student and the taxpayer and ensure that in future graduates don’t pay back more than they borrowed in real terms”.
But others consider minimum grade requirements for student loans to be an “attack” on poorer pupils.
Courtney Sadler, 16, from Felixstowe, said: “I wouldn’t say this change would necessarily mean I’m less willing to go to university, probably just will be more cautious that I will be paying my loan back when I’m into my 60s.
“It does, however, mean I am more inclined to go to a university in a cheaper part of the UK like the north rather than somewhere down south.
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“If you end up with a job that pays really well, then it won’t make much difference, however if you end up with a job that is just over the £25,000 required to start paying it back, and you have a family, and car, and house to pay for, it could make a massive difference having this extra worry hanging over your head.”
India Peck, 17, from Ipswich, another student planning on going to university, said: "I think expanding the date for the student loan is quite useful as it is a lot to pay back over the time period, so I am having more time to pay it back.
“However, I am a bit worried about having to pay a student loan when you earn less than £27,000, especially if you live in London or somewhere expensive."
She added: “I am still planning on going to university down south because they have the course I want to do, but I am not looking forward to it being more expensive to both live and go to university.”