Students not taking up full entitlements

Students often find themselves crippeld by debt

Students often find themselves cripples by debt
By Chris Hall
Government figures show many teens may not be taking what they are owed

Students in Scotland may not be taking advantage of their full financial entitlements, a recent study by the Student Loans Company (SLC) has proven.

Many students who are granted loans may not be aware of other supplementary benefits and entitlements which may be being overlooked by youngsters around the country.

The average student in Scotland leaves University in £11,000 worth of debt.

The Statistics Publication Notice, published in June 2008, highlights that £192.8m was spent on maintenance loans during the financial year 2007/2008.

When compared with the previous year figures, this highlights a dramatic rise of 5% from the year 2006/2007.

These figures may be down to a lack of publicity regarding other benefits outside of the loan which are available to students studying in Scotland.

The Young Students Bursary (YSB), provided by the Students award agency for Scotland (SAAS) since 2001, is available to students whose parent’s income is less than £33,370, with a maximum payout of £2,575 which does not need to be reimbursed and can supplement part of the student loan, reducing the debt of the student in question.

Students studying outside of Scotland can also apply for the Students outside of Scotland bursary (SOSB) up to a maximum of £2,095 per year, providing vital extra income for students living elsewhere in the UK or abroad.

Those with disabilities are also covered by the Disabled students allowance while single parents can apply for the Lone Parents Grant which provides funds of more than £1,270 per year.

Travel times and distances can also be an issue for many students and to counter this The Student Loans Company provides Travel expenses up to a maximum of £900 per year dependent on the student’s financial and personal circumstances.

The figures come after Scottish students were recently freed from paying tuition fees which are now covered by SAAS on application to University.