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How does one qualify for a maintenance grant?

If a student wanted to apply for a maintenance grant, what would the process be and how do you check eligibility for a student maintenance grant? I’m asking this specifically for the maintenance grant 2017. The grant was recently replaced by the maintenance loan but there are exceptions who will still be able to access the grant.  Now that the university maintenance grant is no longer available, does it mean that no one else can apply? If there are exceptions to this rule, what are they and how can we become a part of it?

Kristi Hammond

in Student Loans

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Derrick Little on February 26, 2018

Yes, it is true. The maintenance grant was scrapped off. However, most of the continuing full-time undergraduate students who started their courses in between 2012-2015 are still eligible to apply for a university upkeep fund of up to £3,482. Those students who started earlier than 2012 are eligible for up to £3,197 worth of grant money.

The 2017 upkeep grant is otherwise non-existent for new students. The change was announced in 2015, implemented in 2016 and by now maintenance loans seem to be the only option for those keen on furthering their studies. When it was first announced, the education experts expressed their fears that removing the maintenance grant was a heavy burden for the poorest students. It’s bad enough having to deal with tuition fees spiking and now the abolition of the grant. It was feared that the poorer students may completely rethink getting a university education because they would have to pay too huge a debt for them to handle.

The scrapping of the student upkeep grant has come at a time when the government is putting pressure on higher education facilities to increase the participation rates to entice those who come from the poorest backgrounds. The target is the white working-class boys who are known as the least likely to attend a university. Higher Education experts called out the switch from maintenance grant to maintenance loan as a cause for concern. This is especially so because universities at the same time were planning on increasing university tuition fees beyond £9,000 each year. The end result according to them would be damaging to the progress made thus far in increasing participation and burden those who chose to go to college with an even more outstanding debt.

The maintenance loan, compared to the upkeep sponsorship, does have its positive attributes so to speak. Students end up getting more money in their pocket difference is that it will all have to be paid back. The good news is that it isn’t an immediate pay-back process and you can wait until you get a good job that can sustain the loan repayment. The universities and science minister Jo Johnson spoke in January last year and voiced his support for the new maintenance loans. To him, the loans ensure that affordability is not a barrier to higher education. They also ensure that college/ university education is funded in a sustainable and fair way.

Kurt Pricea year ago

It is quite unfortunate that the maintenance grants are not available for students anymore. The maintenance grant in 2017 has been replaced by the maintenance loan for new students.  There are additional grants that have been made available but they depend heavily on specific circumstances and awards are assessed according to your household income. These grants are the Adult Dependent’s Grant, Childcare Grant and Parents Learning Allowance. Bursary schemes are still available in universities as well as quite a number of scholarships that include both need based and merit based. Some universities even offer support funds that students who are struggling in university can apply to. It may be the end of an era with the end of the university maintenance grant but the fact that there are still options should be taken positively. The loans can even be seen as giving the post graduates a reason to work hard to clear the debt and in turn enriching their future.


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