News story

Essex parents go back to school to get facts on 2012 University support

Parents of pupils from Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School were given a presentation this week explaining the new student finance system …

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Parents of pupils from Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School were given a presentation this week explaining the new student finance system and the financial help available.

They were told that from September 2012 most new undergraduates will not pay any tuition costs upfront. The Government provides loans to cover tuition fees and help with living costs, and students only start to pay them back once they earn above £21,000 a year. Everyone will make lower loan repayments than they do now. There is also a further range of easily accessible financial support, such as grants and bursaries, for students from lower income families.

**Nishat Patankar **who recently graduated from the University of Liverpool visited Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School to talk to parents and said:

“Studying at the University of Liverpool was life changing and opened up so many opportunities, allowing me to partake in the Erasmus programme and, since graduating, working in China, extending the foundation of my International Business degree.

“Money is a big consideration and so I believe it is really important that parents, as well as students, understand the costs that are involved with going to university - from tuition fees to rent and money to live - and that there is help out there. Looking into what they are entitled to is a key recommendation, it may be more than they think, and offering too good an opportunity to miss.

“Overall, my university experience has provided me with the necessary skills for my career and has shaped me into an ambitious, confident and independent individual, and you can’t put a price on that.”

**Bernadette Guler, Head of Sixth Form **at Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School

“Our students are facing an important life decision and it is understandable that they and their parents might have concerns. However, we are very keen that our students and their parents get the facts about university costs and the help available, and we are very serious about giving them the help and information they need. The more informed the students and parents are, the less intimidating the whole process will be, and they will be able to make realistic, informed choices about their future education.”

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

“We want to make sure no one is put off applying to university because they do not have information about the new student finance system. Students need to know that most new undergraduates will not pay upfront costs, there will be more financial support for those from low-income families and everyone will make lower loan repayments than they do now once they are in well paid work.”

As well as support from the Government through loans and grants, individual universities will be offering additional support to undergraduates from 2012. For example Anglia Ruskin University offers all full-time undergraduate applicants from households where income is less than £25,000 per annum, a fee waiver of at least £1,500 per year on their tuition fees; 160 students can benefit from the National Scholarship Programme (NSP) awards in the form of fee waivers representing £3,000 in year one and £1,900 per year in years two and three; and all students from households where income is between £25,000 and £35,000 will receive a fee waiver of £500 per year for each year of their course.

Sandra Hollis, Pro Vice Chancellor at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “We have focussed on student success and supporting wider access to higher education from the beginning, hence our decision to charge £7,500 - £8,300 a year tuition fees from September 2012.

“Students choosing to study Anglia Ruskin degrees at our further education college partners, in the UK, are also entitled to the new fee waivers, and will be charged £6,500 a year tuition fees. This reflects our on-going commitment to encourage those with academic ability to consider higher education as something that is appropriate and accessible to them.”

The Student Finance School and College Tour aims to visit over 2,300 schools, FE and sixth form colleges across England, offering advice and information sessions targeted at parents and students in the run-up to the UCAS application deadline on 15 January 2012. Additional information on the new student finance system can be found at

The Facts About 2012 Student Finance

  1. Tuition fee loans

From September 2012, universities and others providing higher education will be able to charge up to £9,000 a year for their courses. Students from England planning to go to university for the first time will not have to pay their tuition fees upfront, as loans are available from the Government.

Students start to pay back their loan when they have completed their studies and are earning over £21,000 per year. If their income falls below £21,000 for any reason, such as a career break or being made unemployed, their repayments stop.

They will repay their loan at nine per cent of income earned above the £21,000 threshold, which will be regularly updated to take account of inflation. Repayments are deducted monthly from their salary, normally through the tax system.

The interest on the loan will be applied at the rate of inflation plus three per cent while they are studying and up until the April after graduation. From the April onwards, the interest rate will vary according to how much the student is earning. Any outstanding balance is written off after 30 years.

**2. **Living cost loans and grants

Provided by the Government, living cost loans are to help cover costs such as food, accommodation, course materials and travel. The amount a student can borrow depends on where the student lives and studies, and their household income.

If a student lives in a household with an income of less than £42,600, they may be able to get a living cost grant. Unlike loans, grants do not need to be paid back.

**3. **Bursaries and scholarships

Most universities provide bursaries and scholarships - money that the student does not have to pay back. Each university decides on their own eligibility criteria, so students will need to check with their chosen university to see what they offer.

**4. **National Scholarship Programme

This is a Government scholarship that provides help with the cost of attending university for students from a lower income family (less than £25,000 a year).

**5. **Disabled Students’ Allowances

Disabled students studying on a full-time or part-time basis can receive these grants in addition to the standard student finance package. They do not depend on income and do not have to be repaid.

**6. **Adult Dependants’ Grant, Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance

These grants are support for full-time students with child or adult dependants.

For more information on the new student finance system for students studying in England from September 2012, please visit

Notes to editors:**

  1. An image of presenter **Nishat Patankar **at Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School is available. For more information contact Trudi Howe at COI News and PR for a copy.

Further information about the Student Finance School and College Tour is available at

  1. The Tour complements the print, social and broadcast media campaign which launched in May, see The second phase of this campaign began in October.

  2. For details of when the Student Finance School and College Tour will be in your area, please contact Event Marketing Solutions Ltd (EMS), phone (0151) 350 1532, e-mail:

  3. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

For more information, interviews or images, please contact:** **

Trudi Howe on 01223 370782

**Issued by COI News & PR East on behalf of **

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name COI East Job Title

Division COI News and PR East Phone 01223 370 780 Fax



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Published 9 December 2011