As everyone else is feeling the pinch, students are among the very few who have yet to be affected by the downfall of the economy, but could that change?
University students are being warned that although their loans are safe the credit crunch could be affecting their parent’s incomes and so parents may not be able to support their children. Students are being urged to look into other means of funding such as part time jobs and hardship grants.
David Malcolm, Head of Social Policy at NUS (National Union of Students) told GET (a website designed to give career advice to graduates) that “if parents are in a situation where they are suddenly paying more on their mortgage, more students will find their parents won’t be able to support them”.
A recently survey taken by Uniaid, a charity dedicated to helping students with financial difficulties and offers them assistance on who to cope with a student budget, showed that a quarter of students expect to rely on part time work whilst at university. 26% believe that a shortage of money is a real concern.
But, these are concerns already inhabited by all students so will the credit crunch prove even more painful to a students already tight budget and what can be done if the credit crunch does begin to affect them?
In America, Congress has already passed a bill that protects its college students who rely on students loans from the effects of the credit crunch so will our government do something to protect our students?
For now students and their money are safe but a recent blunder by the government has caused the limit of household income in order to receive a grant has been lowered from £60,000 to £50,020. The underestimation will mean thousands of students whose income is between £50,020 and £60,000 will miss out of the £50 to £524 grant that they would have received if they had started university this autumn.
Shadow Universities Secretary David Willetts told the BBC that “this is a heavy blow for students, 65,000 of whom have already applied”.
With family financial support also feeling the strain this is bad news for students, especially those from middle income families.
Although the current affects of the credit crunch can barely be felt by students some students are noticing that higher food prices, fees and rent are beginning to take their toll on their budgets. Former students have been giving new students advice on how to survive this economic spiral.
Southampton Solent University graduate, Steve Burford, has set up a website called wealthystudent.co.uk which offers students advice and money-saving opportunities. Burford told the BBC “It is imperative that students get off to the best possible start at University.”
The website has been extremely successful with over 60,000 hits last year and has been shortlisted for a national award.
Burford also added “with the right part-time job and a bit of savvy it is possible to leave university in a good financial.”
So if students find other means of funding and put their budgeting hats on then they can survive this economic crisis.