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More graduates to be saddled with a lifetime of debt
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
Life after graduation
Growing fees and increased living and rental costs will mean that some graduates from middle-income families will soon be leaving university with more than £30,000 of debt.
Changes to tuition fees mean universities can now charge up to £3,000 for their courses - an increase of £1,250 from the previous cap - with students now able to apply for up to £9,000 more from the state to cover any yearly course expenses and no longer having to pay fees up-front.
The National Union of Students (NUS) has warned, however, that those graduates from middle-income families who fall short of requirements for government grants or bursaries could well be faced with lifetime levies on their finances.
"Fee loans, along with levels of borrowing for living expenses, have now ratcheted up typical graduate debts to a massive £30,000," Gemma Tumelty, NUS president told the Telegraph.
"Debt does not only affect students' choices before they enter university, it affects the courses they choose, the career they take on, the likelihood of them pursuing further study and their chances to save and invest as graduates."
The heightened level of concern comes after the Student Loans Company revealed that its total lending to students in the UK in the last financial year stood at £3.4 billion - a substantial rise from the previous year's figure of £2.9 billion.