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Student loan shake-up will give more help to graduates
Friday, 06 July 2007
Life after graduation
New government plans have been announced which will see thousands of students and graduates benefit from further financial support.
The plans, announced by new universities minister John Denham, will see many more students from middle-income families become eligible for a full maintenance grant, with the upper ceiling on total family income eligibility for the award lifted from £18,000 to £25,000.
Graduates will also benefit significantly as part of the plans, with those people beginning courses from 2008 able to take 'repayment holidays' of up to five years on their student loans, giving them more financial space to start a career, get on to the property ladder or start a family.
The new plans have been welcomed by student bodies, with Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, commenting: "Making more students eligible for maintenance grants will hopefully prevent students from having to stack shelves or flip burgers when they should be in lectures and seminars."
Speaking after the announcement, new prime minister Gordon Brown added: "No one should be held back from realising their potential by fears that they will not be able to go to university, or that they will graduate with unmanageable levels of debt."
The government has pledged an extra £400 million of funding a year to finance the new scheme.