Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Rise in hardship loans for Brighton students
Cash-strapped students are being forced to turn to university officials to bail them out.
The University of Brighton has received more applications for hardship loans for the first term this academic year than it received in the whole of the previous year.
So far in 2012/13 111 students have applied for financial assistance with the university handing out more than £7,000, compared to 105 requests for a total of £6,850 in the whole of 2011/12.
The University of Sussex has also received a flurry of requests for financial support at a rate of 24 students a week for the first academic year.
So far in 2012/13 319 students applied for a hardship loan with 290 students sharing more than £33,000.
During the first term of the last academic year 288 Sussex students shared more than £41,000 – out of a total of £93,000 given to 680 students throughout the entire academic year.
University students can apply for loans of up to £500 if they are in financial hardship.
The University of Sussex has also sent out debt letters to 637 students in the first term, 15% more than it issued last year, while the University of Brighton also issued marginally more, with 1,504 reminder letters sent out.
A University of Brighton spokesman said: “There are a number of reasons for the small increase in the figures but clearly the economic climate is a significant factor.
“There are 22,000 students studying with us and we understand that these are challenging times for some, as they are for other students around the country.”
The spokesman added the university has an extensive programme of advice, bursaries and emergency funding available to help.
A University of Sussex spokeswoman said a student’s reasons for being in financial difficulty would vary for each circumstance.
She added: “Student fees are not paid upfront and repayment of them is currently deferred until the student has graduated and is in paid work over £21,000 a year, so it would be inaccurate to say that student debt is related to higher fees.
“Nevertheless, the university continues to consider the financial burden placed on students by a challenging economic climate and any student who is struggling with finances, for whatever reason, can contact the Student Life Centre or the Student Union for money advice.”
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Albion players cleared of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman
- Your say: Are the Greens fit to run Brighton and Hove City Council?
- Brighton and Hove council boss apologises for rubbish problems
- Designs for life - designs students create products for the future
- Still time to join the Ribbonwalk at Petworth House