05 August | 06:24:53
Scotland's Student Newspaper
Students rely on parents for money as loans fall short
Parents are bailing their children out as student loans do not stretch far enough
Sarah Purvis
Wednesday, 29 September, 2010 | 09:00

Students at university are increasingly having to rely on parents and grandparents to support them through their university career.

For many, student loans barely cover accommodation costs forcing them to be dependent on their parents' support. 

Extra costs are particularly high in the first year when new “essential” items are needed such as laptops, printers and upgraded mobile phones. A study by technology website eXpansy found that costs for these items alone can add up to £900.

Anthony Catterson, eXpansys chief executive said: “In 2010 a laptop and a smart phone capable of accessing the internet and social media are no longer seen as luxuries. They are considered essential student kit; as essential as stationery, pots, pans and bedding.”

On top of that cables, phone contracts, TV licenses and other expenses relating to moving into a new flat are all necessary.

Liam Burns, NUS Scotland president said: “The levels of financial help in loans and grants have not been kept up, and the result is that very large numbers of students are now struggling to get by.”

To compensate for the lack of loans, more students than ever have part-time jobs. According to NUS Scotland's 'Still in the Red' report 47 per cent of student workers admitted "combining work with study was having a negative impact on their studies.” 

Verity Woodfield, a second year student at the University of Edinburgh, told The Journal: “ I feel guilty about the help I get from my parents but see no alternative as a job would inevitably affect my studies and my chance to make the most of university opportunities while I’m here.”

Students financial positions create worries as many resort to credit cards resulting in damaging commercial debt on top of their student loans and maxed out overdrafts.

With the run-up to the Scottish parliamentary elections pressure will be put on politicians to make a commitment to students to help improve their situation. 

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