JIM HENDERSON on the abolition of the graduate endowment scheme
FOLLOWING the abolition of the graduate endowment contribution by the SNP government, no-one mentioned that the contribution actually funded bursaries for students from lower-income families. Nor was any indication given as to how the books would be balanced following this reduction in income.
It seems that one way to balance the bursary budget is simply by reducing the amount spent on bursaries. In the next academic year, many students, who would previously have received an annual bursary of up to 2,575, will no longer be eligible for one. The Scottish Government has decided that, whereas the income of stepparents who have not adopted their stepchildren and that of unmarried partners have not previously been taken into account, this income is now counted when assessing student funding.
For many students, this will significantly reduce or even eliminate any bursary payment. For some, it will even reduce the overall level of funding by up to 590 per year, as they no longer qualify for the additional loan assistance currently available to students from low-income families.
These losses will be countered by increased parental contributions and increased student loans.
In addition, the SNP has also decided to no longer allow a deduction for pension contributions when calculating student funding.
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