MSPs are to probe the impact bursaries, grants and loans can have in encouraging young people to study at college or university.
Members of Holyrood’s Education Committee are planning to carry out an inquiry into the issue when the Scottish Parliament reconvenes after its summer break.
Ahead of that, they want to hear from students and others about the financial support they get.
Almost 65 per cent of school leavers in 2013-14 continued their studies at either college or university - up from just under 53 per cent in 2004-05.
But the latest figures from Ucas show 15.1 per cent of youngsters from the poorest areas applied to go to university in 2015, compared to 52.1 per cent in the most affluent communities.
Committee convener Stewart Maxwell said: “There are more and more young people in Scotland leaving school and going on to further or higher education.
“For many school leavers, however, this step is still too high and would be impossible without the student support provided through public funding.
“We want to look at how the availability of student support is helping to improve access to education.
“We know that for some people, the move from school to college or university can be daunting and student support plays a vital role in allowing these students to stay in education.
“Our committee wants to hear from students and all those with an interest in student support to find out what difference it is making.”