STUDENT HAILS FINANCIAL SUPPORT CHANGES AS ‘BRILLIANT’

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Cambrian News photographer - Aberystwyth University student Elen Roach has welcomed the introduction of the new student finance system

A first-year Aberystwyth undergraduate is backing a campaign to show people who are thinking of going to university that money shouldn’t be a barrier.

Cambrian News reported “Elen Roach, 18, who started at Aberystwyth University this September, said the Welsh Government’s new student finance package affords students more opportunity to focus on their studies and spend less time worrying about making ends meet.

She is one of the first cohort of students benefiting from the new student finance system which is the UK’s most generous package of support for undergraduates, whether they study full-time or part-time.

Every eligible student can claim a minimum grant of £1,000 they do not have to pay back, regardless of their household income.

This is part of an overall mix of grants and loans where grants are means-tested to support those who need them most.

Students from homes with lower household income receive the highest grant – up to £10,124 in London and £8,100 in the rest of the UK.

New part-time undergraduates receive similar support on a pro-rata basis.

Elen, a former pupil at Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych, Pembrokeshire, is in the first year of a Professional Welsh degree course at Aberystwyth University.

The first-language Welsh speaker welcomes this introduction of grants to help with living costs and says the cost of university got her and her friends talking about money.

Elen said: “I think the change in financial support is brilliant as it helps people who may not have considered university before to see it as an option now.”

Elen says she’s learned a lot about budgeting during her first term.

“I went a bit wild during Freshers’ Week in terms of spending but by the time my second maintenance grant and loan instalment comes in January, I’ll be fine,” she said.

“I’ve now done a budget and I know how much I’ve got to spend every week” here.

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