University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Student loan groans

The Badger

ByThe Badger

Oct 9, 2009

Loans. Ungrateful, stubborn student loans. Take one look at Facebook and you’ll see that all we students have ever done is give our loans encouragement- ‘Come on Loan!!’ ‘God speed you Loan.’ ‘Just one more day…’ But it seems we have not won the finance race, in fact, we are weeks late. Thousands of disappointed students this year have not received their government loan on time, and whilst for some it may just be a case of asking Daddy- for others, it means no food, no fun. A total of 50,000 students, that’s 5% of the million students that have applied for loans this year, have had to deal with a mere ‘basic fund’ until further notice, or nothing at all.

Ralph Jackson, executive of the Student Loans Company, stated that everyone who had applied for their student loan before mid-August would have their applications processed by the time their courses begun. Yeah, we’re still waiting. Jackson also commented ‘‘we admit the situation is not perfect, but it’s reasonable.’’

Is there anything reasonable about this student from Oxford Brookes situation?

Claire Swinmurn applied for her loan in February this year, and was expecting a childcare grant to help her pay for her children’s nursery places. She said that she was ‘petrified’ she would have to give up her place on the course, just because of these delays. Jackson promised the loan by the following weekend, but because of the ‘basic funding’ scheme, this of course would not include her childcare grants.

It would be nice if the government could take time out of their busy bath plug-claiming days and sort people like Claire and us out… Much less give Student Finance a kick up the backside. Are we doomed to wander Wetherspoons sober for the rest of our lives? If so, fear not. My dad once taught me how to make rum out of a marrow and a pair of tights. M&S here we come…

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