Students Struggling To Support Themselves As University Rent Costs Soar
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A survey has found that students are increasingly suffering enormous levels of financial stress as they struggle to support themselves during term time.
The survey, commissioned by NatWest, found that a quarter of the 3,604 students who participated in the study admitted they find managing their money stressful. While the majority of students receive a maintenance loan from the government to cover their cost of living, 43% of participants said they had run out of money by the end of the semester, while 32% claimed they rely on their overdraft to cover their rent and other bills.
Over 60% of students rely on the loan – averaging approximately £510 a month – to cover their living costs, but freezes and fluctuating inflation rates have caused the value of the loan amount to drop since it was first introduced in 2012.
The survey also found that student rent prices have increased by around £20 per month since last year, with the biggest increases in London and student towns in the south east.
Explaining the results of the survey, Eva Crossan Jory, vice-president for welfare at the National Union of Students (NUS), said that the NatWest survey sheds light on a problem that the NUS is totally aware of, and is attempting to help tackle.
A recent report published by the NUS advised universities to offer more affordable options for students, after discovering that 1 in 6 students cannot keep up with their rent payments, while 1 in 3 students struggled to pay for their course after paying for their accommodation.
“More and more students are balancing university work and caring responsibilities and often student parents are hit the hardest through unfair funding systems,” Crossan Jory stated. “Central government should address the way in which student support is calculated to ensure that it takes into account rises in the cost of living for learners.”
Researchers have linked financial stress to poor mental health in students, but only 40% of surveyed-students said they felt their academic institutions supported to them to manage their finances.