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How is the Cost-of-Living Crisis Hitting Students?

Choosing between studying or eating: The cost of living crisis is having a negative effect on students

An image of a student studying and making a money management plan

Student loans and grants are not rising to match inflation- the least privileged are being hit the hardest

The Impact on students' mental wellbeing

The cost of living crisis is having a negative impact on students mental health as money management has become a bigger issue.

Students said they are worried about being able to eat, feed themselves and pay bills. Concerns about cost-of-living pressures are greater among older students, postgraduates, and those who work or have caring responsibilities.

In order to still be able to afford everyday essentials, more students have started to gain a part-time job. Although this can teach you valuable skills, it is still important to maintain work-study balance. Working part-time jobs is the only way to keep afloat. From a second year students point of view, having a part-time job and managing my degree at the same time, can be tough. I am here for university, however I am found missing lectures due to having to work extra shifts to earn extra money. There comes the point where one has to question whether achieving a good degree grade is even realistic for those who are forced to work long hours to

Although working-class students will be affected more, those from the middle class are also facing financial struggles.

Many students rely on their parents for contributions towards living cost. This, therefore, presents a crisis for students' families. In a survey by an accommodation provider carried out in March 2022, 73% of parents and 66% of students said that they were "extremely worried" about the cost of living at university. In order to support their children, 10% of parents have taken out bank loans and 3% have re-mortgages their house.

Young minds is UK's leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health. They work with young people, helping them to overcome mental health during hard times like the economic crisis.

One student who is being supported by Young Minds stated "Although working a full-time job as a 20-year-old girl, the cost-of-living has seriously affected me. I'm constantly counting down the days until payday, extending my overdraft, requesting an advance on my pay and occasionally have a second job on the side just to get by"


What support has the Government made available to Students?

Despite the NUS calling for the Government to introduce a “tailored student cost of living support package”, there remains only general cost-of-living support. For example, most students are unable to access benefits so are ineligible for the £650 support payment given to households receiving means-tested benefits. Only students who are tenants of landlords will receive the £400 grant through the Energy Bills Support Scheme. Therefore, some students will still struggle.

The government is also planning on increasing living cost loans and grants by 2.3% in England.


What are Universities doing to help students?

A lot of universities have a student advice/ welfare service to advise on issues including finances and housing. Students who are concerned about their financial situation can contact their university to learn about additional funding such as hardship funds in England and Wales, discretionary funds in Scotland and also support funds in Northern Ireland.

Furthermore, some universities have expanded their hardship funding and support as cost rises. For example, the University of York launched a household energy grant. This gives students in all households a £150 towards energy bills.


Ways to manage the Cost-of-living crisis as a student

  1. Contact your university about hardship funds

  2. Part-time job and summer jobs

  3. Easy ways to earn an income from home- doing paid online surveys, starting your own website, freelancing, getting paid to watch videos

  4. Selling things you no longer need- on sites such as Vinted

  5. Put any spare cash into savings

  6. Set a budget- using a budgeting app in order to help with money management

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