Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Eesha
    • By MSE Eesha 25th Sep 16, 1:11 PM
    • 81Posts
    • 21Thanks
    MSE Eesha
    Dear Jo Johnson: Minister, itís time to tell parents the truth about what you...
    • #1
    • 25th Sep 16, 1:11 PM
    Dear Jo Johnson: Minister, itís time to tell parents the truth about what you... 25th Sep 16 at 1:11 PM
    This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

    Last edited by MSE Eesha; 26-09-2016 at 8:58 AM.
Page 1
    • Ed-1
    • By Ed-1 26th Sep 16, 12:19 PM
    • 1,800 Posts
    • 959 Thanks
    Ed-1
    • #2
    • 26th Sep 16, 12:19 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Sep 16, 12:19 PM
    This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

    Originally posted by MSE Eesha
    Here here - the minimum that should happen is that parents (who have to correspond with SLC anyway as a student's sponsor) should receive a letter detailing their expected parental contribution based on the income assessment.

    Longer term we should be working towards a system that abolishes means testing all together and therefore treats students as independent at 18. The only rationale for Labour setting the age 25 cut-off to be treated as independent is so the government could afford maintenance grants. Now its all maintenance loans, we should have a loan system that recoups enough in repayments to allow both the means testing of student support based on parental income to be abolished and removal of ELQ restrictions on further loan support.
    • Proxima Centauri
    • By Proxima Centauri 26th Sep 16, 12:29 PM
    • 942 Posts
    • 1,662 Thanks
    Proxima Centauri
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 16, 12:29 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 16, 12:29 PM
    The student loan system appears to be a graduate tax, in all but name.
    • Paul_Herring
    • By Paul_Herring 26th Sep 16, 12:45 PM
    • 6,108 Posts
    • 2,788 Thanks
    Paul_Herring
    • #4
    • 26th Sep 16, 12:45 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Sep 16, 12:45 PM
    No questions about how much those of us without children are paying towards university costs?

    Especially since a not insubstantial number of people incurring loans won't actually be paying them off. At least according to a few articles on here by Martin.
    Conjugating the verb 'to be":
    o I am humble
    o You are attention seeking
    o She is Nadine Dorries
    • VT82
    • By VT82 27th Sep 16, 9:44 AM
    • 914 Posts
    • 727 Thanks
    VT82
    • #5
    • 27th Sep 16, 9:44 AM
    • #5
    • 27th Sep 16, 9:44 AM
    Strongly agree with your letter Martin, and Ed-1's follow up points. Hope you make quick progress with it.
    • Acquinas
    • By Acquinas 30th Sep 16, 9:49 AM
    • 108 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    Acquinas
    • #6
    • 30th Sep 16, 9:49 AM
    • #6
    • 30th Sep 16, 9:49 AM
    It's a good point Martin. My wife and I are both on middle incomes. We have one child who has just completed an undergraduate degree and about to commence a masters and another who is looing to start uni in 2017. We are hoping the eldest doesn't want to do a PhD as that would precipitate the nightmare scenario of both at uni at the same time.

    Both kids are sanguine about the debt. It's just a fact of life and they regard the repayment as being a legitimate contribution toward the preparation for a graduate-entry career. But the maintenance loan barely covers the costs of the rent of a room in a hall of residence. We pay for everything else: food, transport, books, stationery and maybe just a bit to enable him to have a life that doesn't mean that grinding poverty distracts him entirely from his studies. We get no change out of about £6k a year (paid out of our taxed income). This was a factor in us deciding to downsize our house. Since the youngest is looking at a 4-year Engineering Masters, it is definitely the major factor in me deciding to defer my retirement.

    And before I get jumped on by anyone who suggests that my kids should work part-time in order to finance things, well, the uni that my eldest goes to bans undergraduate part-time working.

    Am I complaining? Not really. My wife and I have worked hard to give our kids the best start that we could and this is just an aspect of that. But I really don't know how any family on lesser salaries than us, but who don't qualify for the measly means-tested grants, could handle this at all.

    So, yes, let's have some realism and transparency.
    • Fitzmichael
    • By Fitzmichael 30th Sep 16, 6:16 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Fitzmichael
    • #7
    • 30th Sep 16, 6:16 PM
    Do we think it's right to charge fees?
    • #7
    • 30th Sep 16, 6:16 PM
    I know it may be a bit beyond Martin's normal financial advice but, since he's doubtless got access to lots of knowledgeable help, and no posters nor any element of the Media appear to think it's worth asking (maybe they're not even aware of it) why several other EU countries, some less wealthy than UK/England, can provide free university access, I'm prepared to hope he can provide or prompt an answer.
    I passed my A-levels in 1960 but, apart from the tiny number who won a scholarship, only those with parents who could afford to pay their fees and maintenance costs, could go to uni. My French and Spanish were reasonably fluent and I got a summer job as a courier (guide) on cultural coach tours for mostly middle-class/aged Anglos through France and Spain (well-paid, all-found, no tax). I discovered that everyone with the Bac got to uni free. Back here, someone told me that in the French consulate in Manchester there was an Alliance franÁaise and a Cultural Attache who might be able to certify that my O and A-levels were the equivalent of the Bac, and, if he considered my French fluent enough, might get me into a uni. So I spent the following academic year at Grenoble Uni (more skiing opportunities than I could profit from) and got a PT job teaching English to electrical/engineers working at a huge new plant. I couldn't enrol on a whole degree course but could choose any elements that I was interested in and was judged able to cope with, joining a group of Spanish students on a Diploma course including 2-way Spanish-French translation and interpreting. When full grants arrived here in 1962, I was ahead of the game, thanks to the French taxpayers.
    • missbiggles1
    • By missbiggles1 30th Sep 16, 6:27 PM
    • 16,397 Posts
    • 30,256 Thanks
    missbiggles1
    • #8
    • 30th Sep 16, 6:27 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Sep 16, 6:27 PM
    Here here - the minimum that should happen is that parents (who have to correspond with SLC anyway as a student's sponsor) should receive a letter detailing their expected parental contribution based on the income assessment.

    Longer term we should be working towards a system that abolishes means testing all together and therefore treats students as independent at 18. The only rationale for Labour setting the age 25 cut-off to be treated as independent is so the government could afford maintenance grants. Now its all maintenance loans, we should have a loan system that recoups enough in repayments to allow both the means testing of student support based on parental income to be abolished and removal of ELQ restrictions on further loan support.
    Originally posted by Ed-1
    The threshold for a student to be considered independent at 25 has been in effect since before I went to university in the mid 70s, as have the other criteria for achieving independence like having supported yourself for 3 years.
    Last edited by missbiggles1; 30-09-2016 at 6:38 PM.
    • missbiggles1
    • By missbiggles1 30th Sep 16, 6:37 PM
    • 16,397 Posts
    • 30,256 Thanks
    missbiggles1
    • #9
    • 30th Sep 16, 6:37 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Sep 16, 6:37 PM
    I know it may be a bit beyond Martin's normal financial advice but, since he's doubtless got access to lots of knowledgeable help, and no posters nor any element of the Media appear to think it's worth asking (maybe they're not even aware of it) why several other EU countries, some less wealthy than UK/England, can provide free university access, I'm prepared to hope he can provide or prompt an answer.
    I passed my A-levels in 1960 but, apart from the tiny number who won a scholarship, only those with parents who could afford to pay their fees and maintenance costs, could go to uni.
    My French and Spanish were reasonably fluent and I got a summer job as a courier (guide) on cultural coach tours for mostly middle-class/aged Anglos through France and Spain (well-paid, all-found, no tax). I discovered that everyone with the Bac got to uni free. Back here, someone told me that in the French consulate in Manchester there was an Alliance franÁaise and a Cultural Attache who might be able to certify that my O and A-levels were the equivalent of the Bac, and, if he considered my French fluent enough, might get me into a uni. So I spent the following academic year at Grenoble Uni (more skiing opportunities than I could profit from) and got a PT job teaching English to electrical/engineers working at a huge new plant. I couldn't enrol on a whole degree course but could choose any elements that I was interested in and was judged able to cope with, joining a group of Spanish students on a Diploma course including 2-way Spanish-French translation and interpreting. When full grants arrived here in 1962, I was ahead of the game, thanks to the French taxpayers.
    Originally posted by Fitzmichael
    My husband went to university in 1959 and was funded by a maintenance grant with fees paid, although I don't think these became mandatory until a couple of years later. He was from a working class family, as were most of his friends from grammar school. Then as now, the maintenance grant was means tested on parental income.
    • Ed-1
    • By Ed-1 30th Sep 16, 7:05 PM
    • 1,800 Posts
    • 959 Thanks
    Ed-1
    The threshold for a student to be considered independent at 25 has been in effect since before I went to university in the mid 70s, as have the other criteria for achieving independence like having supported yourself for 3 years.
    Originally posted by missbiggles1
    Time for a reform of it then?
    • Fitzmichael
    • By Fitzmichael 30th Sep 16, 7:20 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Fitzmichael
    Why not ask in your email?
    Why not discover what MSE users think in your usual way, by giving them questions to vote on?
    When do they think adult rights should be awarded -16/18, and also adult responsibilities imposed?
    Till what age should parents be legally bound to provide the necessities of life for their offspring? Ultimately, of course, it should depend on the opinion of voters, Some posters, especially without children, think they should not be expected to pay taxes for free post-school education. On this point, some say, quite reasonably, that if you choose to have children, you should not expect others to pay for them as adults, but it seems unlikely that they mean welfare benefits etc should be available only to those whose parents have insufficient income to support them partially or wholly.
    Grants, loans, graduate tax or no tuition fees? Loans are off-putting to many families but a tax on subsequent earnings is not - why is government so opposed to this?
    I never gave a thought to future employment: in those old days, 'going up' was from intellectual/cultural interest. Now, it seems to be a prime consideration, certainly in the way politicians speak of it, so should socially/economically desirable/useful subjects be subsidised and others not?
    I'm sure the Team can more expertly expand on this.
    • missbiggles1
    • By missbiggles1 30th Sep 16, 7:22 PM
    • 16,397 Posts
    • 30,256 Thanks
    missbiggles1
    Time for a reform of it then?
    Originally posted by Ed-1
    No, not really - unless you mean switching to an HE (not graduate) tax.
    • Fitzmichael
    • By Fitzmichael 30th Sep 16, 7:28 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Fitzmichael
    You're right.
    missbiggles1,
    As I said, mandatory central govt grants were introduced in '62, but local councils could offer support and sometimes had legacies for such purposes, but you/parents needed to know that or be told by a knowledgeable teacher, as well as knowing how to beat others to winning the scarce resource, like getting into the 'right' school now.
    Last edited by Fitzmichael; 30-09-2016 at 7:31 PM. Reason: To indicate who I am responding to.
    • Ed-1
    • By Ed-1 8th Dec 16, 5:34 PM
    • 1,800 Posts
    • 959 Thanks
    Ed-1
    The tables in the 'MEMORANDUM: SUPPORT AVAILABLE UNDER THE
    EDUCATION (STUDENT SUPPORT) REGULATIONS for 2017/18' document (available below) show that the assessed contribution from parents (although no official notification of this is given) is not the same as the difference between the support awarded and the maximum loan.

    http://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/media/7761/financial_memorandum_for_201718.pdf

    For example, table A6 on page 10 shows that the 'assessed contribution' is calculated only for household incomes above £42,875. So for a residual household income of £45,000 the maximum loan would be reduced by £2,421 but the assessed contribution from the parents would only be £257.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

883Posts Today

7,240Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Beware the hidden £1,000s parents aren't told they must pay for University fees. My new FT column https://t.co/gDOyZDMCr9 (free to read) RT

  • Who do you think came out best in the Corbyn v May battle tonight?

  • Clever by Paxman; subtly testing out "strong & stable" by focusing on u-turns on Brexit view, social care, self employed tax & election date

  • Follow Martin