Martin Lewis: Why cutting tuition fees bizarrely risks hurting not helping most students

The news again has been full of talk about cutting English tuition fees from £9,250 to, say, £6,000. While psychologically attractive – as it reduces the perceived ‘debt’ – the practical impact is to take money off universities, risking the quality of education, and handing it to very high-earning graduates. I bashed out this explanation on my...

Warning: Parents with 2+ children who’ll go to uni, SAVE NOW, the system’s biased against you

The entire premise of our current student finance system is supposed to be “you don’t need cash to pay upfront to go to university!” Yet these days that’s simply not true.  Many parents, especially those with more than one child, will need a war chest of possibly £10,000s. This isn’t about tuition fees. University fees are automatically...

When will your student loan be written off?

It’s a question I’m asked all the time. Many know that current students no longer need to repay their loans 30 years after the April following graduation, yet for those who started university before 2012, there are a variety of options. This information has been a long-term part of my Should I repay my student loan? guide (where...

Is your student loan being sold? The answers we must get from the Government…

If you started university between 1998 and 2012, the Government plans to sell your student loan to the City. If you started in 2012 or beyond, chances are the same will happen to you. If you went before 1998 then your loan has already been sold, and you probably know there were substantial problems. The House of Lords’...

Uni Minister Jo Johnson says NO to my letter asking ‘please be honest & transparent about the parental contribution’

  The amount of the living loan that students aged under 25 get when they go to university is dictated by a means test of their PARENTS’ income.  A reduction in the living loan starts for students from families with incomes of just £25,000/yr and the amount received can be halved for those whose parents earn £60,000. In...

Autumn Statement Submission 1: Unfreeze the student loan repayment threshold, stop the retrospective hike

On 23 November the new Chancellor Phillip Hammond, will present his first Autumn Statement – it’s likely to contain a range of major policy announcements. As always the Treasury has invited submissions, and this year MSE and I felt it was time to take them up on the offer – we’ve submitted two. Here’s the first (the second...

Dear Jo Johnson: Minister, it’s time to tell parents the truth about what you expect them to pay towards university costs

Parents of students starting university in England in 2016, are facing a hidden 27% rise in university costs. We’ve been working on this for a few weeks, and as part of our campaign for a more transparent system of student finance, I have today sent an open letter to Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities, asking for him...

How much the Govt expects you to give your children for university

Update Note 25 May 2017: The ready reckoners below have been updated with the new 2017/2018 living loan amounts. Also since first writing this blog, and seeing the strength of feeling it attracted, I have written an open letter to the Uni Minister asking him to start telling people about this. Yet sadly received his no we won’t...

Panicked about interest on your student loan statement? For many it’s nonsense!

You graduate from uni, ready to face the world – check your student loan statement online and discover £150 a month interest is being added. It’s a frightening prospect. However, for many people this statement and the interest added is irrelevant and may as well be ignored. I’ve often heard it said that all English students in England who...

Tell your MP to fight disgraceful retrospective student loan hike

It’s against all forms of natural justice and good governance. The Government, without asking Parliament, has changed the terms of student loans, long after many students signed up to them – indeed some had already graduated when they did it. More than 130,000 people signed a petition forcing a parliamentary debate on this hike that will cost...