Increased support for students
Uplift in bursaries and loan packages.
Financial support available to undergraduate students will rise by £900 from the start of the 2023-24 academic year.
Estranged students in higher education and other undergraduate learners with the lowest household income will see their maximum support package increase from £8,100 to £9,000 per year, as the ceiling for all student loan applications is uplifted by £900.
The annual non-repayable Care Experienced Bursary for eligible higher education students will also increase to £9,000. In further education, a £900 increase will also be applied to the maximum bursary rate available to care experienced students.
These increases will be available to students already at college and university and for new students beginning their studies from Autumn 2023.
Students in need of immediate financial support for the 2022-23 academic year are still able to apply to their college or university for assistance through their Discretionary Funds.
Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn said:
“This rise in support will help to alleviate the financial pressures facing many students as we grapple with the cost-of-living crisis.
“The maximum financial support package available to the most vulnerable students and those from the lowest household incomes in Higher Education will rise to £9,000. This is the next step in delivering our commitment to provide a total package of student support equivalent to the living wage.
“Increasing the Care Experienced Bursary will help more of Scotland’s Care Experience community to access further and higher education and fulfil their potential.”
Who Cares? Scotland CEO Louise Hunter said:
"It’s great to hear news of the £900 increase in financial support available to students in Scotland. I’m sure this will be welcomed by many students who are struggling to balance their education and finances during the cost-of-living crisis. Raising the Care Experienced Student Bursary to £9,000 per year responds to the specific challenges this group can face. For many Care Experienced people without family to rely on for support during their studies, they can face greater barriers in realising their lifelong right to education.
“We know that Care Experienced people are often disproportionality disadvantaged compared to their peers and in recognition of this Who Cares? Scotland will continue to fight for the rights of Care Experienced Students - as committed to within The Promise. This means we can ensure all members of our community are given the right support to thrive.”
The uplift will be applicable to higher education students receiving SAAS funding, including Scottish domiciled students studying elsewhere in the UK. The rise in financial support for further education students will only apply to those studying in Scotland.
The 2021 Programme for Government committed an ambitious reform to student financial support, including to expand our total student support package to reach the equivalent of the living wage.
The Scottish Funding Council will announce other bursary maintenance rates for further education students in due course.
Further details for support rates available to students in 2023-24 academic year will be available on the SAAS website from March 2023.
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