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Last Updated: Monday, 9 January 2006, 00:19 GMT
Student financial concerns raised
University library
Many young people know the direction they wish to take
Almost half of young people in England wish they could have more control over their money, a survey suggests.

But three-quarters of those aged 16 to 19 are clear about where they want to be in five years' time, according to the government-commissioned survey.

The government wants to highlight the financial help available to students, as the deadline for applications nears.

Students beginning university this year will be charged variable fees of up to 3,000 per year.

Deterred

In a survey of 1,000 16-19 year olds in England, 81% said they had given serious thought to what occupation they wanted to do in five years' time, and 95% said they had taken some action to achieve an ambition.

But 41% said they would like more control over their lives, with many citing money as an issue.

Higher Education Minister Bill Rammell urged prospective students to find out about and apply for financial support as early as possible - even before receiving confirmation of a university place.

"No-one should be deterred from following their dream because of concerns around the financial aspects of entering university or a lack of understanding of the financial support package," he said.

From this year, student fees will be repayable after graduation - once a student is earning over 15,000 per year - based on the graduate's salary.

On an average graduate starting salary of 18,000, Mr Rammell said the repayments would be 5.19 per week.

Students from households earning less than 17,501 will be eligible for a maintenance grant of up to 2,700 per year, which decreases to nought for incomes of over 37,425.

And universities charging the maximum fees must offer bursaries of at least 300 to the poorest students.

But concerns have been raised that top-up fees will put off prospective students from lower-income households - and recent research suggest that students who work during term-time are less likely to gain a first-class or upper-second degree.




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