BIG NEWS

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Living on a student allowance


updated
It is one thing being eligible for a student allowance, and another thing getting it. Helen Clark said this on universal student allowances.
This policy means that students will be borrowing less and will be able to move on more quickly from the costs incurred in getting tertiary education to set up their own homes and establish their careers.
Does she mean that students will only have to borrow $12,000 for fees, with books on top of that, and live on a student allowance? A student aged 18-24 who lives away from home gets $ 153.46 , plus $40.00 accommodation costs. That doesn't even cover rent, food and transport! Students borrow for fees and course costs, have to work part time to survive and have their allowance abated dollar for dollar if they get more than $185.00 per week.

Here's some figures: If a student earns $250.00 a week ($201.00 net) they get a $88.00 abated allowance [ $153 - ( $250-$185) ] and $40.00 accommodation supplement, totalling $329.00. If they get the Student loan and a WINZ accommodation supplement with their earnings, they get $460.00 which they`ll do if their expenses are $310.00 a week. The low income WINZ supplement could be up to $60.00 - or more if they have a mortgage. So, the allowance option is $329.00, the loans option is $460.00. Better to live on $360.00, get a loan and save $100.00 a week, accumulate interest and pay it all back once finished studying and if National gets in you`ll get a 10% discount on your lump sum loan payment.

If a student gets a job that pays $370.00 a week they don't get student allowance at all.But they can get student loans and go into debt if they spend all their money.

How does extending the student allowance to younger students from richer families mean students will borrow less when the very students from these families are either are earning too much to get the full amount, and the few that are "borrowing less" have to live in cold flats on noodles and food grants and money from their parents to survive?

A good policy from a students perspective would be to remove or limit abatements on universal allowances and use loans as a top up. That's unaffordable too.

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Scoopit!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Rose said...

hey,
If you think you have it bad in the states you should check out the situation over here in the UK!
Its crazily expensive!
Interesting article though.

October 14, 2008 at 4:55 AM  
Blogger Heine said...

In 2001 I paid $65 rent a week and a little more for the bills. I still had plenty to go crazy at the pubs.. but didn't eat too much mind you :)

The policy isn't really going to help poor students, but I think that it was fluffed up enough to make it look generous enough and it's not like NZUSA are going to critique their beloved Labour Party.

October 15, 2008 at 9:26 AM  

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