Many students are left thousands of pounds out of pocket because Government grants and loans do not cover the cost of studying, a union has claimed.Â
According to figures released by the National Union of Students (NUS), students living outside London now face a shortfall of just over Â£8,000.
Their analysis, based on existing figures, suggests that the average cost of being a student outside of the capital in 2011/12 is Â£16,279. This includes costs such as tuition fees, books and equipment, rent and food.
At the same time, a student's potential income from grants and loans totals Â£8,242, the NUS claimed.
This leaves a shortfall of up to Â£8,037, the union said.
For students living in London, their living costs now total Â£17,428, with a potential income from Government grants and loans of Â£9,880, leaving a possible shortfall of Â£7,548.
NUS president Liam Burns said: "Not enough of the student support in the higher education system is getting into the pockets of students and there is a real danger that the situation is getting worse.
"There has been a shocking leap in the gap between Government funding and the cost of being a student. The kinds of wages available to young people at the moment mean that many students without family support would have to work virtually full-time jobs or take on huge commercial debt whilst they study."
The analysis was published as the NUS launched a new Student Financial Support Commission to look in depth at the costs students face, the support available and whether students are getting the help they need.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more