Students face cost-of-living crisis, suggests NUS data

Students in England face a cost-of-living crisis as loans and grants fail to keep pace with rents and bills, claims the National Union of Students.

The gap between income and expenditure for a typical student amounts to more than £7,600 according to NUS analysis.

The union compared the cost of living and studying for the 39-week 2013-14 academic year with typical income from government grants and loans.

The government said it was targeting support at those who needed it most.

Rent, bills and other outgoings continue to rise year after year above the rate of inflation but grants and loan rates were frozen this year and will only rise by 1% next year, says the union.

It estimates that a student living outside London will pay an average of £21,440 in tuition fees, books, equipment, rent, travel and other living expenses.

Against this, they have a potential income of £13,747 composed of their tuition fee loan plus maintenance loans and the grants available to those on average and low incomes.

This leaves a shortfall of £7,693.

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