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Students are hurting…does the government know?

Media Release – 14 February 2008 -

Even the banks know that students are hurting…does the government?

With classes starting in a few weeks, students are looking forward to yet another year of rising debt and financial worries on top of their studies.

New research from Westpac bank released yesterday backs student concerns about the lack of proper financial support while studying.

42 percent of students said their primary concerns heading into their studies this year were financial: the ability to earn and save enough for living and studying, accumulating student debt through loans, tuition fee increases, and dissatisfaction with student loans.

Almost one half of students (47%) had to find a means to pay for living whilst studying at university. For those flatting, this was paid mostly via borrowing living costs off the student loan or part-time work. Almost 80 percent students intend to work while studying to cover living costs.

“Even the banks know that students are hurting. The results indicate that many students must borrow to live and work long hours to make ends meet. This confirms our experience that students are struggling to balance studying and having enough money to survive,” says David Do, AUSA President.

In the meanwhile, the total number of allowance recipients and total government spending on allowances has fallen between 1999 and 2006. The lack of access to student allowances and continuously rising tuition fees continues to drive up student loan debt, to reach over $10 billion this year.

“This can only strengthen the case for a universal student allowance, to ensure that all students are properly supported while they are studying,” concludes David Do.


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