I am in the privilaged position that I have a monthly income from a military pension but I'd like to share with you why I think the SAAS funding is not fit for purpose ( Apart from being ludicrously low) and what it will mean for you unless you have a fair chunk put away for your tuition fees already.
My situation: I have a monthly income plus my course is eligable for the NHS non repayable grant of £6000 year one and £5000 year 2. Course fees are £9250 each year for 2 years.
Students in England get more for starters, but for a fair comparison lets say they also get £10000 per year. Scotland get 2 payments of £5000 each year split into 2 parts, the first part £2750 goes to tuition and the second part £2250 Gets split down again into 3 payments for living costs.
Scene 1 (The English method) : I would get £10,000 straight up in one whopping big chunk, I go across the road, I pay for a years tuition, Ive then worked out I can probably save about £500 a month being thrifty. Year 2 comes along, I deposit £6,000 savings and because year 2 is full of placements, rental costs are not really an issue anymore as Ill be reimbursed... Worst scenario case from all my computations a £4000 loan taken out (but thats looking unlikely) this year to live comfortably .
Scene 2 (The Scottish Method) : £2500 paid in tuition fees leaving £6,800 left to pay. The university wont even entertain the notion of the rest of the 10k being spread across 2 years, even if they gave concession for the first year, Im still £4000 short on this years fees. The only option is a £6,800 loan at 10%, even with my guaranteed income. I take out the loan, i'm now paying £150 a month back on it each month, money I could of been saving reducing the saving amount to £350. I get to year 2, Ive saved £3500, they give me £2500, Im in the same position as as the English method, Only now Im £600 down in interest payments spaffed up the wall, Im still paying £140 a month for a £6,800 loan when I could of got away with 4 this year, and getting another loan is very unlikely for any shortfall. I can kiss my NHS bursary goodbye fixing the mess in my worst case scenario.
The Scottish SAAS postgrad payment is an absolute joke in the way its delivered, Its actually embarrasing that they could think its credible so please beware and if possible, have at least £6800 to slap down to make up the shortfall for year 1 tuition.
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